by Annette Dashofy
It has been pointed out to me that this is our 999th blog post at Working Stiffs. Depending on how you count them, it could even be our 1000th. But I like 999 better, if only because it gives me a better title.
Either way, it represents the piece of advice I thought I’d share today. And that is: the only definite way to NOT get published is to quit writing.
This whole writing-revising-querying-submitting-getting rejected carousel can be maddening and extremely frustrating. So much so that I’ve seen many extremely talented writers give up and get off the ride.
At my very first writer’s conference, a top agent spoke and offered a tale of how the normal writing career progresses. You start out getting form rejection letters. Lots of them. Then, as you improve your craft, you start getting a few form rejections letters with a bit of handwritten encouragement at the bottom. Next comes the personalized rejections, which gradually get to be nicer and nicer. “I really love your writing, but…” Fill in the blank. The agent said that these incredibly nice rejections can be the most painful, because by then you’ve been at it so long. And if it’s so darned good and you love it so darned much, why don’t you accept the thing???
And at that point many writers throw up their hands in defeat and give up.
Which is just sad.
I admit at the time I heard this agent speak, I was at the beginning of the journey and still held on to the fantasy that I was the next Stephen King. Okay, okay, you can all stop laughing now.
It’s been a rough winter in many ways. I went through a spell of frustration with the direction my writing career was going. Or not going. I finally understood what drove some of those excellent writers to throw in the towel.
But I’m over it now. I reminded myself of that old bit of advice about the one sure way to NOT get published.
So, like Working Stiffs, I’m hanging in there. I’m revising and then revising the revisions. I’m preparing to get back on the querying-submitting-getting rejected merry-go-round ride.
Nine-hundred ninety-nine (or 1,000) and still going strong.