Thursday, March 18, 2010

Still Querying, but Tiring Fast.

One of my dearest followers commented that I am always so uplifting with my blog, so very optimistic about my querying process, and I feel like a sham today because I have to admit that it's all smoke and mirrors.

The fact is that I'm a bit tired of this whole query business. I received another rejection today - very generous, very enthusiastic, but none-the-less a rejection. Even the best, most popular, writers must get jaded with the feedback they get at times, so it stands to reason that an unknown, unpublished writer would get saddened by it. I love to write, but it would be oh-so-sweet to be writing for others.

I'm tired of being told that I'm a very good writer, but that my books are too quiet, too instrospective, and not marketable in today's tough, thrill-seeking culture.  I don't write for that readership. Can it be that the very people who might enjoy my books only use their local libraries and have little influence over book sales? Am I writing for a similarly quiet and introspective group who wouldn't know a Kindle if one jumped up and bit them on the nose? Is there such a group? Am I, to put it bluntly, writing only for a phantom audience, perhaps only for myself?

But that was always enough, wasn't it, once upon a time? The pleasure of the words, the poetry, the cleverness we saw - we did it for ourselves, didn't we, as we toiled into the night? I used to show my mother when I was very small, and that was enough, and, much later, my most trusted friends or family members. At what point did it become something we just had to share with the world? When did it become an ego trip? What did we read by one of our favorite, well-published writers that triggered us to think, "I have something new to say about this, and folks will want to read it."?

So, today, I am feeling like Martin Amis's protagonist, Richard Tull, in The Information.  I am despondent, childishly resentful, totally shallow and weepily exhausted by my thankless querying adventure.

Of course, I'm very tired from all of this moving business. Still packing - not all at once, you understand, but as the mood takes me - but there's a lot of mental processing going on about it all the time, and I'm not sleeping well. There is stress, despite my cat-entertaining Hatha Yoga asanas.

I still have queries for two books out there, by the way.  All is not lost. Only my optimism, it seems, at least for the time being.

Like Fagin in Oliver!,  "I am reviewing the situation."  I'm quite good at that.


Melissa Marsh said...

We are all allowed to be grouchy once in awhile, to be despondent and shun optimism. I actually think it's ok to wallow once in awhile. I'm wallowing right now (but I put this more to my taking a nap late this evening and waking up in a horrific mood).

But you're right. It USED to be enough to just write for us. I think, however, that somewhere, there was a shift in our thinking. Writing for us was not enough. We needed to share this with the world, with other like-minded readers, so that they, too, could be transported to the world we created. It seems unfair to keep it all to ourselves, doesn't it? At least I like to think so. :-)

Fran said...

Once again, thanks, Melissa. You said it all. I even blogged once about enjoying the wallow. Physician heal thyself!

Sarahbeth said...

Well it sounds awful but, really, I am just OVER it! All of it! Truly. At some point we have to return, in our heart of hearts, to the original intention of our writing: to feed our own souls. And then, if something comes of it, our souls will already be full, and so the spoils from there will only be an extra harvest, to keep in our larders for the winter when our bellies groan once again. To soul filling writing! May it be our honest intention in this horribly jaded, inattentive, fast food society we find ourselves in at present :)

Fran said...

Have you been reading Chris Hodges Empire of Illusion? He argues that "we now live in two societies: One, the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world, that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other, a growing majority, is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. In this “other society,” serious film and theatre, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins."

Retiredandcrazy said...

Even the greatest authors suffered rejection Fran. Keep the faith and keep going.

Maryellen said...

keep the faith and think positive

Whoever reads the work we (writers) submit could have had a bad or thousands of other excuses, publishing takes persistence.