The Intractable Writer

First of all – hi there! Yes, it’s been a while since I posted anything here. I have a million things I like to call reasons for that, which are probably just excuses, so I’ll skip that part, and work on doing better.

The past few weeks have been a little demoralizing for me in my writing life. I started querying again, which is, let’s be honest, a super rough process. If you’ve done it, you know what I mean, right? And if you haven’t – well, it’s sort of like standing in the middle of Times Square, naked, while people rate your attractiveness level on a scale of one to ten. And you can’t see out of the box, but you can see the numbers flashing up on the inside. I get the heebly-jeeblies just thinking about it.

Of course, that’s not at all what’s actually happening during the query process. Agents are absolutely flooded with queries. Like, drowning in them. So while for the writer pouring his or her heart and soul into their work, and putting it out there into the world only to get rejections is a downer of a process, agents are working hard, too. They’re sifting through hundreds of queries a week, looking not just for good writing, but something that really grabs them on a personal level. And then can be marketable, because they have to make money, too. It’s a tough situation for everyone.

So maybe querying is more like shouting to mountain-climbers that you’re hot stuff, and they should come see you hanging out in your glass box way on top of the mountain sometime. And some mountain-climbers risk their lives to check you out, expecting that you’re going to be just exactly right for them. But it turns out that the definition of attractive is subjective, and while you’re objectively good-looking, you aren’t going to be what every single mountain climber is looking for. A lot of mountain climbers will be disappointed, and they’ll have to go climb some more mountains. Meanwhile, you’re going to be waiting a long time before the right one comes along.

Really, no matter what metaphor you decide to go with, it takes some serious loin-girding to deal with the rejection, and some days I’m better at it than others. Recently I haven’t had so much of that can-do attitude.

And then there’s the looming cloud of my transition from doing the stay-at-home-parent gig to a real job. Which, now that it’s happening, and my family is actually going to be relying on me for income to eat food and things, is a lot more overwhelming than I thought it was going to be.

Through all of that, there’s this little tiny part of me that is just not letting go of my published author dream. I can’t shake it. So I just keep chipping away at it, bit by bit. I won’t lie, there are some days that I would love to get out of the glass box. That would be a whole lot easier.


It would be nice to see the future right about now. To know if my determination really will pay off, and someday I’ll get that book on the shelves. But getting to a goal doesn’t count for much, I guess, if you knew it would happen. It’s that intractability in the face of difficulty that makes an achievement something worthwhile.

I guess there is one thing I absolutely do know about the future. I’m always going to keep writing, getting better.




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