Ok, so here I am, back from a spring vacation relaxed, recharged and rejected again.
I wasn’t prepared for how much the rejections would affect me. I have a thick skin and broad shoulders. I rarely let my ego take part in any of my arguments or achievements and I know I can do anything I set my mind to, but writing is different. I’ve never wanted to succeed in something as bad as I do for writing. It’s a new concept for me. Which is why I think the rejections sting so much.
I write not for the money or fame but because I find the exhilaration of writing a strong piece intoxicating. I can’t get enough of it. I don’t want readers to say “Oh, that was nice.” I write instead for the “Holy shit, you scared the crap out of me!” Or, “I felt so sorry for the character.” And “I could see the whole thing. When I read I didn’t see a word on the page, I saw it play out in my head instead.”
That, is why I write. Formulaic is not even a consideration.
Lately I have been questioning whether I have “it” or not. And I’m not alone in this. A number of excellent writers that I went through the Novel Approach course with are feeling the same way. At first I thought it was today’s FOX Broadcasting style Publishing market, but I realize it is because we are all still new to the game. We are all still experiencing growing pains and rejection for the first time.
Who said writing was easy?
So, I have sent my letters out to four agents and two publishers and so far I’ve received two responses. Thank-you Hilary McMahon of Westwood Creative Artists and Jessica Faust of BookEnds, LLC for responding and for doing so personally. A lot of other agents and publishers could learn a thing or two from you. I should be happy that with so little sent out and for someone so new two publishers asked for copies right away. From what I’ve heard, that’s a rare feat. Now if only they’ll respond…
I guess I’m at the next step in my development, learning what to do with a completed novels and distancing myself from it enough to not let it interfere with the creative process for the second novel. I find myself sitting and stewing and doing very little writing. I am encouraged by my writing community and my slowly growing readers, but it is still an emotional rollercoaster.
I take solace in words from Ruth Walker. She said that writing isn’t always about the actual act, but a lot of it is the mental process, the vortex of words and images that swirl around in a writers head. The veritable Big Bang from which novels and stories emerge. I’m just worried that staring into that vortex for too long may overwhelm me.
For now though, the vortex has spit out the name of the town in which the majority of Appetites is set. I didn’t want to use an actual town and felt that a made-up town was too… made-up. But then that’s what writing is, isn’t it.
As soon as I had the name, the town jumped into full focus. A conglomeration of various towns I’ve been to.
Welcome to historic Luna Falls, one of Ontario’s oldest towns and home to Dunnco Tires. Dunnco tires, supplying your tire needs since 1912.
It is so vivid, in fact, that I can walk its streets, and it suits my needs perfectly without feeling fake.
Feeling fake. I’ve felt that. But I won’t let that or any future rejections stop me.