Sunday, January 24, 2010

So Here I Sit...

It's raining outside.
The horses are fed.
The cats are fed.
The Demon Chickens have complained about the weather and been fed complimentary crackers for their discomfort (three eggs yesterday, go Towanda!!!)
The dogs are in old-doggies-got-snacks-they-didn't-need comas.
I'm alone in the house.
I've got coffee at my hand and a cat on my lap.

And here I sit. Not writing.

I've got plenty of ideas. I'm working on three WIPs at the same time. (I can't believe that's happening, but thus far it's been smooth sailing). My fingers are actually itching to write. So why aren't I? I'm currently processing the possible snags that are keeping my fingers from latching onto my pen.

A large part of it is that I've got queries out on my YA. I imagine that one day I'll get to a point where that won't affect me so much. But right now it does. And it's worse because I've had a couple of requests for fulls. Those agents passed in the end (I'm not hating on them in the slightest, just having fulls requested was a new, big step) but they all had good things to say about my YA. And they had specific reasons for passing. One already had a client working on a project in the same vein as mine, close enough anyway that they felt obligated to stay devoted to their client. If I was that client, I know I'd want that devotion, so that's fine with me. The other agent said that the story just didn't grab them the way they felt they should have been grabbed. I get that because I can't paint on commission for the same reason nor can I read a book just because it's a bestseller. If it doesn't hook me, why read it? The insidious poison in these rejections is that both agents said they'd look at other projects if I had any (either the projects are something they don't rep, or they're WIPs so that's out right now) and the second also said that they'd look at revisions on my YA. But they didn't tell me what to revise. Not even a hint. Yet another agent said that my YA didn't fit into what she currently wants to focus on but that by just what she read, she feels it's strong and well written and bound to land me an agent.

Of course, the first thing I did was squall because I was rejected. Especially after the full requests, which were terrifying and totally exciting all at the same time. That took around 24 hrs for each rejection, less for one because immediately upon receiving that rejection, we had equine high drama at the farm and I didn't have time to pout. Then I was elated that these agents had RESPONDED to me! They had actually written letters commending my writing and telling me that they thought I have what it takes to be successfully published! That was followed by a brief (fifteen or twenty minutes) regression of pouting because they thought I was good, but not good enough FOR THEM. This isn't true of course.

Now I'm on to the dithering stage which is by far the most frustrating and least productive. When I'm pissed off, I can throw hay bales around, groom horses (nothing gets dirt out of a horses coat like angry elbow grease) or find something that needs to be pounded, hauled or dug up at the farm. When I'm elated I have the patience of a Saint and can deal with the most obnoxious baby horse behavior, even when it includes the kicking and stomping of my body parts (reminder, baby horses pitching fits = three hundred pounds of temper tantrum). I also tend to act like a goon and make everyone around me smile.

But when I'm dithering because I don't know what to do with my writing, it's a disaster. It's like being told you have cancer, but no one gives you treatment options, although they say that you're going to make it. I mope, then I try to write, then I consider revising my YA and pull it up on the computer. Then I sit and stare at it because I don't know what to do. I look at my main character and try to decide how she might be more likeable. Then I'm afraid to change anything for fear of making her less like herself. I examine the setting, but I don't change anything because I've been told by the agents that my world building was great. I look at the timeline and tweak. Then I go back and change it because it was fine and the tweaking looked like tweaking. Then I abandon the YA I'm peddling and go back to the three I'm working on. Then I stare at them and wonder if they're as strong as the one I'm peddling. I don't want to regress in my writing. Meanwhile, everyone around me tries to help cheer me up. The most successful is the young (ten whole years younger than me, and a total whippersnapper) guy I work with, code name Carlos. This is because he simply picks me up and throws me over his shoulder and runs until I squeal like a piggy and feel like I'm sixteen again. But it still wears on me, thinking that I might be failing myself by not rewriting but also thinking that I might be screwing up my YA by changing something agents have said they enjoyed.

So here I sit...

Although now that I've blathered all of this, I have to run like a mad woman because I'm finally going to see Avatar with my prego sis, code name Fenris, and my daddy. Fenris will have to pee in the middle of the movie, she's already warned me (it's a prego thing, she says) and my daddy might well nod off. But it'll be fun nonetheless. And maybe when I come back home I can write some. Or edit some. Or maybe just stare at the words some more...


  1. I say, don't try to rework the YA that's out on submission. Let it be for a while. Work on something new--on what's next--until all the results are in. It's a roller coaster, and I imagine you just have to ride it until it comes to a complete stop. Good luck. My fingers are crossed for your ms.

  2. It's terrifying isn't it? I've got a book I'm working on for submission; I've got a published, well-known, well-respected author willing to help me with my query letter; and I've got a good niche. Yet here I am, reading blogs and posting blogs and not doing a damn thing to finish up the five holes in my submission. I want to finish, I want to submit, I want to be published. I just don't want the terror and uncertainty that goes with it.

  3. Hi there- first time here :D. Well if it's any consolation- the rejects I got on my fulls did not say revise and re-submit. One did say she'd look at something else I've written. Which really finally pushed me to put that one to the side, and charge ahead with the other two I'm working on (glad someone else is as crazy as me--but somehow it works--it's like reading two boks at the same time). So I think you got some very promising feedback--hooray for you! And hang in there!

  4. I totally understand dithering around. Sometimes I'm sitting on my computer, doing absolutely nothing, and I think "You should be writing." But I don't want to.

    What I do: Get off the computer and READ. That's some of the best market research and it's fun!

    Good luck with your querying and writing!

  5. Yeah, we're totally dithering. Sometimes dithering is good though. I like it when Elana calls it stewage. Makes me feel more productive.

  6. Oh, man do I get this post. I didn't/couldn't write for a month following rejections on a full. I did the Elana thing and just read and read. That helped some. Give yourself lots of love. Rejections on the full is a big new step, right? Plus, an invitation to re-submit is great. Maybe a new critique group can help.

    I hope hope hope you get fired up again!