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View Full Version : Waiting's even worse (warning: rant)



Solatium
05-31-2005, 11:17 PM
Is it just me, or is just waiting for the rejection even more stressful than actually receiving it?

I kind of enjoy rejection letters, actually -- all kinds of them. There are the really helpful ones that actually give you good advice on the story. There are the misguided, irrelevant "helpful" ones that let you get away with telling yourself the editor as an idiot. There are the crude, insulting ones that let you know she really is. Even form rejection slips mean, at least, that you can send your manuscript out again.

But the time between -- ugh. Especially when the stated response time has come -- or is about to go -- and you begin to wonder exactly what indignities they're inflicting on your manuscript, that it's taking so long.

*bites lip*

.
.
.

Okay. No more. I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Kudra
05-31-2005, 11:29 PM
I hear ya! In fact, I'm like you, too. I'd rather know whether I'm in or out quickly than have to wait months for the final verdict. I think that's the case because like you, rejections don't have any effect on me other than to motivate me to submit elsewhere.

ScottAJohnson
06-01-2005, 12:53 AM
Amen! Preach it, sister!

Mihoshi
06-01-2005, 03:21 AM
I hate to wait, but at least when I'm waiting I can convince myself that it's a great book that I'll send out 1000 times if I have to to get it published. But when the rejection comes I just feel like crying and deleting the project. I never do, but I hate that first feeling after you read a rejection letter.

To me, ignorance is bliss and denial keeps me going - as long as I'm not waiting to send the proposal out to another publisher that is.

Jamesaritchie
06-01-2005, 03:48 AM
Is it just me, or is just waiting for the rejection even more stressful than actually receiving it?

I kind of enjoy rejection letters, actually -- all kinds of them. There are the really helpful ones that actually give you good advice on the story. There are the misguided, irrelevant "helpful" ones that let you get away with telling yourself the editor as an idiot. There are the crude, insulting ones that let you know she really is. Even form rejection slips mean, at least, that you can send your manuscript out again.

But the time between -- ugh. Especially when the stated response time has come -- or is about to go -- and you begin to wonder exactly what indignities they're inflicting on your manuscript, that it's taking so long.

*bites lip*

.
.
.

Okay. No more. I just wanted to get that off my chest.

The trick is to not wait. Stay so busy writing and submitting other projects that you forget all about any specific story. "Submit & Forget." If yu keep working hard, it doesn't take long before you're hearing from someone every week.

maestrowork
06-01-2005, 04:17 AM
Yup. I don't wait anymore. Or at least I try not to. I keep myself busy. Most of the time, I don't even remember until they send me something (rejection, usually).

Edit:
To be fair, though, I've had some good experiences. Most agents did respond within the timeframe they posted. My publisher responded as promised. They told me they would respond to my full ms within 6 weeks. By the end of the 6th week, I got an answer. I was very impressed by their professionalism.

clara bow
06-01-2005, 06:09 AM
Love the rejections; hate the wait. I grew so tired of waiting recently that I decided to convert one of my husband's and my scripts into a chick lit novel, because, oddly enough, it might work better that way. Now I can't wait to send it off!

Visiting this site helps alleviate the wait, too.

dragonjax
06-01-2005, 09:56 PM
Waiting = bad, and probably fattening
Writing = good, and possibly fattening

I'll take the possible over the probable any day.

Now, where's the chocolate...?

Solatium
06-02-2005, 01:35 AM
The trick is to not wait. Stay so busy writing and submitting other projects that you forget all about any specific story. "Submit & Forget." If yu keep working hard, it doesn't take long before you're hearing from someone every week.
See, I can't do that. Even when I'm working, even when I get a response back, the knowledge that there are places I haven't heard back from yet gets on my nerves.

Of course, the only permanent cure for that would be to stop submitting -- which is unthinkable.

ETA:

Waiting = bad, and probably fattening
Writing = good, and possibly fattening
So, writing-while-waiting = good, and probably fattening ?

Jamesaritchie
06-02-2005, 01:41 AM
See, I can't do that. Even when I'm working, even when I get a response back, the knowledge that there are places I haven't heard back from yet gets on my nerves.

Of course, the only permanent cure for that would be to stop submitting -- which is unthinkable.

ETA:

So, writing-while-waiting = good, and probably fattening ?

It gets easier with time and enough submissions. I once sold a short story that had been out so long (2+ years) that I'd forgotten I even wrote it. When the acceptance letter came, I had to go through my records to make sure there wasn't some mistake because I didn't remember the title or the story.

blacbird
06-02-2005, 07:08 PM
It gets easier with time and enough submissions.

Only if there's an acceptance mixed in now and then.

Jamesaritchie
06-03-2005, 01:50 AM
Only if there's an acceptance mixed in now and then.

Yes, you're probably correct. I never went through a no acceptance period, but it would seem that knowing you've sold something before would make waiting easier.

Solatium
06-03-2005, 01:56 AM
Yeah. Part of my problem with waiting is the glum knowledge that it's going to get rejected -- and I have to wait four months for that?

Having made one sale doesn't help, at least not in my case -- seeing as it was in another genre and to a market with, well, "different" standards.

clara bow
06-03-2005, 08:42 AM
[QUOTE=Solatium]See, I can't do that. Even when I'm working, even when I get a response back, the knowledge that there are places I haven't heard back from yet gets on my nerves.QUOTE]

Sometimes I get fixated like that, too. I literally have to ask my husband to tell me to knock it off! No, really! I also try and figure out why I'm so fixated (e.g., financial worries, job stress, whatever). I tend to channel my anxieties into writing/submitting, but when that runs out or a dry spell hits it can be difficult. I think a big part of the issue is how one is thinking about the situation. You are choosing to dwell on certain thoughts more than others. I would challenge you to ask yourself why that is. You are choosing to think these thoughts ten times a day instead of one. What goal is being accomplished by thinking the same thoughts over and over? We have LOTS of control over our thoughts! Find some replacement thoughts to kick out the ones that lead you to dwell on the unreturned rejections.

Now I need to go practice what I preach, har har! ;)

maestrowork
06-03-2005, 09:23 AM
I landed a regular column gig first... that took care of the "acceptance now and then" problem. ;)

smallthunder
06-03-2005, 06:04 PM
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhh!

No, anguished cries do not help one deal with the waiting.

(I thought it was worth a try, though.)

Birol
06-03-2005, 07:51 PM
Only if there's an acceptance mixed in now and then.

What can we do to help you get your first elusive acceptance so you can kick yourself out of this semi-permanent pity party you seem to be stuck in?

dragonjax
06-04-2005, 06:30 AM
Yeah. Part of my problem with waiting is the glum knowledge that it's going to get rejected -- and I have to wait four months for that?
There's something to be said about a self-fulfilling prophecy. Solatium, if you're not positive your work is ready to be published, then it may be that you're not sending out your best efforts.

If this absolutely is your best work, then why are you so positive that it will be rejected?

There's a huge difference between being nervous about rejection (or even dreading/fearing rejection) and "knowing" that your work will be rejected. Why are you being so negative about your work, instead of your own biggest fan?

Solatium
06-04-2005, 07:52 AM
If this absolutely is your best work, then why are you so positive that it will be rejected?
Because I am an unseasoned novice without even much natural talent. I may do good work someday, but so far even my best isn't very good.


There's a huge difference between being nervous about rejection (or even dreading/fearing rejection) and "knowing" that your work will be rejected. Why are you being so negative about your work, instead of your own biggest fan?
"Know" might be a rather strong word: let's say that I have good reasons to think that none of my stories-of-now are good enough to be published.

One reason: I know I am constantly improving. The stories I write now are, I believe, better than the ones I wrote even a year ago. But a year ago I thought I was doing just fine! Therefore, it's reasonable to suppose that I'm not as good as I think I am now -- and that even though I think my stories-of-now are publishable, they're actually not. The stories I write in the future very well may be, but I won't find that out until they start getting accepted.

Another, more compelling, reason: Some of these stories have been rejected before, strong, specific rejections that make it plain the story is irreparably flawed -- not merely "just not for us," but "just not for anybody."

So why do I keep submitting? First, because (as I said above) I won't know whether my stories have become publishable until they begin to be published. Second, because I could really use the money, the credit, and the salutary ego boost that would come were an editor to suffer some horrible lapse of judgment and accept one of my stories-of-now.

So how do I "know"? The same way I "know" I'm not going to win the lottery. The odds are incredible, but buying a ticket sure doesn't hurt.

Birol
06-04-2005, 07:57 AM
Because I am an unseasoned novice without even much natural talent. I may do good work someday, but so far even my best isn't very good.



Your posts do not support this statement. Keep submitting. I predict it will be less time than you think until you receive your first acceptance.

Solatium
06-04-2005, 08:22 AM
My posts show only that I'm good at bullshitting on my own behalf. Fiction is about getting the characters to bullshit for you, which is quite another thing.

Birol
06-04-2005, 09:34 AM
No, they show you can write. Storytelling is a different skill, but it sounds like if you haven't mastered it yet, you will one day. When you do, stop by and give me some pointers, okay?

blacbird
06-04-2005, 10:12 AM
What can we do to help you get your first elusive acceptance so you can kick yourself out of this semi-permanent pity party you seem to be stuck in?

Dunno. I just tend to have a badreaction to platitudes from writers who have had little trouble breaking into publishing that get echoed down to those of us who have never got there. I know they are well-meaning, but they're not very helpful, and occasionally downright wrong, in my experience. Now, I'm willing to admit that the reason for this disparity is that my writing sucks, at least from any audience or market standpoint, and the writing of those who are regularly published does not, and therein lies the problem. I've about arrived at the conclusion that it isn't a fixable problem.

bird

Birol
06-04-2005, 12:28 PM
Dunno. I just tend to have a badreaction to platitudes from writers who have had little trouble breaking into publishing that get echoed down to those of us who have never got there. I know they are well-meaning, but they're not very helpful, and occasionally downright wrong, in my experience. Now, I'm willing to admit that the reason for this disparity is that my writing sucks, at least from any audience or market standpoint, and the writing of those who are regularly published does not, and therein lies the problem. I've about arrived at the conclusion that it isn't a fixable problem.

I will admit that I had relatively little trouble getting published professionally the first time out, but I aimed small and built on that success. I would also argue that before I ever had the courage to sub anything, I worked hard to perfect my craft. I've learned, too, that the further I climb, the more likely I am to get rejected.

But that's just me. As for some of the other professionally published writers around here, do you know how many times some of them got rejected before getting published professionally as a freelancer? I know the stories behind one or two of them. Some of them that I admire, like aka eraser, I could not tell you the exact path they took to reach the point they are at today. It could be that what you call "platitudes" are merely the voice of experience.

At least a few of us "regularly published" writers have offered to look at your work if you wanted us to do so. All you have to do is post a sample in SYW and let us know it is there to help you figure out if there is something with the writing or if you need to approach different markets or what.

As far as writing sucking, I can tell you mine often sucks. At least I think so. If the publications do not, well, I'll take their money, but I'll also continue to try to learn and grow because one day I want to get it right just once.

Now the question for you is: What are you doing to improve? Are you taking advantage of the opportunities to learn and grow that are presented? I haven't seen any signs of you doing so. I just see you hanging out in Rejection/Dejection and growing increasingly bitter because you haven't had your first acceptance yet.

So what are you going to do next? Make another sulky comment, lash out at me for posting this, or accept the offers of help that have been made?

Jamesaritchie
06-04-2005, 12:57 PM
What can we do to help you get your first elusive acceptance so you can kick yourself out of this semi-permanent pity party you seem to be stuck in?

In truth, sometimes nothing helps, and outside of the usual advice of reading, and studying everything you can get your hands on, and writing each and every day, there are only two pieces of advice I'd offer. If you've already done both, sorry, but they works for many.

The first is simple to say, sometimes difficult to do. Go back to school. By hook or by crook, get yourself into some real writing courses run by real published writers who will demand you work and study hard, and who will bpth push and encourage you.

The second piece of advice works better after you've done the first, but I've seen it work for several writers who ignored the first.

Pick one magazine that you really like. Preferably a mid-size magazine.

Now get your hands on as many back issues as possible. At least a dozen, and two dozen is much better. Three dozen is better yet. Read every story straight through. Now go back with pen and paper in hand and dissect every story. Make a list.

1. What does the main character do for a living?
2. Is the main character male or female.
3. What kind of person is the main character?
4. Where does the story take place?
5. Write a one sentence plot of each story.
6. Do the themes of each story seem to be pro this or con that?
7. How many are third person limited, first person, etc.
8. Ignoring novelettes, what is the average length of the stories?
9. Do most stories have happy endings?
10. How are sex and violence handled?
11. Etc. Write down any otehr question that strike you as important.

Now write a story that changes everything except average length and type of story. Come up with a protagonist who does something different for a living, who doesn't have the usual personality, and who make not look like the average protagonist.

Find a setting/location that didn't appear in any of the stories. And I don't just mean one more big city, unless it's a really unusual big city, and you can paint it as such. Where you live might be the perfect setting. So might some unusal workplace you've been. What may be a commonplace job and a mundane setting to you might well be exotic to an editor and her readers.

The truest saying in publishing is that "editors want something just like everything else. . .only different." If you give them the right "different," your story will jump well ahead of other writers who are submitting.

Now, write a story for this magazine based on the differences and submit it. Then write another and another and another and another, all for this same magazine. Send them at least one story a month for a year.

I do not guarantee a sale with this method, but if you aren't getting some solid encouragement from the editor before the year is up, well, you're really doing something wrong.

Writing publishable fiction does come easier for some than for others, and many never can learn to do it. Just a shade over 90% of all who try writing fixtion will never, ever sell anything. But whether it comes easy or hard, the same elements go into it. That's why the platitudes are there. They either work, or it's likely nothing will work.

But the thing is this: Yes, I had no trouble breaking into fiction. As a high school dropout, and with no knowledge of grammar, and with no dream at all of being a writer, I studied grammar for about three wekks, wrote a short story in two days, and it sold first time out to a national magazine.

I don't know why or how I was able to do this, or why the next couple of short stories and a novel written in three weeks all sold just as easily. I don't believe for a second it was because I had talent oozing from my pores. I strongly believe it was because I did have an innate sense of what a story really is, and what editors really wanted.

I don't believe talent can be learned, but I do believe a strong, accurate sense of story and structure and of what editors want can be learned. And I believe much talent is wasted because the writer doesn't put enough importance on education, and on study, dissection, and specific targeting in order to learn more about story, and more about what editors really want.

I also know this beyond doubt; to keep going, to stay successful, to sell to more and more markets, I had to take both pieces of advice. I had to get more education, and I had to read and dissect magazines, and learn how to consistently give editors the kind of stories they wanted, only different.

blacbird
06-06-2005, 08:50 AM
First, Birol, I never lash. Second, I have posted a story in the Horror section of SYW (which might not be the right place for it). It is probably representative and illustrative of why I have problems getting anything accepted anywhere.

bird

blacbird
06-06-2005, 09:01 AM
Formal education is vastly overrated, James. I have four college degrees including an M.F.A. from one of the leading university writing programs in the country, which has proved utterly useless as any sort of credential, which in turn no doubt reflects on the quality of my writing. Now, I've written a huge amount of pure gag that I would never consider submitting anywhere. What's become frustrating is that I've also produced a few things that seem to stick out of the muck and have led me to judge that they might merit publication somewhere. That they apparently do not has led me to seriously question my judgment.

But the major reason for my initial comment was simply that I find statements like "Every rejection gets you closer to an acceptance" etc. to be illogical nonsense.

As I mentioned to Birol, I've posted a story in SYW, should you wish to take a look.

bird

Paolo
06-06-2005, 04:36 PM
Is it just me, or is just waiting for the rejection even more stressful than actually receiving it?



Oh! I have something to add here. You see, I just received my first rejection letter this weekend. Now have the right to comment on such matters.

For me, the waiting was indeed worse. Of course, this is only one data point. I'll need a few dozen more rejection letters before I can begin to form a more solid opinion. Now that it's done though, and I've been rejected, I believe the next one will not be so bad.

I studied kick-boxing for a while ( and I was pretty crappy at it, but it was fun). The anticipation of getting hit by that first punch was the worst. After recieving the the first good whack, you suddenly wonder what you were so afraid of. It doesn't hurt nearly as bad as it did in the imagination. It's a fight. You take the pain and realize you're still standing. You're still there. The only thing destroyed is illusion.

I have much respect for you folks that keep doing it. I want to be in that place too. I lost the first round, but I'm in good shape. I'm in my corner bruised and a little winded, but I'm not cut.

Ok, forgive all the pugilistic metaphors. Paolo Out.

Paolo
06-06-2005, 04:43 PM
Now, I've written a huge amount of pure gag that I would never consider submitting anywhere. What's become frustrating is that I've also produced a few things that seem to stick out of the muck and have led me to judge that they might merit publication somewhere.

Forget your judgement. Let us decide. Let's see it. Got a web site? Post a sample. Maybe post something on AW. I bet many people here would enjoy reading your fiction as much as they enjoy reading your posts.

I'm thinking about doing the same thing with part, or all of my recently rejected novel. If the goal in being published is to be read, then you can achieve the same goal with the web.

I'd say the trick is not to post (publish) online what may be best for print.

Anyway, just a thought.

Jamesaritchie
06-06-2005, 07:44 PM
Formal education is vastly overrated, James. I have four college degrees including an M.F.A. from one of the leading university writing programs in the country, which has proved utterly useless as any sort of credential, which in turn no doubt reflects on the quality of my writing. Now, I've written a huge amount of pure gag that I would never consider submitting anywhere. What's become frustrating is that I've also produced a few things that seem to stick out of the muck and have led me to judge that they might merit publication somewhere. That they apparently do not has led me to seriously question my judgment.

But the major reason for my initial comment was simply that I find statements like "Every rejection gets you closer to an acceptance" etc. to be illogical nonsense.

As I mentioned to Birol, I've posted a story in SYW, should you wish to take a look.

bird

Formal education will not make anyone a writer, but it will make someone who is a writer better, and it will make success come a good deal faster to those who have the talent, the dedication, and the discipline. What can take half a lifetime to learn without a formal education can usually be cut to two or three or four years with the right formal education.

I don't think formal education is overrated in any way. It's vastly underrated.
Because it doesn't help one person in no way means it won't help others. The best education in the world can't teach talent, and sometimes can't even teach dedication or discipline, but it can teach everything that goes with talent, dedication, and discipline to make a complete package..

Roughly 80% of those witth MFAs are going nowhere. This is true. But that's just life. I don't care what the educational level, what the group, what the demographic, it will have a top, a middle and a bottom. And I'm not talking grade point average here, but success rate.

Those with MFAs do, however, have a success rate about twice as high as those without. Those with a journalism degree also have a much higher success rate than those without. Those with both, or some combination of both, do even better. I think, in fact, that I may have learned more about actually writing fiction in journalism classes than in creative writing classes, but what I learned about what fiction is, about story sense, subject and structure, mood and tone, etc., in the creative writing classes was invaluable.

Having a constant and daily reading diet of classic fiction from Shakespeare to Hemingway also helped.

Really, make a list of every modern writer you can think of off the top of your head. Add in all the writers currently on all the bestseller lists. Go ahead and add every mid-list writer you can find. Now see what sort of education they have. The number you get should convince anyone that while a formal education may not be absolutely required, it's certainly the norm for successful writers to have a college degree.

You will usually also find that the tiny number of successful writers who lack a formal degree have managed to give themselves the same education, and possibly a better one, than the college grads.

And I really fail to see how you can possibly say that each rejection gets you closer to an acceptance is illogical. I can't think of anything more logical. Because it doesn't apply to everyone doesn't make it illogical, and the saying embodies the dedication and discipline most need to succeed.

I mean, you could add "if there's ever going to be an acceptance" to it. Or you could add "if you have the dedication and discipline to write two or three or four or five hours each and every day for ten years." But doing so would be self-defeating, and would probably ensure failure.

It's simply a good philosophy for a writer to live by. William Saroyan received almost 4,000 rejections before selling his first short story. Erskine Caldwell had almost as many. Had they not believed firmly that every rejection was getting them one step closer to an acceptance, I'm pretty sure both would have stopped writing somewhere around, oh, rejection 2,786.

Instead, Saroyan wrote to the editor of Story and warne dhim that he was going to send him a new story every day for a month. Then he did just that. He sat down and write a new short story each and every day for a month. With one extra, I believe. Just after the middle of the month, the new story he wrote was "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze."

Caldwell took the same approach. After receiving as many rejection slips as a very large suitcase could hold, enough to make a very decent bonfire after he was finally accepted, Caldwell sat down and started writing story after story after story after story until one sold. He wouldn't have done this had he not believed all those rejections were leading him closer and closer to an acceptance.

As for your judgement, well, I know many published writers will disagree with me, but I don't really think many writers have much in the way of judgement where their own writing is concerned, and I don't think they need it. Many years ago, a rather famous editor said, "Judgeing is not the job of the writer. That's the editor's job. So just write stoies and send them to me so I can do my job."

It made perfect sense to me, so that's what I've always done. When I do try to judge my own stories, I'm apparently wrong far more often than not. The stories I believe are my best almost inevitably draw rejection after rejection, while the stories I think aren't as good, or that suck sour apples, almost inevitably sell. So I just write them. I do try to write them as well as I can, but I don't even attpempt to decide which are good, which are bad, which will be accepted, which will be rejected. I just write them, submit them, and let the editor do his job.

One last thing about talent. I've seen more than a few writers with far more talent than I have fail miserably, almost always for one of two reasons: 1. They simply lack the dedication to sit ther *** down every day and write story after story after story after story, no matter what, for no matter how long. 2. They focus their talent on writing well, rather than on telling a story well.

I'm pretty much convinced that anyone who can sit down at a campfire with a group of kids, and who can make up a story on the spot that has those kids laughing or crying, or that makes them wide-eyed with fear or wonder, has more than enough talent to become a good writer. Whether or not they have the dedication, the discipline, and the proper focus is another matter altogether.

blacbird
06-07-2005, 10:35 AM
James,

First off, let me say I highly value your comments (and Birol's too, BTW). And I'm continuing to write, for inexpressible reasons, mainly I guess trying to find some way out of the aspiration to publication morass. But I still have a philosophical disagreement with the "Every rejection" interpretation. Seems to me that (barring, of course, specific personalized advice received) the idea of "Every rejection gets you closer to acceptance" has exactly the logic that "Every day you wake up gets you closer to the day Publisher's Clearing House shows up at your door with your prize."

Just a thought, born out of spending an entire day doing nothing but writing. Before you congratulate me, let me explain that the writing was of technical reports for private industrial consumption on the palynostratigraphy of petroleum exploration wells in the Alaska North Slope. For anybody out there who thinks any writiing you do improves your skill, I got plenty of new countervailing evidence.

bird

maestrowork
06-07-2005, 02:18 PM
"Every rejection gets you closer to acceptance" has exactly the logic that "Every day you wake up gets you closer to the day Publisher's Clearing House shows up at your door with your prize."
Not really. The latter is statistically almost impossible (especially if you don't enter). The former is statistically very doable (I got published multiple times, and English is my second language), unless you can't even put a comprehensible sentence together (which is clearly not the case, from your posts).

brinkett
06-07-2005, 03:37 PM
I think his point is that some authors will never receive that acceptance, otherwise every novel ever written would be picked up by a traditional publisher.

peteski
07-03-2005, 02:58 PM
Yeesh... just had a huge post written up and accidentally hit the keyboard shortcut that backs my browser up a page. When I came back, POOF!

Right, well, I'm a n00b on this board, but I've been writing for about a decade. I've written for TV, movies, cartoons, comics, novels and more. Sadly, the US government wouldn't bother to tax my combined income from all of that work because it just wasn't enough to bother with.

I've been rejected by big names and little ones. Some of my best work has been rejected and some of my weakest bought. In my experience there is little sense to be made of the business side of writing. These days it seems that strong writing doesn't sell--but weak writing thrives.

One time, I pitched to a big-time Hollywood agent. He said both my pitch and my show were strong but that he couldn't think of anyone to sell my show to. I told him that it was a pretty flexible premise--it could fit almost anyone's needs. We could bill it as a 30 minute animated kids show and take it around to animation studios. We could pitch it as a live-action scifi hour drama and take it to the big syndicated TV distributors. It could be shot on a shoe-string or a big budget--the damn thing had an answer for every challenge possible. The story and characters were solid, too.

I once got rejected because I didn't have a good enough reason for my lead character to have red hair--basically, I told him the character could have any color hair, that it was just the character designer who did that.

Without going on and on, my point is that there always seems to be an excuse. My show isn't funny enough, it's too funny, it's not what we're looking for, it's a great idea but is too similar to a lesser idea we've already sunk money into, blah-blah-blah... Sorry, I'm going on and on...

I have no problem with my confidence. I know I am a good writer--not only because I like my own writing, but I've had many others tell me my work is strong (yes, including people who aren't my friends). My crisis of faith is with the industry. I'm concerned that an industry that pumps out as much crap as this one does will fail to recognize real talent when it sees it. Perhaps they might even intentionally avoid buying good work because it might make their jobs harder in the long run. That's probably just paranoia talking, but the thought crossed my mind.

What's their incentive to buy strong work, anyway? Does gripping storytelling sell movie tickets or paperbacks? Not if it happens to be depressing or thought-provoking. It seems to me that the only thing determining whether writing is good or not is if it will sell. I think that's a pretty sad statement.

I'm concerned for all of us, not just me. I love it when talent gets recognized. I moved to Los Angeles becaus I saw what was coming out of this town and thought "Hell, I can do better than that!"

If the shows and movies had been better (or even good) I might be a plumber today. (OK, probably not, but I'd be writing plays or something.)

Ten years later I can write even better--but I'm still struggling professionally. I'm not indpendently wealthy which means I have to work for a living. I submit as often as I can but it actually becomes a bit of a chore when I'm trying to keep a dayjob, have a significant other and keep up with new writing projects.

So, Sol, Bird, and everyone else who hates waiting, I hear ya and I sympathize.

Sorry to anyone who doesn't like rants. Personally, I think it's very important that we all get this sort of thing off of our chest before it eats us alive. Hell, just reading this thread has made me feel better about the waiting. Feeling like I'm not alone has a kind of refueling effect on me. Thanks to everyone who posted! I'm going to have a much easier time sleeping tonight/this morning.

Good luck to us all.