Friday, December 3, 2010

Retro (On Submission) Friday

If you are an unpublished (or even a published) writer, or hope to be a writer someday, you absolutely MUST read this post by author Natalie Whipple. Then you MUST read this follow-up post, also by Natalie.

Read the first to give yourself a true reality check. When I signed on with my first agent about six years ago, I was positive I had achieved the pinnacle of success. Finally, I didn’t have to be the one selling my book. My agent would take care of everything. And the book WOULD sell. It was being submitted by a great agent at a great agency. Yeah, well, that doesn’t guarantee anything. In fact, in a way, it’s even worse. You think, “If she can’t my book, I must be a total loser.”

Of course that’s not the case at all. While I still might be a total loser, agents obviously can’t sell everything they take on. Not because they are bad agents, or because the book is bad, but because there just isn’t always the perfect fit. If an agent could sell everything they took on, they wouldn’t have to work nearly as hard as they do, trying to find perfect matches.

Reading Natalie’s post back then (had it been written) would have given me a least a sense that I wasn’t quite over the hump. We all need to learn these things our own way and at our own pace. But it would have been nice to have at least a dose of reality splashed on my head.

Read the second, because it will remind you that no matter how many trials you go through, no matter how difficult life seems at times, you are the one who can choose how you will respond. Will you quit or will you fight on. I’m so dang impressed with Natalie, and have no doubt she will succeed.

I’m “On Submission” myself right now. And just like she says, it is a stressful time. Every time the phone rings, your first thought is, “Could that be my agent?” In fact I’ve given him his own ring tone, so I stop freaking out. “Back in Black” by AC/DC. Even though I’ve published books, the stress is just as real. So I try to enjoy the ride, and hope it will make for great stories down the road.

In honor of Natalie, today’s retro Friday song is by one of my favorite 70’s bands. Whether it’s The Worst of Times or The Best of Times is totally in how you respond to setbacks.


Krista said...

I kinda needed this. Good reminders. Waiting is torture, but hope insists.
Thanks, Jeff!

David Glenn said...

Those were inspirational posts. Reminds me of the saying "If at first you don't succeed, try try again." And is it your next Farworld book your stuck in submission with right now or the one with the demon?