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Dani Dunn
04-03-2007, 02:36 AM
I need to vent, so please bear with me. DD

I live in Brooklyn, and I quit my day job mid-February. I was (am) looking for another day job, but I've been enjoying having the time off to edit one book, revise another book, and finish a third book. I've also spent the last month sending out those damn query letters.

Okay, so my P.O. Box is in Jamaica, Queens. I only drive out there once a week to check it to save gas. I haven't left the house much since I've been off work, so I didn't know gas was up to $2.90 gallon. SHIT!

I was excited and very hopeful that at least one agent would've requested a partial by now, but so far, nothing but rejections. The one I received in the mail today had my synopsis returned to me, and I just mailed it out 4 days ago. Okay, I try to shake it off. I decide to drive over to Green Acres Mall in Long Island to see if Borders has copies of the journals or magazines that I want to submit my short stories to. No they didn't. DAMN!

(The last section was removed for personal reasons.)

janetbellinger
04-03-2007, 02:55 AM
I don't know but I suggest saving your gas and emailing your queries instead. If you get a request for a manuscript, then it'll be worth the $2.00 a gallon to go check your post office box. I don't send anything out by snail mail anymore unless it's solicited.

rugcat
04-03-2007, 03:03 AM
How is it that people who can't write half as well as I can have books sitting on shelves and I can't even get an agent to request my manuscript? I wanted to cry. I'm not being arrogant about my writing, but I know I'm at least a decent writer. Half of that crap I saw today was pure garbage. You've just described what got me off my butt after 15 years to start writing again. And I had a few rejections. In fact, I had an ungodly amount of them, along with more than a few no responses. Just like everyone else.

But I did get an agent, and that agent did find a publisher. It took a while, to put it mildly. A lot of it was luck, or timing, or whatever you want to call it. But a lot of it was simply shaking off the rejections and sending out another query. And another. And another.

This is not to say that everyone who keeps on trying will eventually end up published--life is not that neat or fair. But unless you just give up, there's nothing you can do but put your head down and keep on sending stuff out.

But hey, it does suck. Believe me, I know.

Birol
04-03-2007, 03:07 AM
Dani, I know you're frustrated and venting, but you shouldn't take it out on the published authors. It's unlikely that so many authors have written "crap." They have, after all, achieved what so many here desire to do. They've attracted the attention of agents and legitimate publishers and made it onto bookstore shelves. Don't denigrate them, but wish them well and study what they've done to see 1) what they did, 2) how they did it, 3) how you can do the same thing differently, and 4) how you can do it better. But do not denigrate them for achieving what you desire.

There is more to writing than just "writing well." It's not just the ability to string a sentence together, but to put the reader into the story, have them connect with the character, compel them to read further, turn the next page, engage their imaginations, not to mention have the right story at the right time in the right place.

stormie
04-03-2007, 03:08 AM
Dani--
Listen to Janet. I swear by email! It's how I got my agent, and a lot of responses. It's mostly how I submit my short stories and essays, too. Postage in this (lovely) United States is going up to 41 cents in May. Agggh!

Here are a few sites where you will find agents and editors who accept email queries and mss.

www.agentquery.com (http://www.agentquery.com)

www.ralan.com (http://www.ralan.com)

www.storypilot.com (http://www.storypilot.com)

www.duotrope.com (http://www.duotrope.com)

And look at the stickys on these AW forums--Freelance writing, etc. You'll find markets that accept email.

More and more agents and editors are accepting emails. Much cheaper for us, and I have found I get about the same amount of responses as when I send them by snail mail.

Don't give up! If you feel you can write better than some of those other writers, go for it. You most likely can.

Dani Dunn
04-03-2007, 03:15 AM
I don't know but I suggest saving your gas and emailing your queries instead. If you get a request for a manuscript, then it'll be worth the $2.00 a gallon to go check your post office box. I don't send anything out by snail mail anymore unless it's solicited.

I've run through most of the agents that accept email queries. I had to start sending them through snail mail.

stormie
04-03-2007, 03:19 AM
I've run through most of the agents that accept email queries. I had to start sending them through snail mail.
Hi again, Dani,
If you've already exhausted the agents who accept email queries, and I see you have done 36 revisions on your query, it just might be the storyline or non-fiction proposal that's not hooking the agents.

Take a good look at your ms. Is it interesting? Good storyline? Plot? Or if nonfiction, will the masses want to buy it?

Lori said it well with
"There is more to writing than just 'writing well.' It's not just the ability to string a sentence together, but to put the reader into the story, have them connect with the character, compel them to read further, turn the next page, engage their imaginations...."

WildScribe
04-03-2007, 03:24 AM
Dani, I know you're frustrated and venting, but you shouldn't take it out on the published authors. It's unlikely that so many authors have written "crap." They have, after all, achieved what so many here desire to do. They've attracted the attention of agents and legitimate publishers and made it onto bookstore shelves. Don't denigrate them, but wish them well and study what they've done to see 1) what they did, 2) how they did it, 3) how you can do the same thing differently, and 4) how you can do it better. But do not denigrate them for achieving what you desire.

There is more to writing than just "writing well." It's not just the ability to string a sentence together, but to put the reader into the story, have them connect with the character, compel them to read further, turn the next page, engage their imaginations, not to mention have the right story at the right time in the right place.

For the most part, maybe, but I know that I have read some books that had NO redeeming value. Try to get through the book Myrren's Gift and then tell me how it got published. I dare you.

Dani Dunn
04-03-2007, 03:24 AM
Dani, I know you're frustrated and venting, but you shouldn't take it out on the published authors. It's unlikely that so many authors have written "crap." They have, after all, achieved what so many here desire to do. They've attracted the attention of agents and legitimate publishers and made it onto bookstore shelves. Don't denigrate them, but wish them well and study what they've done to see 1) what they did, 2) how they did it, 3) how you can do the same thing differently, and 4) how you can do it better. But do not denigrate them for achieving what you desire.

There is more to writing than just "writing well." It's not just the ability to string a sentence together, but to put the reader into the story, have them connect with the character, compel them to read further, turn the next page, engage their imaginations, not to mention have the right story at the right time in the right place.

The books I was referring to had thongs and panties all over the covers. When you open the pages, the first chapters were all about whores, "pussy," gang members and drug dealers. I'm not negating that some of them were of substance, but it was tacky. The vernacular was so poor that I could hardly read it. I can't get with the current trend in "black" literature.

stormie
04-03-2007, 03:32 AM
The vernacular was so poor that I could hardly read it. I can't get with the current trend in "black" literature.
Then don't follow them. That's not you. There's also some lousy white chic lit out there, too.

How about putting the ms. aside for a month. Work on something else--short stories, essays. Submit those (love email). Then go back and look at your ms. again. Revisit your query. Just don't give up! (I know, I've been there, and there are times--even now--when I just put my head on the keyboard and cry.)

Dani Dunn
04-03-2007, 03:33 AM
Thanks everybody!

Birol
04-03-2007, 04:12 AM
For the most part, maybe, but I know that I have read some books that had NO redeeming value. Try to get through the book Myrren's Gift and then tell me how it got published. I dare you.

Read what I wrote, WildScribe. I said "so many books." Dani indicated that "half" of the books in the section she was researching were "crap."

Have I read books that were published that I could not get through as a reader? Definitely. Did I consider them bad? Well, yes, or I would've finished reading them. It takes quite a bit for me not to be able to finish a book I pick up on my own. But, I would argue that if half of the books Dani found in the section she was reviewing were so-called crap, then it is likely that she is looking at them from a skewed perspective, a perspective that says, "Why not me?" Maybe they're not books she would enjoy, but something about that type of book is apparently appealing to multiple agents and editors. What is it? All of them are not accepting and publishing "crap." If that's the section of the bookstore Dani wants her books to appear in, if those are the agents and editors she is targeting, then she needs to look at the books critically and analytically in order to determine why they're being accepted and why her manuscript is not even getting partial requests rather than just dismissing them as "crap." The agents and editors are not accepting that much poor writing from multiple authors. The odds are just against that being true.

Is this a harsh sentiment, especially for the Rejection & Dejection forum? Yes, it probably is, but that does not make it any less accurate or honest.

Dani Dunn
04-03-2007, 04:17 AM
If that's the section of the bookstore Dani wants her books to appear in, if those are the agents and editors she is targeting, then she needs to look at the books critically and analytically in order to determine why they're being accepted and why her manuscript is not even getting partial requests rather than just dismissing them as "crap."

It's not about the section of the bookstore I personally want my books to be in because I would prefer that they appear under the fiction section. However, the likelyhood that my books would appear in that section is very high due to the color of my skin and the color of the characters.

But honestly, you're actually making me feel worse.

Birol
04-03-2007, 04:26 AM
I understand that, and believe me when I say I don't like making you feel badly, but... It may not be what you want to hear or expected to hear, but it is what I perceived you needed to hear. It's a sign of my respect for you as a professional that I thought you could accept it.

Go curl up in front of your favorite movie with a bowl of popcorn, hate me for the evening, then come back tomorrow and revisit this thread.

WildScribe
04-03-2007, 04:28 AM
Read what I wrote, WildScribe. I said "so many books." Dani indicated that "half" of the books in the section she was researching were "crap."

I failed to note that distinction. :) POINT! ;)

Jersey Chick
04-03-2007, 04:45 AM
I know the feeling of walking into a bookstore and seeing stuff out there that you genuinely feel is so much lousier than yours. But then again, I know I'm not the most impartial judge of my own work (but I am getting better:)). I don't know that any of us can be entirely impartial to our stories.

There's some great advice here - it's a good habit, work on a different project while you're waiting for responses. Always have something else going on to keep you going. It's too easy to sit back and feel sorry for yourself, but that won't get you any closer to finding an agent or a publisher. And it makes giving up that much more tempting.

I think the suggestion of putting it aside for a while is worth its weight in gold. You'd be amazed at how much perspective you gain from taking a breather (to work on something else ;) ).

And when all else fails - have a glass of wine, soak in the tub, zonk out on 'Deal or No Deal', and have chocolate.

Then get back to work tomorrow.

:Hug2:

Thump
04-03-2007, 05:10 AM
There IS stuff out there that is pure rubbish actually. Editors and agents are people too, they don't all have good taste and they don't all do it for the love of the art.

Some agent/publish bad books because they figure people will read anything with the word "pussy" in it. :) And the sad thing is, in a lot of cases they are right. Millions of people will read a book just because it has sex and "naughty words". Good writing doesn't always trump all :D

Haggis
04-03-2007, 05:24 AM
Dani, ain't nothing better than petting a little puppy. Come over here and stroke my fur for a bit, maybe scratch me behind the ears, then get back to work. But take a day off first. You'll feel better, I'll feel better (I always feel better after a little fur stroking), and things might look a bit different. It's a harsh business. There is no alternative but to keep plugging away. Well, there is one. It's called "quitting." I don't see that in you.

CaroGirl
04-03-2007, 05:41 AM
I just ate a few chunks of chocolate and I feel better, and I didn't even get a rejection today.

There are a million reasons for an agent to reject a manuscript and you can never know why. Sometimes it has to do with the writing (but not always), sometimes the plot, sometimes the characters.

To use a cliche, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Keep writing. If this novel doesn't snag you an agent, perhaps the next one will. Writing improves with practise. Maybe your timing is off and the same novel will sell next year or next decade. Just don't give up. And eat some chocolate, would ya!

johnzakour
04-03-2007, 06:18 AM
Dani,

Have you shared any sample chapters or your query letter with some of the folks in the forum? They might be able to give you some good feedback.

glassquill
04-03-2007, 06:35 AM
:Hug2:

Don't give up, Dani. I'm sure many of us have encountered similar frustrations before. The key here is not to let it get to you. (I know, way easier said than done.:) ) Take a short break for now. I hope you'll feel better soon.

Dani Dunn
04-03-2007, 06:39 AM
Dani,

Have you shared any sample chapters or your query letter with some of the folks in the forum? They might be able to give you some good feedback.

Yes. That's why the query letter has been revised almost 40 times. I even wrote the first three chapters over. I'm brand new to this. This is my very first novel, and I hadn't even submitted a poem to anyone before. I looked on Publisher's Marketplace when I first started submitting, so I was sending my query letters to Donald Maass, Victoria Sanders, Judith Lord, Adam Chromy, etc. I was also using a pretty standard letter for all. I didn't really read through their websites and blogs to get a feel for what they were looking for. If their profile on PM said "African American fiction," I submitted a letter to them. I didn't know then exactly who they were, but believe me, I know now.

In the past few weeks, I believe I've gotten better. I've been researching before I submit a query letter, and the rejections haven't come as fast as before. I honestly don't know if that's good or bad. I think I'm going to remove the word "urban" from my genre label, and just refer to the book as women's lit. Anyway, thanks to everyone for their support. I'm just tired. Eventually, I'm going to have to look for a day job too, and that's got me bummed. I've spent most of my savings now.

Scrawler
04-03-2007, 08:19 AM
I understand what you're saying. I'll never get how "The Debutante Divorcee" (for example) ever made it into print-- read the Amzon.com reviews. Makes me wonder about some of these agents and publishers.

Dani Dunn
04-03-2007, 08:34 AM
I understand what you're saying. I'll never get how "The Debutante Divorcee" (for example) ever made it into print-- read the Amzon.com reviews. Makes me wonder about some of these agents and publishers.

They go with what's popular. I couldn't believe the book that most of the people were picking up today had a lady pulling off her panties as the cover shot. I know sex sells, but I can't do that.

Dollywagon
04-03-2007, 09:32 AM
I can understand where Dani is coming from, and at the moment am going through my own "what do they want of me," phase. But, I did read, on these boards I think, some wise words relating to learning your craft. The poster pointed out that many people start off in writing and expect to get published within a short space of time. You wouldn't expect this in any other trade or profession. We all have to learn our craft and many of us on these boards are pure novices. Yes, some people do have a natural affinity and a bit of luck and get published straight away - but the majority do not.

Plus, the market sometimes demands what we don't want to produce. I'm in the UK and have tried to write short stories for the womens mags, but believe me, it's not my style and I know it.

I agree with what the others say, Birol included. A) put down the ms and go and do something else for a short while. B) then go back to your ms and examine what the markets wants and see if you can make a fit.

You're new, you're learning, so you may as well sit back and enjoy the ride.

aruna
04-03-2007, 09:39 AM
Dani, I hate to tell you this but first novels very often don't sell. Mine didn't, and I went through something similar to you. I cried buckets of tears, but finally I accepted it as my apprentice novel, a thing to cut my teeth on, and write another - and THAT one sold. There's something in a writer that jusr forces you to slog on, and you will too.

jonereb
04-03-2007, 03:40 PM
The books I was referring to had thongs and panties all over the covers. When you open the pages, the first chapters were all about whores, "pussy," gang members and drug dealers. I'm not negating that some of them were of substance, but it was tacky. The vernacular was so poor that I could hardly read it. I can't get with the current trend in "black" literature.


I know what you mean. I recently gave up on a book that overused the F-word. We are constantly told to avoid overusing words. But somehow that one's okay to overuse, at least by this particular author. I'm no prude, but such authors need to be a little more creative.

zahra
04-03-2007, 03:42 PM
Dani, first, congrats on having the balls to quit your job. I just so so so so so want to do the same, but I've too much debt. Your story of rejection makes me feel braver, cos if you can face all that, so can I. I, too, think you should work on something else for a while, just to get the freshness going again. Can't wait til you're published and doing the hootchie-kootchie joy dance!

I might have to work at Soho House in NY, if so, let's meet up because I will need serious support (of the gin and chocolate type). Meanwhile, darling, keep on, and you know that the 'pussy' books cater to a certain market, that that market exists and therefore will be fed. Ignore them. It's not your field. Be brilliant, missy.

ink wench
04-03-2007, 04:48 PM
Hi Dani. Sorry about your situation. I've felt your pain, believe me. Probably almost everyone here has felt that frustration. I remember seeing your query on writers.net, and it sounds like you have a good story. Unfortunately, like others have said, sometimes that doesn't matter if the stars aren't aligned. OTOH, it could be just a question of re-targeting agents. Based on what you said in this thread, that seems plausible.

If it makes you feel better, I have three novels wasting away on my laptop. They're a trilogy, so when I gave up selling the first one, I gave up on all of them. Of course, you're doing way better than me - I quit long before I reached the state you're at!

swvaughn
04-03-2007, 05:38 PM
Hi Dani,

Oh, man -- the frustration is endless. (((hugs))) Most important thing: don't let it get you down! Be prepared to be patient and keep learning everything you can about writing and craft. It's great that you have confidence in your abilities! I did glance through your query in SYW, and it sounds like a compelling story.

May I make a suggestion? If you can, get yourself a copy of Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel (and the accompanying workbook, if possible). Read, absorb, let your novel sit for a while (like, at least a month) and go back to it with fresh eyes and new knowledge.

And in the meantime, write another novel!

Don't let the slog get to you. It's always going to be there, always gonna be hard to get anywhere, and you are going to have to fight every step of the way. But the only way to get there is to keep fighting.

Okay... /pep talk. Sorry about that. :D Good luck!

Dani Dunn
04-03-2007, 06:05 PM
Thanks everyone. I was so frustrated last night, but today, I'm a little better.

The_Grand_Duchess
04-03-2007, 06:53 PM
Hey Dani! I'm new at submitting myself and although my novel isn't finished I do have a little adivce for you. I remember in your past posts that what you write isn't typically what people are talking about when they say 'urban fiction'. Why not drop that distincition and just say fiction? I'm pretty sure when agents list AA fiction they're more than likely looking for the kinda stuff you said you def DON'T write. If the MS is can be considered women's lit but the chars happen to be black just submitted as that.

I too am a woman of color (doesn't that sound like a power phrase? :) ) and am pretty sure that my book will not be sheleved in the AA section of the bookstore. Actully I think it's going to be young adult if anything. . . you know it's going to be a hard sale. Anyway, the reason I'm throwing this out there is becuase I know that my work isn't what's out there right now but that doesn't stop me and it shouldn't stop you either!

On a side note, I really think they need to get rid of that section all together and just put the books in with the other fiction titles.

aruna
04-03-2007, 07:06 PM
On a side note, I really think they need to get rid of that section all together and just put the books in with the other fiction titles.


We had a thread about this not so long ago. I have no time right now but maybe someone can dig it up.

The_Grand_Duchess
04-03-2007, 07:11 PM
We had a thread about this not so long ago. I have no time right now but maybe someone can dig it up.

If you can let me know which board it's in I can find it. :)

aruna
04-03-2007, 07:15 PM
Done! (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48650)

Dani Dunn
04-03-2007, 07:35 PM
Thanks you guys. I don't have a problem with having an African American section if it were broken down further. I didn't appreciate seeing all of the expose books on mistresses and rapper girlfriends being "features," and the literature books were mixed in at the bottom. That's why I said "half" of the books were tacky because that's what was being promoted. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with the particular store I was at also.

aruna
04-03-2007, 07:56 PM
Must be frustrating. I'd hate that too!

Just Me
04-03-2007, 09:52 PM
Dani, if it makes you feel any better (and I don't know if it will), I wrote and submitted two other novels before I started with this one. With the first one, I never even got a nibble. With the second, I got one nibble, but that was it. (Admittedly, though, I probably gave up on it too soon. But I can always go back to it later. :)) With this one, though.... So far, I've gotten a fair about of positive response in the form of requests for partials. And an agent who recently passed on it did at least tell me that while this novel wasn't her perfect match, she thinks I have an "intriguing, well-developed protagonist" and she admires my talent. It's only a matter of time, I think, before I get a "Yes."

In other words, do keep trying, but you don't have to sell the very first novel you write. Nothing terrible will happen if you don't, and your next one WILL be better. I've heard that even J.K. Rowling has a couple of unsold manuscripts hidden in her dresser drawer.

~JM.

(Oh, and just for the record, I'm African-American, too. :) I don't write literary stuff, though. My thing is science fiction. I've noticed that the few Black SF writers I know of have no trouble getting their books shelved with all the rest of the genre stuff, so it really does depend on what you write.)

AzBobby
04-04-2007, 03:47 AM
Don't be discouraged about having to go back to look for another day job. I tend to envy those who can write full time, so there's a touch of hypocrisy in what I say, but quite a few pro writers out there extol the virtues of having to juggle writing with a day job. It's always the busiest people who get the most done, and most successful writers got their first big sales (sometimes all their big sales) while working another job full time. You might get a fantastic deal this year, but after looking over the numbers, still realize you should keep working a day job to cover insurance and a consistent standard of living.

I'm sure you've heard this before, but talent and potential don't guarantee fast results. Remember all the stories about how many times famous works and famous authors were rejected before they found success. There's a whole book of them under the title "Rotten Rejections." Keep improving whatever you can improve, and keep sending those queries.

janetbellinger
04-04-2007, 05:48 AM
sounds awful

Dani Dunn
04-04-2007, 07:32 AM
Don't be discouraged about having to go back to look for another day job. I tend to envy those who can write full time, so there's a touch of hypocrisy in what I say, but quite a few pro writers out there extol the virtues of having to juggle writing with a day job.

No, I quit my day job because I'm a domestic violence and sexual assault counselor, and it was stressing me out. Being able to write all day was a bonus. I worked at a high school, and it was taking its toll. I realized when I first became a social worker that I would have to give myself breaks to keep from having a breakdown. I've been looking at other domestic violence programs that may not be so hard to handle. It breaks my heart to listen to 15 and 16 y/o children report being beaten and raped all day.

moth
04-04-2007, 04:46 PM
Aw Dani! :Hug2: Hang in there. I wish there was more I could say.

:Hug2:

AzBobby
04-04-2007, 07:46 PM
No, I quit my day job because I'm a domestic violence and sexual assault counselor, and it was stressing me out. Being able to write all day was a bonus. I worked at a high school, and it was taking its toll. I realized when I first became a social worker that I would have to give myself breaks to keep from having a breakdown. I've been looking at other domestic violence programs that may not be so hard to handle. It breaks my heart to listen to 15 and 16 y/o children report being beaten and raped all day.

I'm all behind moderating stress and getting out of a job that goes overboard. If necessary, I hope you find another position that taps your expertise without putting you in the middle of it again -- it's certainly a worthy cause in whatever capacity you rejoin it.

There's a common advantage to having a demanding career compete with your writing time. Your experiences are special, moving and instructive. I hope you've used some of this material in your writing, and explored ways to share it through fiction and nonfiction alike. Writing about problems like the ones you've worked with (or dealt with personally as the one on the other side of the desk) indirectly aids any cause by spreading awareness about it. You might also find more direct, creative ways to support help for these kids through writing.

For some writers, letting the work stress overflow into the writing has a relieving or cathartic effect, but everyone's different I suppose. For me, this has been true at least some of the time.

Even if your written material is a complete break from your professional life without emphasizing the same subject matter, your experiences in the workplace remain a huge advantage in conveying authentic settings and relationships. (For one thing, many adult writers have an especially hard time making teens sound authentic.) I just hope you remain confident in what you have to offer and keep trying.

Dani Dunn
04-04-2007, 11:20 PM
I'm all behind moderating stress and getting out of a job that goes overboard. If necessary, I hope you find another position that taps your expertise without putting you in the middle of it again -- it's certainly a worthy cause in whatever capacity you rejoin it.

There's a common advantage to having a demanding career compete with your writing time. Your experiences are special, moving and instructive. I hope you've used some of this material in your writing, and explored ways to share it through fiction and nonfiction alike. Writing about problems like the ones you've worked with (or dealt with personally as the one on the other side of the desk) indirectly aids any cause by spreading awareness about it. You might also find more direct, creative ways to support help for these kids through writing.

For some writers, letting the work stress overflow into the writing has a relieving or cathartic effect, but everyone's different I suppose. For me, this has been true at least some of the time.

Even if your written material is a complete break from your professional life without emphasizing the same subject matter, your experiences in the workplace remain a huge advantage in conveying authentic settings and relationships. (For one thing, many adult writers have an especially hard time making teens sound authentic.) I just hope you remain confident in what you have to offer and keep trying.

My current WIP is about a family that's struggling to reconnect after the kids went to foster care. I still haven't been able to write anything involving domestic violence and sexual assault because it's still too fresh.

Thanks for your support.
DD

FloVoyager
04-05-2007, 05:36 AM
Getting in on this a bit late, but hoping you're feeling better and will keep writing and keep querying. It sounds as though you have something important to say, and that you have heart, and I for one will be interested to read your novel when it comes out. *hugs and chocolate*

Saundra Julian
04-05-2007, 04:45 PM
Hang tough, sweetie. It's a crazy business and some of it doesn't even make sense to me...

James D. Macdonald
04-05-2007, 08:42 PM
Write a new, different, better book. Submit it.

While you're waiting to hear about that one, write a new, different, better book.

Maybe your fifth book will be the one that gets bought. Then your agent will say, "Do you have anything else?" and you'll say, "Oh, yes!"

Namatu
04-05-2007, 09:13 PM
Dani, keep trying, keep writing! Your first work is special and worthy, but it's also a learning process - every part of it.

Writers have to be good at marketing too, selling themselves and their work to agents and publishers. Only experience can help you figure out what you have to do here. Research as much as you can and keep sending things out and writing. Things will get better!

Wallflower
04-06-2007, 08:08 AM
Hi Dani, I haven't met you yet but just wanted to offer words of support. You sound like you really have something valuable to say that people need to hear.

Dani Dunn
04-06-2007, 09:23 AM
Thanks to everyone who offered support on this thread. I was really down when I wrote this, but I'm doing much better now. I even got my first request today for a full from one of my top agent picks.
DD

Namatu
04-06-2007, 04:19 PM
Congratulations! That's awesome! :D Good luck!

Susan B
04-07-2007, 10:58 PM
That's great, Dani! Congratulations!

BTW, I also work in mental health (I'm a psychologist) and I have so much respect for people who do crisis work exclusively. But I don't know that I could do it myself. And there is no shame in trying to find a work setting or schedule that feels better: like working part time, or working with clients who have a range of problems, not just victims of trauma.

I also agree with the comment someone made about "day jobs" not necessarily being incompatible with writing. For me, working part time, and being self employed, seems ideal. With too much unstructured time, I'm always less productive.

Let us know what happens with that agent.

Good luck!

Susan

stormie
04-07-2007, 11:45 PM
Yay, Dani! Way to go! A request for a full from one of your top picks is terrific.

Dani Dunn
04-08-2007, 01:35 AM
That's great, Dani! Congratulations!

BTW, I also work in mental health (I'm a psychologist) and I have so much respect for people who do crisis work exclusively. But I don't know that I could do it myself. And there is no shame in trying to find a work setting or schedule that feels better: like working part time, or working with clients who have a range of problems, not just victims of trauma.

I also agree with the comment someone made about "day jobs" not necessarily being incompatible with writing. For me, working part time, and being self employed, seems ideal. With too much unstructured time, I'm always less productive.

Let us know what happens with that agent.

Good luck!

Susan

I have gotten used to working with trauma victims. What I can't stomach is working exclusively with CHILD victims. When I started my job at the high school, I was told that half of the work would be prevention. Once the kids got to know me, and they realized that I am social worker and not an employee of the school, my caseload tripled. The students started reporting all kinds of attacks to me, from gang rapes to being molested at church. My last six cases were sexual assaults alone. I couldn’t handle that. I'm being considered for two domestic violence programs now. I think I can handle that better because the victims are adults, and the agency has a separate sexual assault counselor on staff. Thanks for the support.

Mystic Blossom
04-08-2007, 08:00 PM
I'm very glad to see that things are going well for you. My mother's also a social worker and she used to work with kids at two different jobs when I was younger. When I went to visit her offices she would have these books that I wasn't allowed to read, but the kids she worked with, probably even if they were younger than me, were allowed to because they were used to things like that. It's hard to imagine the horror some children go through, and even harder when you're a child yourself. Now she works with adults, and she seems much happier. I don't know if she left those other jobs primarily because of the children, but I can't imagine it was easy working with them. So I completely understand where you're coming from, and I hope both your novel and your job search work out.