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Comments on A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Dealing With Discouragement





Updated: 2017-12-11T17:19:15.482-06:00

 



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2008-12-30T06:00:00.000-06:00

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It's nice to know I am in a great class of writers...

2008-03-24T09:35:00.000-05:00

It's nice to know I am in a great class of writers on the rejection front. I started querying for my first novel in January. To date, I have had a partial and a full read (both passed) and a mountain of rejections on the letters alone.

For about a month and a half, I quit. I didn't write one query letter or even think about agents. Finally, I got back up on the horse and started again. This time around is no different, except I am getting same-day rejections versus the week, two-week or the never-hear-back type.

Last week, I got my latest and didn't even bat an eye. I simply don't care anymore. If my book isn't right for them, then neither am I. An agent relationship is like a marriage, it should last a lifetime. So finding the right one is going to take a while. But somehow, I am finding the strength to push forward.

Your advice was great, as were the many comments. I derive comfort from this little saying I got from a movie I saw once but can't recall the name:

"Time wounds all heels."

Now, that's comforting!



Great post. And it’s so easy for writers to get t...

2008-03-21T10:39:00.000-05:00

Great post. And it’s so easy for writers to get to that point.

I’d second Ralph Keyes’ books, and about forgiveness, it took me a long time to realize that forgiveness is something you actually give yourself. The person you’re mad at usually doesn’t care one way or the other. But when you forgive, you cut yourself away from all the ropes that were dragging you through a vale of bitterness. Suddenly you have much more focus and energy ‘cause you’re not spending all day stomping on some old wound.

Here’s some quotes I’ve found useful.

You never quit. You can’t be discouraged. But, at the same time, a person should not fault himself for becoming discouraged. It’s going to happen. It’s natural. But you still have to commit yourself. You have to do something every day for your art, or you’ll never be a success at it.
- James Lee Burke

I sulked. Sulking is a big effort. So is not writing. I only realized that when I did start writing. When I started getting real work done, I realized how much easier it is to write than not to write. Not writing is probably the most exhausting profession I’ve ever encountered. It takes it out of you.
- Fran Lebowitz

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise.
- Fitzgerald

I was prepared for a couple of years of rejections. In the first three months, fifteen agents and fifteen publishers said no to me. Most writers go through that. It’s good for you, though, because when success does come, it’s all the sweeter.
- John Grisham

Character is founded on the ability to learn more from failure than other people do.
- Norman Mailer



Such a realistic and inspiring look at dealing wit...

2008-03-21T08:48:00.000-05:00

Such a realistic and inspiring look at dealing with the down side. Thanks so much,
bria



Great points. Discouragement isn't the most fun p...

2008-03-20T19:53:00.000-05:00

Great points. Discouragement isn't the most fun part of this profession, but it happens. But you're right...something great could happen at any time :)



Excellent post, Joe. The part about forgiveness re...

2008-03-20T12:12:00.000-05:00

Excellent post, Joe. The part about forgiveness really resonated with me. I believe that us writers struggle to forgive ourselves--and it gets in the way of our writing.



This is a terrific article except for the last poi...

2008-03-20T11:34:00.000-05:00

This is a terrific article except for the last point. Time on its own doesn't heal wounds, only effort will heal them. If you sit and stew over your setbacks, how unfair it all is, how other people let you down, blah blah blah, you won't get anywhere.

Only constructive, consistent action over time will heal those wounds and your article outlines some great strategies to achieve this outcome.

RMS



This post had great timing, Joe. I just got back a...

2008-03-20T09:26:00.000-05:00

This post had great timing, Joe. I just got back a couple of rejection letters, but I sucked it up and sent more things out there. Very encouraging post.



This hits at a good time, Joe. Thanks.

2008-03-19T21:35:00.000-05:00

This hits at a good time, Joe. Thanks.



One of my favorite books to read at times like thi...

2008-03-19T15:12:00.000-05:00

One of my favorite books to read at times like this is Ralph Keyes' book, THE WRITER'S BOOK OF HOPE. Every writer should have this book on his/her bookshelf.



Excellent sanity post, Joe.Publishing is a lot lik...

2008-03-19T14:49:00.000-05:00

Excellent sanity post, Joe.

Publishing is a lot like surfing. Not every wave works out as well as it looks from shore.

The Doubt Demons will always try to eat you, but if you can keep perspective, a sense of humor, and some good friends around, you can defeat them.



Where were you when I needed you, Joe?During my fi...

2008-03-19T10:46:00.000-05:00

Where were you when I needed you, Joe?

During my first stab at publishing back in the 80s, I got dropped by my publisher after four books. I did the exact opposite of everything you described. In short, I curled up and died. Oh woe is me, boo-hoo, wah wah...
Spent about 18 months like that before I tried again. What a waste of valuable time.

Joe is so right on this one.



Thank you for this. Your suggestions were very ti...

2008-03-19T08:07:00.000-05:00

Thank you for this. Your suggestions were very timely for me. Today is the one year anniversary of my mother-in-law's death. I've sent the link to this post to my husband. Work and life stress are sometimes overwhelming and your suggestions are helpful.

Trina



Good things to remember. Thanks Joe!

2008-03-18T19:47:00.000-05:00

Good things to remember.
Thanks Joe!



Joe, I'd be tempted to add one more thing to you l...

2008-03-18T19:20:00.000-05:00

Joe, I'd be tempted to add one more thing to you list, namely "Listen." What I do, when someone has a comment on my work, even if it's not negative, is to listen to it very carefully. Almost everything that happens to an author is feedback of one nature or another. All of that feedback can be used for benefit if the author puts his/her feelings aside, be those feelings discouragement or job. Take note of what works, what doesn't, and adjust accordingly.



These are great tips, and I think they apply to so...

2008-03-18T18:27:00.000-05:00

These are great tips, and I think they apply to so many situations beyond writing, too. I think that the first one, projecting confidence, is especially important. Few people want to bet on someone who's not winning; they wonder what they're missing.



Great post, and so very true. And as many wonderfu...

2008-03-18T18:11:00.000-05:00

Great post, and so very true. And as many wonderful things can happen as can the bad!



I needed this kick in the pants. Kick harder next ...

2008-03-18T16:47:00.000-05:00

I needed this kick in the pants. Kick harder next time. I like it.

Back to work1



You know, much of what you say applies to many oth...

2008-03-18T16:25:00.000-05:00

You know, much of what you say applies to many other areas as well, not just writing. Good to see someone out there touting the same things I've heard and said for years. Great books by the way, really enjoying them.

Capt



This is very helpful; thank you! Although I couldn...

2008-03-18T16:19:00.000-05:00

This is very helpful; thank you!

Although I couldn't resist mentally adding one more sentence:

"And if none of those agents reading your ms ever offers representation, you can congratulate yourself on escaping all the disappointments listed here."