Saturday, May 12, 2012

Not as bad as I thought

Another rejection email arrived a couple of days ago. I've been putting off updating my records - crossing another agent off my list of queried agents. My novelling is going well - not quite on a roll but plodding along which is actually better and more maintainable than a rush of inspiration-driven writing. I didn't want to look at my queried-agent list because I didn't want to know exactly how many rejections I've recieved.

Well, I did it, just now, and it wasn't so bad. Seven queries went out into the world (well, the UK actually) and only three have replied. Sure, they're all rejections - nice soft rejections that encourage me to try other agents while explaining that they get a lot of submissions and can only accept a few new authors a year... blah blah blah. One of these agents actually sent me the same rejection letter, word for word, twice - about ten days apart. Now that's just mean.

But there are still four out there, so hope remains. And it's only the first burst of agent queries I've sent out for this, my second, novel. So I shouldn't get too discouraged.

I am a bit impatient, of course, though the rational part of my brain assures me that these things always take a long time. And no news could be good news.

How does the line go? Hope is frail but hard to kill? C'est vrai. (Looked up what it's from... the answer is: 'When you Believe' from The Prince of Egypt.)

I wonder if I should try more agents or just jump straight to the romance genre publishers. Even if I got an offer direct from a publisher I'd still want an agent. Can you do that? Find a publisher and then an agent? It's not as if finding a publisher is all that a Literary Agent does for an author, after all. But the dream is to find an agent who really likes/loves/believes in my writing...

Meanwhile, I slog on, fifty pages into my newest novel draft. My main characters are sitting across from one another, in a booth, at a pub, at a wake. He just knocked their drinks onto her. Or did he? I was rethinking the scene last night after Luuk had gone to sleep.

Yesterday was a good writing day. I felt like I was putting down good words. Not that my feelings on the day have any real relation to the quality of the writing. I can write awful corny collections of cliches and feel like I'm writing thought-provoking nuanced prose. I can feel completely discouraged, ashamed of my self-conscious, dull, poser efforts to impress an audience who'll probably never read my never-to-get-published manuscript... and yet look over those same words later and be surprised at my own insight and the beautiful turn of a phrase. It happens... and I have to remind myself, on a very regular basis, that how I feel about my writing and the actual quality of said writing, are two entirely unrelated things.

What matters as that I keep writing. And since Louis is asleep and Luuk is off in Paris somewhere looking at bikes (assuming the shop is now, finally, open)... I should really take advantage of this alone-time and write write write! Only four weeks until I'm likely to have a new baby. I have been known to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Maybe, if I really get myself in gear, I can finish this first draft before the baby comes.

Louis got a mural. His little sister will be getting a love story that she won't appreciate until her teens, and that's assuming I let her read it (as I'm yet uncertain how adult it'll be). Good thing she can share Louis' mural.

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