Tuesday, January 16, 2007

On writing, organizing and other things I'd rather not think about - - - -

Today was an odd combination of why I love/hate writing. Early this morning, I went next door to my sister's when she went to work. A couple of days a week, I go, wake up the boys and we get started on our various days. Today I found myself with an unexpected bonus of an hour of free time before anyone had to do anything. Since I came prepared with a notebook, I spent a productive time writing out part of a story in long hand.

In my trusty notebook, I also made a list. I love making lists! One item on the list was to start a first draft for an article that's been swirling in my mind for about a year. Got a good start on an outline AND think it might all be starting to gel.

Later, while still having happy writing thoughts, I decided to send off an article while I was out running errands. WHAMMY! A brown envelope in the post office box. As my friend, Erica, says, a brown envelope is NOT good news for a writer. Mine wasn't. It was no surprise really---considering my success with finding an agent---to have still another send back my proposal with a form letter. It wasn't devestating or enough to send me running somewhere for a good cry. (Been there, done that, too often!) It did give me a day of introspective thought.

What is wrong with my book? Doubt rears it's ugly, warty, bug-eyed head when any kind of rejection comes. I find myself going over and over all the platitudes---someone else will want it, it wasn't meant to go to HER or HIM or THEM, God has a better plan. Somehow, none of those thoughts make me feel a morsel better. I feel---well, dirty darn--rejected!

As I drove home, I went over and over the reasons this particular agent might not have wanted the book. More doubts. Was this the RIGHT book to be writing? How sure was I that this the book I was meant to write and hope to sell at this particular time? It's easy enough to believe God inspires an idea, to write and rewrite and sweat over the manuscript, and be so sure you are on the right path. Then something causes me to stumble and all those doubts and fears
come back to haunt me. Should I keep trying to sell this book? If not, what was the purpose in writing it?

Did I come to any conclusions? Nope. Tonight, I'm still as unsure about the manuscript as I was before. I did ask God to confirm my committment to this particular project. I think I can wait in trust to see what happens.

On the plus side of the rejection, I can honestly say that it didn't stop me. This evening, I wrote over 2000 words on one WIP. The characters are leading me places I never expected and I'm having fun seeing where it will go.

Even better, two of my queries for non-fiction articles got accepted tonight. I just have to spend tomorrow rewriting the articles and email them in. So, love/hate. Joy/disappointment.
Writing is a weird occupation and writers are----well---most of us are a few dips short of an inkwell or we wouldn't put ourselves through this.

On to a better topic---my organization is coming along well. I can walk in BOTH closets, my files are LABELED, my drawers are CLEAN. It doesn't even look like the same bedroom. Now, if I can just get my pictures uncluttered. That will be the real challenge.

On another happy note, I found lots of cool stuff in the 'black hole of calcutta' (my closet.) Found a newspaper on one of the Apollo missions, several books I needed, the manual for my sewing machine and lots of stuff to pitch---moving right along!


Erica Vetsch said...

There is no way around it. Rejection STINKS with an odor only writers can appreciate. How odd that we wouldn't be happy doing anything else. We are so weird.

Congratulations on the non-fiction articles, and congratulations on making progress in the Black Hole. I can appreciate the desire to work in a peaceful, uncluttered atmosphere, but it must be a true sign of our calling that we work when and where we can because we can do nothing else.

Don't despair. Write on!

CJ said...

So sorry you got the big envelope. Things of this nature are so subjective. Keep on trying!

Hooray you made headway in the black hole and found some treasures.

nlindabrit said...

It is always nice finding treasures, isn't it. Tom and I have had the same experience in the wake of our reorganizing for Barkley's arrival.