Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Fear and Loathing in Writer-land

"I cant. . . " "I'll never. . . " "Who am I fooling. . . "

That negative self talk is never so loud as when I receive a rejection. I think if you are sensitive enough to create, to write, then rejections, no matter how gently put, feel personal.

So I'm in my wallowing phase. I can wallow *today* and then it has to stop. That's the permission I give myself. One day to feel bloody awful, to lick my wounds, and generally pull the metaphorical covers over my head.

As rejections go, it was a pretty good one. A personal note with specific comments as to what they liked and what did not work for them with my partial. Looking at it objectively, (writer peeks from self-pity covers. . .) I've make fairly astounding progress in three and a half years of writing, two years of submitting.

I sent my first query for my first novel in August of 2005. Most of my responses were form letter rejections. I began querying for the second novel in September of 2006. That project garnered a bunch of partial requests and personalized rejections along with the dreaded form letters. Half the queries so far for my third novel have garnered requests for partials and for fulls. Some have come back as personal rejections, written with useful feedback. Several are still out in the world of potential agents. Novel number four is more than halfway completed.

I know this is progress, that momentum is gathering. I know the road to publication is a slow and painful process. I know they are not rejecting *me*.

I know all this. I even believe it and I share it with fellow writers. Only today, the inner voices of self-doubt are drowning out the other, more rational, more encouraging voices.

It's a beautiful sunny summer day and sitting here at the computer will not help shake me from this mood. My dog is waiting by the front door, looking out with the sadness and longing that only dogs can pull off--seeming goofy and immensely dignified at the same time. I think she is telling me that there are trees to sniff and tennis balls to chase and after all, the only time that matters is now.

I'm going for a walk to look for my lost perspective. Perhaps Tigger will help me sniff it out--she is part scent-hound, after all.


  1. Hugs LJ. There is nothing worse than that inner critic getting the upper hand. Your writing is fantastic, and it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when you will be published. Keep on writing the stories of your heart!

    (Of course, I'm biased, I want to keep on reading them)

  2. I'm sorry to hear it, Lisa. Rejection really stings, especially when it's about something that you've created. It's like someone rejecting your heart and soul.

    Here's a huge virtual hug going your way.

  3. Hope you found what you were looking for on your walk... what a great idea that is!

    I feel hurt for you, just keep trying!
    I was shocked at how much you've accomplished in your writing, most people don't get nearly that far!

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  4. Thank you for your virtual hugs and encouragement. I did find my lost perspective--I almost always do. It helps to be an optimist at heart. Can't keep this writer down for long.


  5. Hi Lisa,

    I've read two of your novels. Both are well-written, very readable and worth publishing. They are every bit as good or better than many novels I've read. Keep plugging away, and revising where needed. Sooner or later a publisher will recognize your talents.


  6. Thanks, Jim. It means a lot to me that you've said that.