PDA

View Full Version : See the World in Thrilling New FailureVision! - Denouement, 11/20/12



Tex_Maam
06-24-2012, 10:03 AM
I met an agent at a conference.

We hit it off right away, and when I pitched my book, she very-seriously demanded to see the whole thing.

I've collected solid feedback from my betas, taken a month to fix up the manuscript (mostly clarifying and cutting), and soon it'll be time to send.

But guys, I just... I tell you what, the nearer I get to writing that e-mail, the more I want to stick my head between my knees and breathe into a paper bag.

My dumb-ass neurons are CONVINCED that she will hate it - and if she doesn't, she'll want me to change all of what I love about it - and if she doesn't, she'll shop it to publishers and THEY'LL hate it and/or want me to change all of what I love about it - and if they don't, they'll tart it up with some horrible cover and botch the whole thing - and if they don't, it STILL won't sell and I will have to hang up my hat and leave town in sackcloth and ashes.

I gather that this is about par for the course when you start putting yourself out there. But I was curious to know: do any of you-all ever get this same thing, where you can visualize failure in wondrous high-definition technicolor 3D, and success is just nowhere on your mental radar? Does it still happen even when you're an old salty sea dog?

Also, if anybody wants to read me the bedtime story about you, the Little Writer That Could, I would be much obliged. You don't even have to do the funny voices.

James D. Macdonald
06-24-2012, 10:18 AM
Do you have a trusted friend/significant other? Hand the manuscript to that person and say, "Press send."

Yes, what you're feeling is normal.

Yes, it gets better.

The moment that you send the manuscript on its way ... forget it. Start writing your next book.

katci13
06-24-2012, 10:50 AM
Yes. Just load the story up and press Send before you have time to think about it. Then it'll be too late and you'll have no choice but to distract yourself and drown your fear into a new project.

Congratulations! ^_^

jjdebenedictis
06-24-2012, 10:57 AM
Not trying is functionally equivalent to failing, right? Same outcome.

So send it.

Even if you do fail, you're going to learn that it isn't so bad to fail, and you'll be less scared of it next time.

So, it's a win-win situation. Either you get an acceptance (YAY! Good luck, and I hope you do!) or you learn a valuable lesson that will help you persevere to an eventual success.

Do eeeeet. :)

buz
06-24-2012, 01:32 PM
Lol FailureVision. Love it.

Yeah, I gots the FailureVision. Have had for a while. I've learned, finally, after all this time, to recognize it as a grand patina of stupid and to put all my effort into pushing past it. Because it's what kept me from seriously writing in the first place. It kept me from so many other things that I regret. And it's not like fighting it and struggling and finally poking through that fear always turns out well--sometimes the thing that I'm afraid will happen actually does, and then I'm embarrassed and hate myself and want to crawl in a hole for several years. I let myself do that for a few days, then drag myself back out...because it's better than the alternative.

Denying yourself of the possibility is not the same as avoiding failure. It skirts around the feeling of quick and dirty shame in the short term, but over a longer period of time a different and deeper kind of shame sinks in.

Just...do it fast. :D

Broadswordbabe
06-24-2012, 01:33 PM
The fact that you've had interest from an agent puts you ahead of the game, trust me. I had some of the same worries, but ended up with a wonderfully sympathetic editor and a great cover for my first published book. And yes, I still worry about it - waiting for editing notes on the sequel right now (bites nails) convinced that they are looking at it going 'o ghod this is awful' and that they will want a complete rewrite which will put me months behind deadline on the next book...yeah. I'm not sure how helpful it is of me to say that even after one's come out, you still have worries - but you can't let them paralyse you. And I have to say that of all the writers I know, the ones who are less than totally confident that their words are gold and everyone must love them are the ones who tend to get somewhere...
Signed - little engine that got there eventually.

heyjude
06-24-2012, 03:05 PM
JUST HIT SEND! :e2cheer:

You didn't do all that work just to let it languish on your laptop, did you?

Determination
06-24-2012, 04:09 PM
Just send it! I'm in the same boat. Met agents at conference who requested manuscript and I then spent the next month making final edits, fussing over it and procrastinating. Finally the people nearest and dearest to me saw I was going insane and made me hit that send button. After a few weeks of obsessively checking my e-mail I'm now back in *normal writer* mode, working on something new and at most times almost oblivious that my manuscript is sitting out there somewhere waiting to be read.

Also what helped me was sending out a bunch of queries after my conference. I got some requests that way too.

Good luck. You won't fail if you don't try! Plus I figure that even if I get a rejection, at this stage in the game it should hopefully come with some sort of feedback from the agent and will only make my manuscript and writing better in the long run.

dangerousbill
06-24-2012, 08:41 PM
My dumb-ass neurons are CONVINCED that she will hate it - and if she doesn't, she'll want me to change all of what I love about it - and if she doesn't, she'll shop it to publishers and THEY'LL hate it and/or want me to change all of what I love about it - and if they don't, they'll tart it up with some horrible cover and botch the whole thing - and if they don't, it STILL won't sell and I will have to hang up my hat and leave town in sackcloth and ashes.


This is sometimes called the Impostor Complex. For what it's worth, the impostor complex tends to occur most among intelligent, high-functioning, high-productivity people. You need some handholding and encouragement, which I see you're already getting from the folks here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_complex

It's like skydiving for the first time, or jumping into a cold pool of water. Once you're committed, it's not so bad.

Nothing is as great, nor as bad, as our imaginations make it. (There's a great Shakespeare quote for that, but memory fails.)

juniper
06-24-2012, 09:28 PM
Nothing is as great, nor as bad, as our imaginations make it. (There's a great Shakespeare quote for that, but memory fails.)

... Hamlet? ... For there is nothing either good or
bad, but thinking makes it so.

And for OP, yay! Send it!

Susan Littlefield
06-24-2012, 09:39 PM
I think I can....I think I can.....I know I can!

Now, hit the send button!

Good luck.

dangerousbill
06-24-2012, 10:55 PM
... Hamlet? ... For there is nothing either good or
bad, but thinking makes it so.


Yup. Thanks. I need crutches or a walker for my memory.

Miss Plum
06-24-2012, 11:08 PM
Press SEND. Drink wine. Start next project.

Ketzel
06-24-2012, 11:26 PM
Just do it, Tex-Maam! As my mother used to say when I was intimidated about trying for something I really wanted:

"You already have the 'no,' dear. All you're risking is the 'yes.'

Tex_Maam
06-25-2012, 09:58 AM
You know what, guys, I'm still fairly new to the neighborhood - but I've figured out enough to know that if you can get ANY dozen AWers to unanimously agree on something, you better hustle up and do it, tout de suite.

Seriously though, thanks all for the kindly hand-holding and benevolent backhanding (and thanks again, Mr. Bill, for giving my mutant powers of pessimism some scientific background!) Sounds like there's no fix but to hitch up my britches and do it - and as scary as that is, it's nice to know that no matter WHAT happens, there at least five dozen fellow britch-hitchers around here who have gotten the exact same result and lived to tell about it. I will look forward to earning a place at your table!

heyjude
06-25-2012, 01:47 PM
Keep us posted!

James D. Macdonald
06-25-2012, 09:15 PM
If you get a rejection (and Lord knows we all do), remember that you aren't being rejected. What's been rejected is just a particular bunch of black marks on white paper (or pixels on a screen). Don't let a manuscript sleep over. When one comes back send it on its way to the next market on your list.

If you haven't yet read Slushkiller (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004641.html) now's the time.

Phaeal
06-25-2012, 09:52 PM
The only way to toughen up your skin is to subject it to rejection. Heh, by the time I got my agent, I was immune to editor rejections, and I was nearly immune to agent rejections after years of short story rejections.

Stick your arm in that wasp nest and let the stings begin!

:D

Tex_Maam
11-21-2012, 09:51 AM
Hey, sorry for necro'ing this thread.

I just wanted to say that I sucked it up and sent it, and a couple weeks later she called me to say she loved it, and now we are an elite crime-fighting duo.

So just in case I didn't express it adequately before: thank you guys, SO much, for the hugs and slaps and pointings-in-the-right-direction. I am still breathing (occasionally heaving) into a paper bag, but it is SO REFRESHING to have an entirely new set of things to worry about, and I owe ALL y'all, hugely, for getting me there.

Magical wish-granting acorns will be in the mail shortly.

Susan Littlefield
11-21-2012, 09:55 AM
Tex Mann,

That is awesome! Breathe. Just breathe. :D

PEBKAC
11-21-2012, 11:07 AM
Congratulations!

bearilou
11-21-2012, 04:04 PM
:yessmiley :hooray:

Grats, Tex_Maam

Calla Lily
11-21-2012, 05:04 PM
Congrats!

Phaeal
11-21-2012, 05:25 PM
See, that didn't hurt at all, did it?

I just feel bad that you didn't get a chance to thicken your skin with lots of rejections. Poor you.

;)

amrose
11-21-2012, 05:32 PM
:snoopy:

Alessandra Kelley
11-21-2012, 05:39 PM
That is wonderful news, Tex Maam. Congratulations!

jjdebenedictis
11-22-2012, 12:14 AM
Whoo-hoo! Congratulations!

dangerousbill
11-22-2012, 02:37 AM
Look up 'impostor complex' on Wikipedia.

Then give yourself a pat on the back for kicking it in the ass.

LindaJeanne
11-22-2012, 08:21 AM
Just do it, Tex-Maam! As my mother used to say when I was intimidated about trying for something I really wanted:

"You already have the 'no,' dear. All you're risking is the 'yes.'

I like this!