Friday, September 26, 2008

It's Friday; It's a Good Thing

The week is over. It's been exactly seven days since I sent out my first query. It's a brutal process. I suppose there are probably many writers, many good ones even, that are weeded out through this. It reminds me of the calculus classes at college, not really meant to test whether students were qualified to be engineers but whether or not they wanted it badly enough.

The first days are a high. The first few queries a thrill. This is what I've waited for. This is the beginning of my writing being more than just a document on my hard drive. This is the end of one phase and the beginning of a new one.

But a week later, the thrill is less thrilling. Even the really good personal rejections, the ones that say I am "a talented writer" or say they are no longer taking clients but specifically refer me to another agent... these are good rejections in the scheme of things, and yet rejections nonetheless. And looming over this is the silence of all the other agents, who may have already read the query and my chapters stuck in at the end, and opted to pass without even a word to let me know.

It's brutal. It's easy to get depressed. And for this reason it's important to come back to the things I love, that I am so thankful for. Time again for It's Friday; It's a Good Thing.

What am I particularly thankful for today?

1. A critique group that is better than a cheerleading squad. I cherish every email we get, especially the days when our banter adds up to 60 some emails a day.

2. Fall weather. It's beautiful. Like a breath of fresh, cool air. It's invigorating. It's change and hope and possibility.

3. The gym. While running and weight lifting, I can't think of anything except taking the next breath. No worries, no planning, no thinking at all. Just me and breathing. It's like an hour escape from the rest of the world.

4. A really good life. While the media wants to paint America in an economic implosion, restaurants are full, movie theatres are packed, malls are bustling. My husband has a job. We have a house we can afford. We have food to eat and gas enough to get us where we want to go. We have lots of things we don't need: TV's and CD's and bicycles. We have computers and high speed internet, books, cameras, toys. I remember when we had little, when my husband had been laid off and I was pregnant with two toddlers, and for eight months we watched every penny. And even then, we made it. We don't always have a lot, but we have enough.

5. Words. I love words. I love that the English language has such fun words, beautiful words, visual words. I love that there is often a choice of words. A plethora. My favorite word I heard in the last five minutes? Festooned. How fun is that? Say it out loud. I dare you not to smile.

6. People who are so enthusiastic about Penn State that they honk at me on the highway and wave Sports Illustrated's out the window and give me a huge grin and a thumb's up.

7. Magnetic Nittany Lion's I can put on the car that lead random people to honk and wave SI's out the window and give me huge grins and thumb's up.

8. Football. I love it. And it isn't hurting that Penn State's doing pretty well this year.

Gosh, I'm feeling better already. This counting your blessings thing really works. Have a great weekend, and don't forget to notice those little things that are good around you.


  1. 1) the pug isn't coughing anymore (kinda worried about him last week)

    2) my kids both got a riding lesson today -from me- and we all still like each other

    3) we have not starved yet

    4) got some gigs lined up at the studio

    5) some agents haven't replied, so that means there's a possibility that they won't say no, right?

    6) the weather has been BEAUTIFUL!

    That query process is brutal and you're totally correct that it weeds out the ones who don't want it bad enough. We want it bad enough. Heck we want it good enough.

    I love Four Corners!

  2. I LOVE your list!

    I feel much better now. My husband and I are watching the presidential debates with lots of wine. And we are laughing A LOT! Who knew politics were so funny?

    Sometimes the publishing thing gets bigger than me. It's good to know it isn't.

  3. Take it from a rejection scarred veteran of querying-- if you've gotten rejections where they refer you to someone else, it's probably just a matter of time. The right fit and timing. They don't do that much. You must really have something. Good for you!

  4. Sue... thanks! The most comforting thing is that others have gone through this too.

    Obviously, the mood swings have swung the other way. It's only a matter of time before I'm crying again!

  5. Thanks for the "little things" reminder. They really do get us thru the rest. And I agree w/pseudosu, a referral is good news, another door opened. Good luck!