Wednesday, June 07, 2006


I am winding and unwinding here--a yo-yo on a snarled string. It is the way of the writer and I know is the way of the mother, and I accept is me, as restless and fickle as I've always been. Yesterday, several writing-related hits dropped me down. Un-spooling--hitting-bottom, uncertain of myself. The magazine I work for is currently on hiatus, now it looks as though this may not resolve itself. This has nothing to do with me, but influences me nonetheless. I had been offered an interesting blogging-for-dollars position that seems to be dissolving--again, not my fault...but, still impacting my bottom line and a potential new audience for my writing. So when my editor's name appeared in my in-box, I seriously almost didn't open the email. Why would I--day I was having? But...I did. Her glowing praise of a little while back of my "completed" manuscript buoyed me for weeks. This was highlighted by her once again in the email introduction. She further added that the two execs she tried to make a final pitch to also commented on my work's "luminosity" and "ethereal voice". In the end, though? These two gentlemen do not feel it translates into a broad enough marketing appeal for the current sales acquisitions climate (think, variations of the DaVinci Code)...and they passed. As she notes, all hope is not yet lost. She has one final executive of the house she will talk to--but, it certainly looks bleak right at this moment.

My editor is a warm and wonderful woman who has championed my writing from the moment we met. This now "completed" manuscript wouldn't exist without having her as a "safety net" for when the going was tough. I knew a real-live editor at a real-live publishing house was waiting for my words. Imagine the gift of that, those of you who are writing in the dark without this know exactly what I mean. The fact is, if the final executive decides he agrees with his colleagues and also passes on my manuscript--I will have to move on to someone else. She has ideas, of course...contacts she'll share. But, it becomes--do I get an agent first? I'm tired of dealing with this "business" side of the writing world. I want to create and send it off and have someone else handle these things for me. Don't we all? Yes, I have learned so much this way about how the industry works and I am grateful for that knowledge. Still, I cannot deny how I'd love to be the writer in the turret, locked away--burning up in the fires of creation. My three muses ensure that this isolation is absolutely impossible, of course. Then, M. reminds me of what this all means to me and I begin to feel myself rise again. The novel is the first full-length manuscript I haven't abandoned half-way in. Seeing it through to completion has inspired me to begin other projects and recognize my ability to remain committed to my writing. This ascending and descending energy--it is what riding the creative arc feels like. I am seeking acceptance right now...when things fall into your lap with writing, like they initially did for me--it is so easy to forget what the struggle is. Life has decided to not-so-subtly humble me...and I have decided to share this here, without flinching.


Blogger Amber said...

"ethereal" is how I think of your writing, as well. That really fits.

You must not lose hope! This is just a valley, and just the right things will happen for your work, I know. I mean, not all people want something like "The DaVinci Code"! Some of us care if the writing speaks to us.(I really was SO unimpressed with that lame-ass book. That guy is just lucky.) I know that if you keep working at it, and keep your eyes and heart open, your book will be in my hands to read someday soon!(signed by the author, you know ;) ) This happens to great books all the time! People pass on it, and then someone sees it for what it is, and then everyone who passed kick themselves in the butt for being so lame! Not that they are great literature, but this happened with the Chicken Soup for the Soul book, and just LOOK what happened with that! Huge success!



10:21 PM  
Blogger tracey said...

This post was so honest and raw yet still so tender. Your frustration/exhaustion is totally understandable but what is important is that you still feel the passion for creating. It's what you can hold on to as you're traveling this rougher part of your journey.

I have come via mama says om and I'm looking forward to digging around your archives.

10:58 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

I know what you mean about the biz side of writing - it's a pain and I often wish there was a phantom me to deal w/ all that. But the important thing to remember is that you have genuine talent; your writing is beautiful and inspiration and if some people pass (usually a marketing issue; not a reflection of your talent), someone else will recognise your abilities and push things forward. Have faith - we all know how lucky we are to be reading your writing.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"marketing appeal for the current sales acquisitions climate" - this makes me see RED. of all of us, D, you are the one with the words that make my heart sing. that such talent could be passed on in favour of the **** that is being published, in your country and mine, is UNBELIEVEABLE.

okay, i've had my rant.

a book filled with luminosity and an ethereal voice (which i have absolutely no doubt that it has) will find its rightful home. it WILL. i think this may be the right time to start looking for an agent. let her to do the hard work - and she will have the contacts too. the fact that this book already has/had an editor championing it, means finding an agent to take you on should be fairly straightforward. definitely go see your editor's contacts, but as publishing houses always seem so overwhlemed with mss, an agent is a good plan too.

stay strong, my love, and keep the faith. the path to publication always has a few hiccups - but that is all they are. KEEP GOING. the longed-for garret to write in is within YOU - that magical place where words are born.....

7:55 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

I lied about not the middle of the night, I very nearly came back here and revised this post to change everything. I wanted to "look good"--to make this process seem effortless...then, this morning I saw these comments here and asked myself "WHY?"...Why do I want to make this seem easy and not expose myself? The post is staying as is--thank you for your thoughts and encouragement. We all need this sometimes...

8:00 AM  
Blogger bb said...

honest, searching, raw and yet, yes, ethereal, this is the writing I come hungry for when I visit your blog. And although I don't come bearing pennies, I do come bearing my greatest admiration and greatest wishes that the universe will deliver all that you deserve x x x

8:47 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Great job on Yo-yo...I only wish your aspirations and amazing writing were not the subject matter. You are so talented, so gifted, every time I come here, I leave feeling some deep emotion.


9:54 AM  
Blogger Amy Linder said...

Good luck to you. As a struggling writer myself, I know what you're feeling. In fact, I'm curious as to what "blogging for dollars" opportunity just passed you by because I too was recently informed that a promising opportunity in this was also restructured to not include me. :( This great saddened me, but I am always looking for better opportunities. Stay strong. Take care. I commiserate along with you.

Amy :)

12:25 PM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. It feels very yo yo like.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

It's such a wonderful gift to find an editor like that -- I know exactly what you mean by having an editor waiting for your words. I really think without that I wouldn't have finished my book, and the same thing happened with me: her publisher hesitated for many months, during which time my licensing agent decided to represent my book (new territory for her) and within a month had two other offers! It was very hard to let go of that first editor, the relationship was very important to me, but she did give you a tremendous gift along the way, and with praise such as you've received, it sounds like your book is sure to find another home. Good luck!

11:41 AM  

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