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Priene
12-04-2009, 09:07 AM
1) The doorstep is the killer. I have an email address and phone number. Once it comes through the letterbox, it's an R before it's open.

2) I've had seven returned submissions. Five form Rs and two hand-written Sorry, buts. The latter are better because when an agent compliments my writing, I'm guessing they're not being needlessly polite. Which means I'm not totally self-deluded.

3) Some aspects of the UK system are good. Having to send off three chapters means there's no Partial stage to worry about. But there are less agents and the postage costs a fortune.

4) I dislike submission. Hunting down agencies, printing letters, writing synopses: none of it is enjoyable. Neither is hoovering the living room.

5) It took me two years to write that book. Not because it's a work of genius. I just didn't know what I was doing and I kept giving up in despair. I could knock it out in three months now.

6) Rejection isn't that bad. It's a minor irritant in the day, sure, but compared with having a car crash, spending the night in a ditch during a thunderstorm, or even an average migraine, it's a pussycat. But if I notch a thousand straight Rs in the next ten years the cumulative effect could be a killer.

7) I don't expect to be published. Ever, and I never have. I hope I'm a lousy clairvoyant. If the great day ever comes, the look on my face as they scrape me off the rafters will be pure shock.

8) If you have a fear of rejection, read a book on fear. Anxiety over an event can get way out of balance compared to the actual effect once it happens. Fear will take you out far more easily than an R.

9) I'm the work in progress. The standard of the book I've submitted isn't close to the ones I will write.

10) The best thing about submitting is I get a whole new WIP to play with. Maybe publication is more satisfying -- I wouldn't know -- but nothing I've encountered beats the fun of making stuff up.

Wayne K
12-04-2009, 09:18 AM
1) The doorstep is the killer. I have an email address and phone number. Once it comes through the letterbox, it's an R before it's open.

2) I've had seven returned submissions. Five form Rs and two hand-written Sorry, buts. The latter are better because when an agent compliments my writing, I'm guessing they're not being needlessly polite. Which means I'm not totally self-deluded.

3) Some aspects of the UK system are good. Having to send off three chapters means there's no Partial stage to worry about. But there are less agents and the postage costs a fortune.

4) I dislike submission. Hunting down agencies, printing letters, writing synopses: none of it is enjoyable. Neither is hoovering the living room.

5) It took me two years to write that book. Not because it's a work of genius. I just didn't know what I was doing and I kept giving up in despair. I could knock it out in three months now.

6) Rejection isn't that bad. It's a minor irritant in the day, sure, but compared with having a car crash, spending the night in a ditch during a thunderstorm, or even an average migraine, it's a pussycat. But if I notch a thousand straight Rs in the next ten years the cumulative effect could be a killer.

7) I don't expect to be published. Ever, and I never have. I hope I'm a lousy clairvoyant. If the great day ever comes, the look on my face as they scrape me off the rafters will be pure shock.

8) If you have a fear of rejection, read a book on fear. Anxiety over an event can get way out of balance compared to the actual effect once it happens. Fear will take you out far more easily than an R.

9) I'm the work in progress. The standard of the book I've submitted isn't close to the ones I will write.

10) The best thing about submitting is I get a whole new WIP to play with. Maybe publication is more satisfying -- I wouldn't know -- but nothing I've encountered beats the fun of making stuff up.
My suggestion to you is to get into a mood, whatever it takes to get there, do. Get into a "Fuck you world, my words have value, damn it." and write.

What got me there was that it was the last thing I was ever going to write. I didn't care if anyone agreed. I finally said "Screw you, I'm pretty good" and I took crap for it, because my work wasn't very good.

It got there in the end though, and it got there because I believed in myself.

I'm not done, I'm not great. I don't know if I will be. But the remarkable difference in my work happened when I started believing in myself.

If it worked for me, it can work for anyone.

Priene
12-04-2009, 01:35 PM
Funnily enough, I've found the opposite approach works. I've always written, and I always will. Their value has never come into it because I'll do them whatever, and in that sense I've always believed in myself. As long as I find ways to improve, I'll get there in the end.

I find submission easier to do when I think of it as just a process. Write queries, find agencies, send off envelope, forget about it.

Wayne K
12-04-2009, 06:48 PM
I've seen you around here long enough to know that I'll see your name on a book cover some day. Just go do it, huh?