Sunday, August 16, 2009

Brace Yourselves...

Okay world. I'm about to get honest. Before I started the search for an agent, I felt like I could be honest here. Like I could discuss the pains of plot, the struggle with character, and my inability to outline. It's okay to write about writing, apparently, just not about the struggle of actually selling your book.

OF COURSE, I have received some rejections -We all have. But whenever I wanted to post about it, one of my friends would say, "You better not say you've been rejected... an agent might be reading." Ooo scary. So, slowly but surely, I began to blog about sometimes boring topics, just in case "an agent" was reading. But who really cares that I saw a good movie? Seriously, who wants to read about that?

Here's the deal. Even agents know that this biz is hard! Make that effing hard! And I'd rather be honest, than tell about my daughter's dance recital or my husband's deep sea fishing trip. It seems like my friends (who are all in the process of subbing to either agents or editors) have quit blogging about it. We email each other with The Truth... But here, not so much. And now I look forward to my email, but have all but stopped reading blogs. (well, at least not like I used to.)

Why can't we be honest on our blogs? Are agents and editors really more interested in someone that has never had rejection in their life? Or someone that works their ass off and with the help of a posse of uber supportive friends, makes it? Shouldn't we have Honesty Monday, instead of Wordless Wednesday? Or Poetry Friday? Are those topics just fillers for what we really wanna talk about?

I, for one, am thinking about breaking free and letting the chips fall where they may. I have a feeling The Boss Man is gonna be proud. He calls the shots anyway, so what's the big deal?

PS. Since we're being honest and open, I wanted to post a pic of myself fresh out of the shower, makeup free, and in my robe. But it was far too hideous to even consider! Even I have my limits :-)

PLOT THIS!!!! (said with rock star hands thrown down in true Take That! style)


storyqueen said...

I agree. I tend to be a private person in a lot of ways....and second guessing myself when I post for fear that someone might read it and think "wow, this loser gets rejected a lot" makes it even harder!

But that is the way it is. That is the TRUTH. The secret, I think, is to balance the truth about the suckiness of rejection with the incredible enthusiasm we feel for our projects.


jessjordan said...

*bows down at your feet*

Seriously, you drove the nail into the board with this one. Blogs are getting a little less inspired and more industrialized with every new post. I get it, but it's sad.

My fingers are crossed, and I'm wishing you the VERY best of luck in your search for an agent!

Corey Schwartz said...

Goo for you, Katie! Funny, I just blogged about the blog police (I have gotten citations several times) I do wish we could all write more freely!

Kimberly Derting said...

Great post, Katie! And it's true, everyone watches what they say "just in case", but really we should all be here supporting one another.

Christy Raedeke said...

I vote TRUTH!

Love it!

Shelli said...

I think its fine to post about rejection and your process, and your solution.

I think people warn about listing names, stats, or being too negative/whiny. I think people want to here the STORY - not the specific stats.

You rebel you!

I cant admire you too much until post that picture :)

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

awesome. i think you should be honest! i know when other blogging buddies have talked about being rejected, they get TONS of comments...from thanks to being informative to giving them support. it's a good thing! :) i'll look forward to reading some honest stuff....

Katie said...

Ahhh... so we want honesty, do we?

Good! Well, I intend to bring it :-)

But I DO agree with Shelli - no names, stats and whinyness, just the truth of grueling rewrites and the strange joy of a rejection that praises your "voice" and begs you to rewrite the plot and re-submit.

Little Ms J said...

Bring it, sister! Sometimes when I'm too open or honest I worry about repercussions as I fall asleep, worried that I said to much or that A CERTAIN SOMEONE was going to read. And then I wake up in the morning and typically have the most sincere comments because people value truth, struggle and honesty.

I vote truth, too.

Lisa and Laura said...

Hoorah for the truth! I think this is such an interesting much is too much information? Safe to say that we've all been rejected. A lot. I love the idea of owning up to it.

My name is Lisa Roecker and I'm scared to admit rejection in public forums.

I think the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Hardygirl said...

Whew. At the LA conference, an editor actually said in her breakout session that she sometimes rejects an author because he/she appears as if they might be difficult to work with (get this) because of writing about getting rejected on a blog.

Okay, whining and naming names is one thing, but I thought that comment was a little extreme (in her defense, she probably meant the whining . . . but still!). We are supposed to all--writers, agents, illustrators, editors-- be working toward the same goal: publishing and writing GREAT books. Rejection is part of the journey most writers take (there are very few exceptions to this).

So why do we feel this need to pretend and be smiley faces and hearts all the time? We all have our days--for example, two rejection slips in a day (slips! no personal note . . . just the slip, ugh).

And, then there's the joy of the personal rejections with revision suggestions and an invitation to resubmit.

Of course, the next level (agented--then published) is still only in my dreams. But it does feel within reach. At least it feels closer than it did a couple of years ago.

Power to the people!!



ElanaJ said...

Honesty Monday??? I'm all over that. All over it. And I think I do this--to an extent. I've blogged about jealousy before, something I thought would be really controversial. It turns out, it wasn't. So let the honest truth come out. In a non-whiny, self-pitying way, of course.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I am SO with you! I was kind of surprised when the editor said that during the conference, but I think you can be honest without turning people off. I KNOW you can Katie. And good luck with the agent search =)

Stephanie Faris said...

I disagree with those who say we shouldn't post that we've been rejected. Every agent out there knows he/she isn't the only agent we're querying and they all know we've been rejected a few times before we get to them. Heck, I dated a few men before I met my boyfriend but that didn't make him not want to date me. It's all about finding that right fit...and it takes some wrong turns along the way as well as some major querying to find that right one.

Samantha Clark said...

It's so funny reading this. I'm submitting to agents now too, and everytime I wanted to post about it, I'd get that little voice in my head saying, be careful what you say.

For me, it was also that, after I had sent out some queries, I realized that my manuscript could have been better. Ugg! So, I reworked it. And I wanted to talk about that on my blog, but I didn't want agents reading my blog getting angry that I had sent it to them before it was ready. I thought it was ready. Oh well.

I finally decided to post about it. I don't put names of who I'm submitting to on the blog, but I am writing about the experience. So, join me!

Right now, I've stopped submissions with my novel because of the revision. I'm waiting for some feedback from a couple members in my critique group who are reading it. Then I'll (hopefully) be out in submission land again -- and blogging about it.

P.S. Love you blog. I just found it through Faeriality. I've added you to my blogroll.

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

I was very, very careful about what I said while I was querying agents. It wasn't until AFTER I got my new agent that I posted the stats (how many submissions, fulls requested, etc), but not any gory details.

I've been mostly out of blog land this last month. So fun to catch up on you two chickie's! I WISH SO BAD I COULD HAVE HUNG OUT WITH YOU IN L.A.!!!!!!

Drop me an email and tell me where KISS is now!


Brit said...

I agree that you can blog about the journey, the stories, but no names, specifics, etc.

I like to read honest posts from successful writers who have had their fair share of rejection. I think it helps ease the pain to those who are just starting out.

Anne Spollen said...

I LIKE the stories about your family and the stuff you guys
do that isn't writerly...but I also see what you mean about the rejection and all the dark sides (there is more than one dark side) of the process of becoming a published writer. It's pretty grueling and the disappointment factor is huge.

Katie said...

I like what Samantha said - because when I first subbed KISS I thought it was ready. I would have taken a bullet I was so positive, but after a quick, really nice rejection, the agent pointed out an area that really needed help.

SO, I revised and made it ten zillion times better.

But I wouldn't take any of it back because I needed that rejection to get the book where it is now...

And I wish now I had blogged about it. So, from here on out, I intend to be honest about my process and how I've gotten here :-)

Love y'all!

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