Okay, reaction to the rejection over. Big girl pants on and behaving myself today.
After my wobble, I tripped over an older log of mine, this one: Getting an agent – some more ideas. So I read it. You know what, when I’m not an emotional cripple, I actually can talk some sense.
As a result, yesterday evening, after I’d finished working, I sat down with “The Writers and Artist Yearbook” (admittedly from 2019, but that’s new enough), and went through looking for other possible agents. I checked their websites to ensure that they were open to submissions and if so, what they wanted in a submission – not all agents want the same thing so there’s no point in sending the same thing to everyone.
I also had a bit of a chat about things with a couple of friends who were helpful with suggestions about agents they know and who cast a quick eye over my submission prep. I then spent this morning revising and polishing my pitch, synopsis and first 50 pages. And more importantly, I’ve submitted to another agent.
This is good on the principle that each submission is one step closer to the agent who’s going to take me on. But there’s still the awful wait of up to 3 months to hear possibly nothing if they aren’t interested. But that’s the way with agents. All I can do is write my best work and present it, and in the manner of “Sweet Charity”, do my best to live hopefully ever after.
Another day, another rejection. It gets difficult to stay positive when all you get is negative reinforcement.
I get my work out there, put myself out there, but I get a fair bit of negativity back, though in fairness, a little positivity too. I keep trying, I make submissions to agents and publishers, but the big publishers can only be accessed via an agent, and the agents just reject or just don’t respond.
I am a good writer, and quite a prolific one. Here are all but one of the books I have out (one is missing because it published 7 days ago and I haven’t had chance to change the graphic to my satisfaction yet):
The problem seems to be that I don’t fit easily into any particular pigeon hole. On those rare occasions when I get feedback, it’s not the writing they reject, it’s the fact that they don’t know how to market the work.
If the people whose job it is to sell stuff don’t know how to sell my writing, how should I? Marketing was never my strong suit. Well, here’s the thing, that’s what I’m going to have to figure out isn’t it? Learn to do the marketing.
Sigh, but not today, today I’m going to let myself experience the emotions another rejection brings up, I’m going to sort the TBR pile into the space I’ve recently made for it, and tomorrow I will dust myself down, pick myself up and submit again. I will learn and improve. As things should be.
I’m a winner, that’s not something I often say, but today it’s definitely true.
Today, I got a message from Alison Belsham, to tell me that I’d won a copy of one of her books from a free giveaway. How lucky is that?
I rarely win stuff like this, so I’m really grateful to win what I know to be such a fantastic book – and it’ll be signed! That’s so good. Definitely something to celebrate. Thanks to Alison, and it all goes to prove, you’ve got to be in it to win it.
Yesterday I talked about the nerve wracking experience of submitting to a competition – which by the way I did a few minutes ago. Normally for me nerve wracking means nail biting – literally. I bite my nails.
Or more correctly – I used to bite my nails.
I have no idea at what point I finally stopped biting my nails, but I do seem to have, I have ten actual nails now. Nails that extend beyond the nail bed. See:
Still got ugly hands, but the nails look great. I’m using OPI Nail Envy to help, just in case anyone was wondering.
Now I am not here as a beauty blogger, there are plenty of them around, so I’m not going there.
I’m writing this becuase of what it indicates.
I’ve been biting my nails all my life. I bite for bordom, stress, nervousness, when I’m happy, when I’m sad, basically, any time for any reason. And now I’ve stopped. I can’t tell you when, just that I did, but this is what calm and contentment can do for you.
I’m happy with it. And hopefully I can keep that up because right now it’s not only the one competition entry that I’m nervous about, but an agent submission that I’m waiting to hear about. Keep your fingers crossed for success on all fronts (and your nails unbitten too).
Between other things today, I have been working on my short story for the Honno submission. I’ve got the word count to the exact allowance, and I’ve checked spelling and grammar, all seems okay.
Only thing is – I’m not sure if it’s great or awful.
This kind of self doubt is not exactly a me problem, it’s a writer thing. Lots of writers I know suffer with what’s called ‘imposter syndrome’. We’re all just waiting to be found out. The reality is that we’re not imposters, but writing is a difficult game.
Anyway, one thing about the short story, is that it’s actually an origin story for the main character in a new series that I’m working on. So I’m hoping that my story gets picked because it’s the first test of the character, so if it gets rejected, I’m in trouble for the series. Very nerve wracking.
No I didn’t dress in Georgian attire and so suck some blood, but I did have to spend the day in a darkened room and hiding from the sun lest it turn me to a pile of ashes.
Basically, I had a migraine. Even light hurt.
But today the migraine is gone, swapped for a backache, though that was less swapped as paid for.
After day of doing nothing because I couldn’t do anything, today I have caught up.
I’ve shortened a load of curtains for my daughter, I’ve been to the supermarket, prepared a casserole for tonight’s dinner, planted up a load of pots for the front garden, and placed them out – which is what lead to the backache.
So now, I’ sitting down to blog, and catch up on some stuff on the internet stuff I couldn’t face yesterday. So, not much to say today, but feeling good, and wanted to share that.
It’s been from the sublime to the ridiculous today. Yesterday I was so shattered I couldn’t do anything, today I am shattered because I haven’t stopped. So far today I have:
Transplanted plants from the front garden to pots (13 pots, I hope the transfers are luckier than that number.
Done 2 9kg loads of washing.
Hung all the washing on the line.
Painted the front fence – it’s 6 foot tall it was thirsty for paint (yes lots of gardening being done at the moment.
Cooked a fish pie (which I’m looking forward to eating because it’s in the oven right now and smells wonderful!)
Been a taxi service for my daughter.
Written 6 marketing paragraphs.
Posted a blog and stuck that on social media.
And now I’m writing this blog.
Apparently, the post-vaccine exhaustion has left me, though I have every intention of doing little more today. After dinner I am going to have a long soak in a hot bath and then put my feet up with a book for the evening. There doesn’t appear to be much on TV, so I may binge some more of “Shakespeare and Hathaway”.
Sleep is something that often eludes me. I consider myself lucky if I get a full six hours a night. But not this weekend.
I had my covid jab on Friday, Friday I was okay, felt like I’d been kicked in the arm because it was so painful, but I wasn’t ill, until Saturday. Saturday I was just wiped out. I got up late, couldn’t concentrate, only managed to read half a chapter of the book I’m reading. In the end I went to bed early – half six in the evening early.
Never have I ever felt so wiped out.
This morning I got up late, I decided I had to go and get a bit of work done in the garden. I spent an hour and a half pottering (pulling out ivy and bagging it up) and then I was exhausted. So I came in, put the roast on, then had to sit down for an hour.
As I write this, it is half seven and I’m pretty much ready to go to bed and sleep another fifteen hours. But I’ve stuff to do, so I’d best get on.
Just to let you now, after my little grumble yesterday, my mood is on the up today. Part of the reason for this is without a doubt, just the erratic alteration of hormones. That said. Other things had a definite uplifting affect.
This first may seem like a odd thing to feel good about, but it brightened my day. I work in the conservatory and it’s usually very cold, but I went in to start work around 08:30. What was lovely, what pleased me was that I didn’t actually have to put the heater on. Small thing, but not having to spend on heating is a good thing to my mind.
Once I settled into work, I saw that at far-too-early-o’clock I had received a message asking if I was free for an editing commission later in the year – I am, and getting work always pleases me. If you’re looking for a structural edit this year, contact me for a quote (see gailbwilliams.co.uk).
Later this morning, I saw a friend had posted a very nice note about my writing, my books both in crime and steampunk. Added to that, other people, most of whom I don’t know, piled in with other compliments on my writing. Apparently, I’m still a little over sensitive today, as those touching thoughts brought tears to my eyes.
Then, I made a phone call to a local gardener. I wasn’t expecting much as we’ve recently had trouble getting tradesmen to the house. However, not only did he turn up when he said he would, he gave us a good price and he started the job straight away. Not only that – he finished it!
I also managed to get a load of tidying up done, which is always good for my mental health.
So this just goes to show that no matter how dark one day might feel, there’ll be light in tomorrow.
Since going self-employed I’ve been generally very happy and upbeat. The last couple of days have changed that.
Before I was published, I was being told how I wasn’t good enough to get published. Now I’m published, I keep hearing how I’m not good enough to sell. That I’m not “in the genre”.
Usually when I hear that sort of thing, I try to stick two fingers up and move on. But I’m struggling to do that at the moment.
I’m feeling like a failure. I know I’m not a best seller, I don’t go easy on my readers, so I don’t get great sales, but I know that, I don’t need some trite, arrogant prima donna rubbing it in. Added to this is the fact that I haven’t heard from the agent I submitted to six weeks ago, so that feels like a rejection. I’ve just finished a novel that I don’t know what to do with – or indeed if it’s worth doing anything with. My editing commissions have dried up, and I failed an assignment on the correspondence course I’m doing. So I’m in a funk.
Oh and just to add insult to injury – I’m back to being anaemic and the iron tablets are upsetting my digestion.
Little wonder I’m feeling down really. Of course, this too will pass.