I get it into my head that I'm going to become a writer when I was ten years old. Fast forward many years later after raising two children, making sure they were normal, secure and educated I turned to writing-AGAIN!! After all I promised my daughter that I would seriously make an effort to become an accomplished writer. As it turns out (sigh) there is more than having numerous stories walking through your head all of the time. Of course I knew writing would be difficult, time consuming and at times, at a dead end. I embraced the characters; fell in love with my hero, and even took a conceal and carry class to arm my innocent female heroine so she wouldn't get killed. Researching to the point of becoming paranoid, I feared Homeland Security monitored by progress. Yet I continued to forge my novel into a romantic thriller. The End.
Or at least I thought it was the end. Turns out it was just the beginning. There turned out to be that little "editing" nightmare which I'm still experiencing. I keep telling myself if someone can spin my story into a first class piece of literature then I'm all for it! The waiting keeps me awake at night wondering if it's so horrible the editor I chose fell into a coma while reading it. After all I haven't heard back from her.
If that isn't enough to take all the fun out of writing then let me explain getting an agent to represent you. I've got a pretty healthy ego and fortunate to be surrounded by friends and family that love and encourage me. My life, although not perfect or storybook-like, resembles something out of the Waltons TV series. I'm used to being successful and motivated to work hard. My pursuit of a literary agent collapsed all that gooey, sappy, stuff into reality when I got my first rejection this morning. The Writer's Market clearly stated it could be weeks for individual agents to respond. I read their websites, contacted six possible agents that seemed to be a good fit and noted the date in my journal of when I attempted contact. Attaching a well thought out query seemed like child's play right up until two hours later I got my first rejection. He was polite but basically said "thanks, but no thanks." Two hours! Didn't have to give that much thought.
No. I didn't burst into tears or throw my magical laptop into the fireplace. My reaction to the rejection turned out to be loud, spontaneous laughter! Immediately I began racking up the reasons why I wasn't upset.
#1. Steve Berry got 75 rejections before anyone took The Amber Room. (Granted I'm no Steve Berry! But hey! He got rejected just like me!) #2. I just hadn't suffered enough so this was a good lesson. #3. "That which doesn't kill us, makes us strong!" (I know Prince M. said it but I remember it from the beginning of the first Conan the Barbarian movie.) #4. I don't have anything to wear for an interview. (Lame. I know.) #5. I need to have another novel well on its way before someone actually takes a shine to me and demands more. (Hopefully they'll demand more.)
Believing in myself isn't all that hard. Believing I can write is not a big stretch. Believing I'll be discovered--that's a tough one.