Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday Writerly Way ~ Determination to be an Author


Oops, I forgot it's Indie Life Day!

A writer friend of mine has a blog where he reviews and
posts on a variety of subjects. Malcolm Campbell has always had a witty point of view. So I ran across this on his blog and decided to share it here.

For those of you going through the query and rejection stage of publishing  You are not alone. HERE's the list. The most notable is the beloved Dr. Seuss. I was amazed at the comments that were given for the rejections because now in retrospective- it's a moot point.

The point is...the author didn't give up on their efforts. One author got 79 rejections before they finally sold their manuscript.

I can remember one author who lightning struck in reverse, like me, who got a publisher with contracts in hand and recommending agents in the past two decades. That other author is Jack McDevitt. But then he's been in publishing as long as I have. But Jack had been querying publishers after a long search for an agent.

What's an agent going to do when you tell them that TOR (or in my case Doubleday) has recommended them? Snatch them up, of course. It's almost guaranteed cash in the bank. Admittedly, this is backwards of what it's really like being an author submitting to an agent. Nowaday, you have to go through the agent gatekeeper first.

On a side note...I got a call last week from one of my old agents about the projected completion date on my new WIP, Don't Get Your Panties in a Wad.

Projected completion date? I've just spent two month NOT writing and dealing with my life. All I could answer was, "I dunno." Not very professional I know, but it was an honest answer. I haven't even made the decision to traditionally publish the book yet. Jokingly, I answered, "Never." Needless to say she didn't take it so well. I basically told her,  "Don't call me. I'll call you." Agents hate that so I might be in the market for another one eventually because I'll tell the other agent the same thing. If I traditionally publish this book. I've got to finish the rough 1st draft first.

This was one of the major reasons I've temporarily stopped traditionally publishing. I didn't need the added pressure. I used to only blog about my books when they were in their final editing stages and I changed tactics with this one because my stroke recovery is current and ongoing. Readers wanted to know what was going on in my life and my stroke recovery is up front in my focus right now. At the time it seemed like a logical decision.

You may have noticed I no longer post snips of this book on my blog. That's the reason why. It was garnering too much attention from agents and editors alike. I'm determined, yes, but not that determined. Once upon a time, I could handle set in stone deadlines, but that's not the case now. It takes the joy of writing away. Let's face it. I am are more apt to do what is pleasurable to do than what I am are forced to do. Hey, I'm human. When I am struggling to accomplish it during recovery in the first place, joy is important.

So why is determination essential to the author?
  • To plow your way through from beginning to end of a manuscript takes determination. 
  • To edit until you are bleary eyed and want to chuck the whole manuscript and not takes determination. 
  • To believe that your book has merit and deserves to be published takes determination. 
  • To get stacks of rejection letters and keep on searching for an agent takes determination. 
  • When the quest for publication stretches into the years mark takes determination.
Do you have the determination to be 
a published author?
Keep writing and loving the Lord.

6 comments:

Deniz Bevan said...

I am determined! Just slower some months than others... I need a new editing schedule!
Reading Malcom's post did give me hope, however...

J.L. Murphey said...

Deniz,
I step forward at a time will eventually get the job done. Malcolm had a great list.

Dana said...

I'm determined, but I seem to have more motivation some days than others.

Have a wonderful Thursday.

Pk Hrezo said...

Never thought about the advantages of setting your own deadlines as an indie. Great point!

Jeremy [Retro-Z] said...

i have a book that i had written it's 20 years old now, i keep sending it to the same place... they keep rejecting it. it's time to send it to them again, i feel i am wearing them down. i just know that i want them to be the ones who manage it... your thought?

J.L. Murphey said...

PK, every writer has some idea when a book will be finished. By setting mini goals along the way, you force yourself to meet a goal.

Jeremy,
Is that like kicking a dog when it's down? There are other agents out there. Are you changing the manuscript before resubmitting it? I've had my heart set on a couple of agencies in the past and been rejected. I've gone on to my second and third choices, but it was my fourth choice that netted me the better working relationship.