Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Fricassee

Let this be my official announcement:  I'm going dark.

Normally, June is vacation month for us (which is why I never schedule Secret Agent contests in June).    If not vacation, then at least a trip to my parents' home.  This year, though, we're not going anywhere.

Long story, but we're just not.

So I'm longing for a break that I'm simply not getting, and it's not feeling too good.  Which is why I came to the conclusion that the least I could do is to give myself a PUBLISHING INDUSTRY BREAK.

For at least next week, I won't be on my blog, my Authoress gmails, or Twitter.  At the end of the week, I'll see how chipper I'm feeling; I may need a second week.  (I'll let you know.)

Important:  AUTHORESS EDITS clients:  I will be editing, and I will be checking my editing business account.  I can't afford to fall behind!

You all know that I have recently attempted to recapture my JOY of writing by returning to my trunk novel for a complete rewrite.  At first, it was wonderful.  But it hasn't lasted.

I'm going to keep writing it, but it's more of a do-it-when-you-feel-like-it project for me, to remove the relentless pressure I always foist upon myself (it's how I get things done).  Frankly, I'm in a hard place that isn't getting easier.  I've hit my 8-year mark, and it feels like such a big number.

That's right.  I started sending my first, tentative queries to agents eight years ago.

Eight years.

(Okay.  I'm a little stuck on how long I've been at this thing.)

And right now I need to get away from the internet's "OMG-I'm-17-and-I-just-signed-a-huge-book-deal" and the "Ever since the crash, agents are only selling one out of ten projects...projects......projects.........projects...........projects............".

*cue dramatic music*

Anyway.  I need to soul-search and regroup and find whatever it is I need to find within myself to push through.  No one promised me this would be easy, so I'm not going to whine about it.  It's just the facts.

Honestly, I'm okay.  I AM!  I'm sharing my journey with you--being as transparent as I can be while still maintaining anonymity--so that you will be encouraged to KEEP GOING WHEN THINGS GET REALLY HARD.

So press on while I'm away.  Remind yourself why you're doing this thing (because you love it, right?).  And if you're in a good place right now, SPREAD THE GOOD.  Positive attitudes are infectious!

Love and hugs to you all.


38 comments:

  1. Your honesty helps so many. I think we (the royal we) tend to think of you as the FAMOUS AUTHORESS who had agents and publishers knocking down her door all these years. Your struggles and self-doubt and joy and optimism fuel us (no matter what stage of emotion we're in). SO THANK YOU and enjoy the break. *collective hug from all of us*

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  2. I think we can all relate to how you're feeling right now. Take the time you need, unplug, recharge, we'll be here when you get back.

    Let me also add that I'm kind of in and out here, but I appreciate what you do, even if I haven't always shown up in the comments/critiques. Thank you.

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  3. Is that "agents are only selling one out of ten projects" statistics true?? What's the source? Omg I'm nauseous.

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  4. Definitely take a break! It's well deserved! I can't believe you don't do it a few more times out of the year.
    Sit back, eat good foods and have a blast!

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  5. Hang in there and enjoy your break. You deserve it. You're a fantastic writer. Don't ever doubt that. And what you do for others is AMAZING.

    That doesn't mean this sometimes won't take forever or that it's not EXHAUSTING.

    Do what you need to do to take care of yourself, lady. You deserve it.

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  6. Recharge and allow your self a moment of *this sucks*.

    Do something spontaneous. Although don't do what I do. I've had purple hair once, chopped off more than a foot of hair another time (I like hair because it goes back).

    Go get a massage and pamper yourself for a week. We'll be here, waiting for our fearless leader, when you get back.

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  7. You've totally earned a break. You help so many people. I know you said that you're alright with the writing, but I just wanted to let you know that sometimes things are awesome and a person has a path that is perfect and straight. It leads them directly to their dream. Sometimes, a person's path has more twists and bends. One is not better than the other, but the twists and bends are giving you a deep well to draw on for later (though I admit they suck in the present). And sometimes writing journeys are lengthy. I collected my first rejection letter in 1996! I did put my writing on a hold a few times, but I always feel like I was a member of the class of '96, and I can't seem to catch up.
    You will get there, and when you do, it will be awesome.

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  8. If it's any consolation, I've been querying now for 31 years. Have a good break!

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  9. Have a good break! Some of those teenagers drive me nuts too. It's nice to get away from things, to separate yourself from all that, for a while. Just remember what a huge inspiration to all of us you are--you'll get that book deal someday, and it'll have been well worth the wait (and I can't wait to buy your debut!).

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  10. Enjoy your break and take as long as you want!

    Well, not TOO long, or we'll have to kidnap your cat and hold her for ransom. :) So glad she's back after her kitty spring fling! And if that picture you posted of her was your yard, I see no reason to ever leave. What a beautiful view with all those trees! Imagine the woodland creatures, real and mythical, roaming around in the mists, because there must be mists. What a way to recharge the imagination!

    I frequently go off the social grid, as it seems to suck up so much time and energy. This time of year I'd rather be spending more time communing with nature, as long as there's not any bugs involved (I do have my limits).

    As for the "numbers"- forget about 'em. Numbers don't count. What counts is your determination and attitude (and the homework you do to assure YOUR project is the best!)

    Relax & Enjoy! You deserve it!

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  11. Enjoy your rest, my dear. :) I totally get your frustration. I've suffered through it myself often enough, but we're very fortunate to have so many more options available to us as authors. I hope you return refreshed and with a whole new perspective. Hugs!

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  12. Good for you. I hope the break brings you exactly what you need. I understand completely and can empathize. I've been cutting back on social media to focus on writing and reignite the JOY. Solidarity sister! I'm with you.

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  13. I'm in the dark place you are, and it helps to know I'm not alone. I hope the week away renews your energy and creativity. Best wishes!

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  14. And THANK YOU for being so transparent. So often there's pressure on us [writers] to always be happy and positive, but as I'm sure many will attest to--that's not reality. Just last month, I was telling my husband how I finally understand the saying, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride." It feels like I'm always congratulating people on book deals and doing things on my blog to support book releases, but I can't help but wonder, will it ever be me? I sincerely believe that God has a plan for me, and that writing is a part of that, but yeah . . . *sighs* I'm slowly losing my patience (and my confidence) :-/

    So again, thank you for being honest about your feelings. As with everything in life, it's nice to know I'm not alone.

    Enjoy your break! It's much deserved :)

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  15. Enjoy your break. You deserve it!

    It's hard isn't it? I'm heading toward my 8th year too, and it's challenging to keep going when there's really nothing to show for all the effort we put in.

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  16. Have a great break! Enjoy the beautiful world beyond the computer.

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  17. I think there are many more people than you know in a "dark place." They try to sound optimistic and leave cheerful comments, but they're backing away from writing. It's burnout. Too much pressure (self-induced) for too long, and not enough tangible results. Some of us keep writing just because we hate to give up, don't want to be "quitters," but there's no love anymore. It's just work.
    I hope it helps to know you're not alone.

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  18. Enjoy your break, and thanks for letting us know how you feel. I admire your honesty and your perseverance and, most of all, your willingness to help all of us. Hang in there. And if you need anything, let us know.

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  19. Hi Authoress. I just wanted to say thank you for being so honest about your feelings. I'm there too - in that dark place where writers go when theyre wobbling. If I find you in there I'll give you a hug (wear the red hat please so I recognise you). Unlike you I'm taking a break until Christmas, maybe beyond. I've been writing seriously since 1990 - a few small successes - very small. There are other things I want to do, Id love to pick up my watercolour brush again, and Ive been so committed to my writing other areas of my life have suffered. Ive drawn a line for now, still submitting, but my author's pen is firmly down. You're not only a writer Authoress. Take a look back over your achievements on MSFV and how much we appreciate what you do. Take your break, unwind,and pamper pamper pamper. Itll happen for you. You have a great agent who clearly respects your skills as a writer. I think my moment may have evaporated into the ether.

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  20. I hope you enjoy your unplugged time. That feels really good to do, I hope you're refreshed by it.

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  21. Thank you for the encouraging post, and I hope you enjoy your break. I know what lifesavers they can be.

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  22. I hope you do step back and sniff the roses. I'm doing that at the moment. I kind of ran out of wind. So I loaded up the Kindle and I'm reading. I haven't done that for ages. I am actually reading other people's novels not because I'm critiquing. I'm just reading them. Of course I am always looking at styles etc., but I just felt like I was stumbling.
    The steam ran out of me like a deflating balloon.
    I think a guilt free trip out of the pages of your writing is good for you. It also gives you time (guilt free) to long to get back when you do. Lots of exercise of course puts out juices and rejuvenates you by the way.
    (((()))) big hug from me.
    Zara Penney

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  23. I agree with others here. You may be having a tough time selling the writing, but the great work you're doing for the larger writing community ain't chopped liver.

    Pull back from your various manuscripts, including the old ones. Think hard about them.

    Then pick out what you think you can still sell to an agent, and keep sending out the queries.

    Polish up the rest, and publish them yourself on Createspace or Kindle. Give "hybrid writer" a shot. Why not?

    Maybe you'll only sell a few copies. Most self-published authors only sell a few copies. But even a few readers on Amazon is better than no readers at all in a trunk.

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  24. Go charge your batteries!! Even God rested on the seventh day. Besides, it's not what our agents can sell or can't sell. Or what the time span has stretched into. It's about what doors God will open for you when the time is right for you to get the optimum result! So we'll see you on the flip side!

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  25. Rest well and know that we will be here waiting for you when you return. Let Mr. A rub your feet or your back and turn on some good tunes and let those numbers and years and the stress it brings just melt away for a little while.
    Wishing you all the best. :)

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  26. Thank you so much for all you do for the writing community, and, to echo everyone else, you deserve a hiatus from this madness! :) I know you'll find your muse again and recharge your batteries (pleae excuse the mixed metaphor -- meeep!), so do enjoy your peaceful time and your writing. We've all felt like throwing in the towel, and so we empathize with you and want to encourage you to keep that towel firmly in hand --er, next to your keyboard. Take a deep breath...! Aloha!

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  27. good luck, enjoy the break, and come back stronger than ever!

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  28. Enjoy your break. Maybe take some time to revisit hobbies you might not normally do. :-)

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  29. Writing can be a fabulous outlet, but it can also be a draining experience that leaves you exhausted and riddled with self doubt.

    Dont sacrifice your social life, employment, family and mental health for it. Leave lots of time for life-experience. Not only is it neccesary to have a balance, but it's a great source of inspiration/ research.

    Never doubt that your efforts are appreciated. Now, go and do something fun and frivolous for yourself. Look forward to reading ablut the updates.

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  30. Heya, Authoress. Enjoy your break. Everyone needs one once in a while. Remember that you have a blog full of folks who want you to succeed.

    Eat chocolate. Cuddle cats. Forget the publishing world -- for now, anyway.

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  31. I'm with tomalanbrosz. I was going to suggest the same exact thing. Obviously you have people who believe in your work, even the work that hasn't been taken on by a publisher. Your agent, your crit partners, Mr. A, they all think your novels have merit. So why not self-publish one of them? You have a built in promotion engine right here with this site and you wouldn't even have to reveal your identity. You could publish under a pen name and promote it here and ask all your loyal readers who blog to blog about it, read it, review it. Many of us would be happy to do that.

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  32. We all need vacations. That's why jobs come with vacation days, and people work hard to save for retirement. As writers, sometimes it doesn't feel like we should get vacations, because it's not supposed to be a job. But it is a job. It's work, and we work hard at it. But event writers need vacations. It keeps us sane. Give yourself a vacation. Enjoy it. Take time for you. The world (and your talent) will be there for you when you're ready to come back.

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  33. Enjoy the break, Authoress :)

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  34. Enjoy your break. Rest and refresh. I hope you get your joy back!

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  36. Going dark is a good idea for everyone once in a while.

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