My novel, Other Wise, is finished and the next phase of the process is underway. As I send it forth to agents — thank goodness for simultaneous submissions — I’m focusing on process and not publication. Publication will come. I trust in that. I have options. There are always options. But for now, I’m exploring the world of queries and submissions. I’m in the process of crafting cover letters tailored to specific agents, researching the requirements of each, including the requested chapters or synopses or personal background statements or all three into the text of an email or attachment.
I’m learning. Ever learning. Adapting. Adjusting. Ever moving forward.
Rejection is a fact of the writing life. There is a sting when one comes in, of course; but, there’s often useful feedback to be garnered. One agent who had requested the first chapter, told me that she didn’t connect with my protagonist in the way she had hoped. STING. But, she added, “Please know that this is a subjective response, and that another agent may feel differently. I’m sorry not to be writing with better news, but always remember that even getting rejected means you’re still in the game.” A tiny dab of salve to sooth the sting.
Meanwhile, I’m working on the second novel, new short stories, and a collection of poems. I’m considering a print edition of my audio-book (Out of the Dark, a collection of short stories). I continue to write bi-weekly children’s stories for a small paper. And … so on. You get the picture. I’m not sitting around waiting for word. I’m writing. That’s what I do. I am a writer.
Publication is wonderful. I rejoice when a story of mine appears somewhere – finds a readership. I want Margaret’s story to be out in the world. I feel obliged to get it out there. And I will carry through on that obligation. But I also know that publication is not the measure of my worthiness as a writer. With every word I write, I am refining my craft, plumbing my depths. As a former writing mentor often said, “Never a day without a line.” (nulla dies sine linea – Horace).
For years, I focused on writing and publishing short stories, then I asked myself a question. How does it feel to write a novel? To follow through to the end of a longer piece? And so I wrote one. Now I’m asking what it feels like to market my novel. And so I’m querying.
I’m at my desk. In process. Answering my own questions. And writing every day.