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Wandering Sensei
03-08-2005, 10:23 AM
I'm depressed. The job that I loved--I don't know what's going on with it, but I keep getting called in to personal one-on-one conferences with my boss for "constructive criticism." I guess that's what they're calling it these days. Two this morning, and it's only Monday. So now I'm worried about whether I'm going to be able to keep my job.

My karate sucks. I'm the worst student in class. I've been a green belt for almost a year and a half (most students move up in 3-5 months), and it looks like this is as far as I'm going. I doubt if I'll ever be asked to test again.

After seven months with an agent, my manuscript has been rejected. I sent a polite query yesterday and today got a "read with interest but ultimately have to pass," which is just generic as hell. My writing must really, really SUCK! So I have yet another trunk novel to carpet the litterbox with and what the hell do I do now?

I've been on WW for 2 and a half months, and I've been plateaued for 2 months.

My computer's on its last legs, and I can't afford a new one, especially since I don't know how much longer I'll be getting a paycheck.

I'm exhausted and depressed, and right now I just really hate my life.

That is all. Carry on.

aka eraser
03-08-2005, 09:17 PM
I'm depressed. The job that I loved--I don't know what's going on with it, but I keep getting called in to personal one-on-one conferences with my boss for "constructive criticism." I guess that's what they're calling it these days. Two this morning, and it's only Monday. So now I'm worried about whether I'm going to be able to keep my job.

Are you paying attention to the "constructive criticism?" Doing so, and adapting your behaviour to demonstrate that the lessons are being learned should help keep that job.


My karate sucks. I'm the worst student in class. I've been a green belt for almost a year and a half (most students move up in 3-5 months), and it looks like this is as far as I'm going. I doubt if I'll ever be asked to test again.

Does advancing matter to you? Do you care enough to practice harder so you can improve? If not, drop out and consider another hobby/exercise/discipline you might enjoy more.


After seven months with an agent, my manuscript has been rejected. I sent a polite query yesterday and today got a "read with interest but ultimately have to pass," which is just generic as hell. My writing must really, really SUCK! So I have yet another trunk novel to carpet the litterbox with and what the hell do I do now?


Anyone who's been in this game for any length of time has received a lot of rejections, generic or otherwise. It's a shame that you had to wait seven months for this one. It does not however, automatically mean that your writing sucks. It just didn't turn that agent's crank. There are other agents and publishers. If it's representative of your best work, keep sending it out. And in the meantime, as Uncle Jim is wont to say, work on your next one.


I've been on WW for 2 and a half months, and I've been plateaued for 2 months.

Did you mean AW? Here? The Cooler? If so, okay, you can blame me for the plateauing. I make people's eyes glaze over. It's a gift. A dubious one, I know, but we can't always choose them now can we? ;)


My computer's on its last legs, and I can't afford a new one, especially since I don't know how much longer I'll be getting a paycheck.

Mine is almost six years old now and various things are fritzing nearly daily. I talk to it. Depending on my mood I may berate or threaten - beg or praise. So far it seems to work. Feel free to try it.


I'm exhausted and depressed, and right now I just really hate my life.

I'm sorry you feel this way. If it's more than just a bout of the blues I hope you'll talk to a professional about it. Help is out there. If it is a temporary thing, I hope you snap out of it soon. We all have the ability to change our lives if we can couple thought and action.

I wish you well. :Thumbs:

Greenwolf103
03-09-2005, 03:45 AM
Hi,

I am so sorry to hear you've got one bad thing on top of another to deal with right now. :( I know how it is. And you've come to the right place to get it off your chest.

We all REALLY dislike those informal rejections but when they hit at the worst time, the blow is just awful. It's one OTHER thing we have to deal with, right?? *sigh*

I know you feel terrible right now. But I truly think if you took some time to yourself to heal your wounds, you'd come back to your writing feeling refreshed and renewed.

And I agree: Don't take this rejection as a sign that your writing "sucks." It's just one rejection during the course of all the other rejections a writer will receive. Please try not to take it personally.

If it helps, throw that rejection away or even burn it then move on. Good luck to you.

Jenny
03-09-2005, 05:01 AM
On the other hand, you've finished your novel. Do you know how few people finish a novel? And you've stuck with karate a year and a half, that's way longer than most of us. I couldn't even last out tai chi that long. And the rejection, well that just plain sucks. I hope you've sent your query letter to the next agent on your list?

alanna
03-09-2005, 05:06 AM
::sends wandering a virtual hug::

Wandering Sensei
03-09-2005, 11:02 AM
I've been with the karate for over three years. I've been stuck at green belt for a year and a half. Students I remember coming in as white belts now outrank me.

And "constructive criticism" was a euphemism. Basically, everything I do is wrong now, and I'm constantly looking over my shoulder. One project, I was told that the deadline was fourth quarter/end of the year. Now it's "why haven't you gotten that done already? I want to see it by the end of the week." Which is of course impossible. And I get a two-hour long "constructive criticism" session for coming in three minutes late, and later that day she leaves an hour early because she wants to get to the gym. Trying to hop to and kiss *** is not going to work because there's always going to be something else wrong.

And I don't even have a month's rent saved up.

I have query/material out to over a dozen other agents, but they just don't respond. I assume that's a no, but I've no way of telling.

Life just plain sucks. And it all sucks at once, and in ways that I can't do anything about.

I can't sleep. I'm exhausted. And I'm depressed.

Wandering Sensei
03-09-2005, 11:04 AM
What's AW, btw?

sthrnwriter
03-09-2005, 11:13 AM
I'm sorry to hear about the hard times you're going through right now but take it from someone who has been through some tough things in my somewhat short life, they will get better. It just takes a little time and patience. :Hug2: to ya. Oh and AW means Absolute Write.

arkady
03-09-2005, 06:58 PM
And "constructive criticism" was a euphemism. Basically, everything I do is wrong now, and I'm constantly looking over my shoulder. One project, I was told that the deadline was fourth quarter/end of the year. Now it's "why haven't you gotten that done already? I want to see it by the end of the week." Which is of course impossible. And I get a two-hour long "constructive criticism" session for coming in three minutes late, and later that day she leaves an hour early because she wants to get to the gym. Trying to hop to and kiss *** is not going to work because there's always going to be something else wrong.


I have been in that situation, and it made my life miserable. Yes, folks, there are times when it's not your fault, and the boss has simply taken a dislike to you for some purely personal reason. You spend your working hours feeling lousy and your non-working hours dreading the lousy way you'll feel when you go to work.

The cure, for me, was to start looking for another job. That was fifteen years ago, and I've moved steadily up the ladder since then. There are still several thousand things I'd rather do than go to work, of course, but it's not eight hours of demeaning torture.


And I don't even have a month's rent saved up.

Can't help you there. But here's my free advice: save up several months' rent, plus basic living expenses. Yes, it'll mean living on the cheap for a while, maybe even on the very cheap. I know how hard it is to sock away extra cash when you're not bringing in very much to begin with. But it'll make looking for a new job that much easier, and take away your dread of not being able to face the landlord if you get canned from the existing one. Think of it this way: remove your fear of eviction, and you've taken away one of the major clubs your present employer now holds over your head.


I have query/material out to over a dozen other agents, but they just don't respond. I assume that's a no, but I've no way of telling.

Standard Operating Procedure. My own most recent work has so far gleaned 40 form rejection slips. I got one request-for-partial, and even that was returned with a form rejection slip. I keep refining both my manuscript and my query letter, and, though the agents keep sending both of them back, I have no idea what they don't like, since they never deign to tell me. The American publishing system as it now stands does all it can to make things hard for new writers. It's not just you. We all suffer from Faceless Rejectionitis. It's not a personal problem.


Life just plain sucks. And it all sucks at once, and in ways that I can't do anything about.

With the probable exceptions of the fabulously wealthy and those with very low expectations, just about everyone has felt that way from time to time. It's the things we can't do anything about that are the hardest to bear, since they're outside our control. But your job situation is within your control, if you can summon the will necessary to find something better.

As for getting more useful responses from agents -- let alone getting published -- I wish I could tell you "just persevere, and everything will be all right," but since I haven't yet accomplished either, I'm in no position to hand out rosy predictions. I can only tell you with certainty that you're neither the first nor the only one to face that particular obstacle, and none of us feel any better about it than you do.


I can't sleep. I'm exhausted. And I'm depressed.

Been there; done that. Frequently, in fact. But I'm still alive, and still writing.

Wandering Sensei
03-10-2005, 02:06 AM
I'm sorry to hear about the hard times you're going through right now but take it from someone who has been through some tough things in my somewhat short life, they will get better. It just takes a little time and patience. :Hug2: to ya. Oh and AW means Absolute Write.

Of course it does! I should have known that. By WW I meant Weight Watchers. I've been plateaued for over two months, although I've kept on the program, and I know my eating habits are much better. It's just another indication of how my life is stuck stuck STUCK.

Re: the job. The thing is, I do want to hold on to it. It pays well, and it's in my field. When it's working, I love it. But it just seems like I can't do anything right anymore. Enough with the "constructive criticism" already!

The agent who last rejected me followed up with a page of specifics a couple days later (e-mail). A no is still a no, but the specifics help give me a handle on why the book's not selling. Unfortunately, for me and the book, it's nothing that can really be fixed. The impression I'm getting is that, although it's a well-written, enjoyable story, it's a middle-of-the-pack book and won't break out and gain a name for me (and big bucks--for me, the publisher, and the agent). Again more rampant frustration. About the only thing I can do is finish another book. More work. Ugh.

I'm thinking of switching from fantasies to mysteries or nonfiction. Maybe I just have nothing new to say as a fantasy writer. (Big, heavy sigh.):Headbang:

Thanks for listening.

Lauri B
03-10-2005, 04:32 AM
Have you thought about the correlation between feeling so down and getting the "constructive criticism" at work? Depression (even mild, non-chronic) can affect everything you do, especially work-related stuff. For a multitude of reasons, I'm a big advocate of getting checked out for depression by a physician, even if it seems temporary.

And I'm right there with you on the green-belt problem. I'm a green stripe, and I'm not only the worst person in my class, but also the oldest. Whenever I test, it's with kids who are never older than 8. It's like being Gulliver and testing with the Lilliputians--and it's so cute when kids goof up, but just pathetic when a 40 year old does.

Wandering Sensei
03-10-2005, 09:59 PM
Actually, I've developed a full-blown head cold, which may explain why I've been feeling so miserable these past several days. I was busy getting sick, but I just didn't know it.

The boss liked my presentation yesterday, so I think my stock here has risen a little.

My dojo has a separate adult class of roughly fifteen students. But I'm the oldest woman there as well as the most overweight. The sensei and the other students are great, but it's just so frustrating that I'm not moving forward.

JanaLanier
03-11-2005, 12:02 AM
I understand your frustrations - we all do - we've all been there.

Rejection is an essential part of a writing career. No writer trying to break in today goes without it in one form or another.

I really like JDKiggins' tagline: PERSEVERANCE: TO PERSIST IN SPITE OF DIFFICULTIES

In order to succeed you have to keep trying -- in writing, and in life.

Hang in there! Good luck:Hug2:

BradyH1861
03-11-2005, 11:57 PM
Hang in there. :hi:

Life sucks from time to time. But it has been my experience that things always look the worst right before they get better. Things have a funny way of working out.

Brady H.

Wandering Sensei
03-12-2005, 12:27 AM
Thanks, everyone.

I've taken some lovely, lovely cold medicine, and I've eaten lunch, and it's Friday. So I feel a bit better. Tomorrow I'm going to go to my mail drop to pick up some books I ordered (new books always perk me up), and then I'm going to send some queries out and work on novel #3.

This is really great cold medicine.

BradyH1861
03-12-2005, 12:28 AM
Can I have some?

Eussie
03-12-2005, 02:15 AM
You'll probably say "I can't do this", but it worked for me. It's all I can offer:


Figure out what you love. Is it writing? If yes, then pack up that crappy job and do what you love. Going to a job you hate will eat away at your core and turn you into something you hate.

Quit karate for a while. In order to become proficient in any martial arts you have to know how to control your energy/ju-ju/whateva u wanna call it. Without a positive, happy, inner core you won't be able to control that external energy. If you want to know what I mean by that, watch "shaolin wheel of life". Then imagine the monk who can stand on two fingers saying "I hate my life." I guarantee you he wouldn't be doing a handstand, let alone a two finger whatnot.

If all else fails, go to a rave.

Do what you love...and I guarantee you will reap the rewards....it just takes time.

Wandering Sensei
03-12-2005, 02:39 AM
But I love my job. And I love karate. Being stuck is what I hate. I've seen Wheel of Life. Awesome! In fact, my school got a lot of people together and went as a group to the stage show when they were here.

I get the impression, though, that they get even less feedback from the masters than we do.

I am hoping that if I just keep muddling through, these plateaus will eventually dissolve.

And frankly, working a job in my field for a professional rate way beats unemployment. I spent the last two years un- and underemployed. Not fun. Not something I want to repeat.

Maybe I'll watch Wheel of Life again this weekend.

arrowqueen
03-12-2005, 03:42 AM
Hope things pick up for you soon, sensei. We all hit brick walls at some point. Just keep chipping away till you get through it.

Cheers,
aq

jdkiggins
03-12-2005, 11:54 PM
Wandering Sensei,

I'll just give you a big :Hug2: and tell you to read my signature line below.

I wrote this quote many years ago when facing difficulties. It is the definition, however, I live by that quote and have it posted on my bulletin board.

Good luck.

Joanne