Posts filed under 'Submission & Rejection'

More on Procrastination

I’ve discovered again the power of the written word. I finished a book that was on my reading list called “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. One powerful gem of insight therein was the notion that creative people are most likely to procrastinate because it is their imagination that inclines them to see all kinds of off-putting negative outcomes. So it seems the deck is well and truly stacked against writers!

It’s over a year ago now since I wrote a post about procrastination. That post might have seemed a bit macabre, flippant, or even comic, but like most things macabre or flippant or comic it disguises something more serious, namely fear.

I know from personal analysis of my own procrastination that fear is the root cause of it. It’s not fear of work. No. For after all, why would anyone fear to do work that would bring them success? There’s the rub, and the essence of what I meant in my previous post on procrastination. We do not fear to do the work that would be successful, but we fear to do the work that will make us a failure, that will get us ridiculed, or in my case, my greatest fear is work that is simply … wasted. No one in their right mind would want to do that kind of work, would they? So we delay. We avoid. And then the fear becomes self-fulfilling, because by avoiding the work we fail for certain.

I can content myself that I pushed through that, wrote a competent thriller, attracted the interests of two different agents, and learned of the strengths and possible weaknesses of my work. But I didn’t push through, against my fear of waste, just to have it sit in a drawer forever. I honestly believe (as do others) that it is worth publishing.

A period of reflection, based upon the last rejection feedback, has left me considering some other edits that I’m now incorporating into a final draft. I’m making it as best I can, but I’m starting to get concerned that the edits might lose some of the spirit of the story. So I’m going to have to stop revising after this. This brings matters to a head. If no agent wants to take it on. If I can’t revise to make it more attractive to an agent then I’ve to live up to my threatened promise of taking it on myself. So at least all this effort won’t be wasted. But before taking that road, I’ve one last chance. While finishing this edit, I’ve one last agent to pitch to…

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Add comment January 20th, 2010

Another one bites the dust

I turned on Tom Dunne’s radio show as I started to write this, and what do I hear – a woman describing how she published her own book. Someone up there is trying to tell me something, most especially because I sat down to write this post to tell you about the latest and possibly last agent rejection of Broken Evolution.

It all seemed very promising; hopeful words were coming from the agent. I also got affirmative feedback this week from two impartial readers, saying things like “it’s as good as any thriller I’ve read” and “I wasn’t prepared for how good it was” and “It kept me up reading at nights wanting to see what happened next.” Even the agent was full of praise and admiration for the novel in this ultimate rejection.

Now, my best chance yet has been shot down with the excuse of … the recession. It’s an environment that has become, quite frankly, hostile to new authors. And I don’t know if I can shift any longer the feeling that I am wasting my time with this traditional route. Time for a re-think.

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Add comment August 7th, 2009

Update (Wake up sleepy head)

I’ve been quiet again lately. Busy with work, and repairing my back after an injury, and not much writing, alas … although I did dream about my work in progress the other night, which was a weird experience. I transferred my blog to a newer, faster server too.

The book submission had been stalled for a while, waiting for agent response. This week the book, like I, rose from dormancy. A senior agent is finally giving time to read the re-drafted version. By accounts, he is quite impressed with it, but I suppose the ol’ recession bugbear will determine if they can take it on or not. Either way, I’ve been promised a response in a couple of weeks.

Finally, wheels are turning. The big ones turn slowly!

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Add comment July 7th, 2009

Update … Good News Everyone!

Last week I received some good news – an agency, having read my full manuscript, is interested in it. It will require more agency-assisted editing, but that too is good news; they like the novel enough to invest time in helping me make it better. And it’s a big name agency too! I’m like a jitterbug anticipating their suggestions. I took the novel as far as I could under my own steam, and while I know it’s good, at times I wondered just what it was that I had created — that can happen when you get so close to a project. Already, I have an insider’s perspective on its market genre. Wonderful.

It’s invigorating to — finally — have enthusiasm for my novel shared by someone in the business. A glimmer of hope in an morass of economic woes.

The hurdles are yet legion: pending the edits, it still has to become a formal offer of representation; the agent needs to entice a commissioning editor in a publishing house; an editor has to sell it to a pitch panel. In this business, I know only too well from my own experience that one can fall at any of the hurdles. But most are largely out of my control. The only thing I can control now is the quality of the novel, to make it the most irresistible prospect I can, and with the help of an agency, I can do even more about that.

But that is all next year’s concern.

Best of all in this is my internal victory, and the satisfaction it spawns. I have been vindicated. I took the decision to re-write a new draft, rather than start a different novel. I felt passionate about the subject matter and that I could tell the tale in a way that would sell. I believed it important also to learn to whip an errant novel into shape – it is a skill I would need as a writer. I have pulled apart and re-assembled an improved novel that made it over the next hurdle. Having done that, I feel confident that I can handle any edits that now come my way.

“Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

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4 comments November 25th, 2008

Hard Times in Publishing

Today I got the first rejection letter to show the economic recession card. If agents and publishers are more focussed on keeping their current writers’ business in this economic environment, then they’re less likely to punt on new writers. So they say. In truth, new writers are essential to the publishing business, to drive new sales. They will always stump up for what they feel is the right proposition.

What really worries me about it, is that this recession has changed tastes. Who would even believe an international espionage thriller in a world where airlines are going out of business, and the villian people fear most is the faceless one stealing away your job? I can only hope the dish I serve suits people’s taste for escapism in this climate.

I persevere. We all persevere.

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Add comment November 14th, 2008

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