Writing > Sophomore Slump?

Sophomore Slump?

Published: March 15, 2011

My second book is ready to be shopped around to agents. I did this briefly with my first book, a memoir, but realized that nobody was going to buy the poor man’s version of Eat Pray Love with a sarcastic 6’1 off kilter protagonist and I stopped. I knew my memoir wouldn’t be the first book I sold; that a publisher would come back to it after something easier to sell was sold. Don’t ask me how I knew or believed this because it occurred to me before I had even finished writing it. It didn’t make sense it just was and I didn’t really ponder it, just chalked it up to my crazy and kept plugging away. That book took about 8 years to write and edit. So here I am at that doorway of that “easier to sell second book”, the first fiction work I’ve finished and its show time.

I have some writer friends who have used a company back east called Writer’s Relief with some success. This company offers many services to writers; I chose the cheapest they had, ala carte service which nets me 25 targeted agents names for my specific work from their database and some guidance on submissions, and pre-printed labels for the agents that use snail-mail.

Writers Relief sent the first wave of names for e-submissions last Wednesday. I took a deep breath and sent material to the seven agents who wanted a query letter and or pages from the book. The other four names want a synopsis. That being said I am writing this blog and not writing the synopsis I need for sending the next batch of e-submissions. I am stalling. Yea I know, you are shocked and appalled. I didn’t write a synopsis for my first book, and hoped nobody would want one for the second. I was wrong.

I have done a fair amount of research on my own with my first book. That time I wrote queries, researched agent names and in the end submitted to about 30 agents. I got bites from 3 wanting to see the book but no takers. It can be a heartbreaking process as most of what you get is rejection. You have to get lots of rejections before you can get accepted, that is what they tell me. It’s like dating and relationships best I can tell but that is a whole other blog. I can deal better with someone rejecting my book, which is not personal or as personal as your sweetie heading for the hills. The reality is in both situations neither of those things is personal; neither have anything to do with you.

By Thursday morning I had my first rejection. It stung, and sucked just a tad. I am opening the flood gates to more of this, in this next round, twenty-four more times. So here I sit thinking that I should open some wine and keep working on this blog to avoid the work I need to do to get closer to both the good and the bad. I am gearing up for writing the synopsis true, but I am also gathering my courage to put my work out there again to be judged, tossed aside and rejected. But if don’t put it out there it can’t be accepted, read and loved, again just like dating and relationships.

Not being willing to put your heart, your writing, your truth on the line undermines what is both wonderful and heartbreaking about being alive. It is both of these things we hold in our hands as we stumble around in this world learning how we fit. It is our willingness to fail that will lead us to success; I know this from years of experience. This is not comfortable but it is true. The level of honesty we apply as we navigate our relationships, our art and what we choose reveals our integrity of self. That being said I am drinking wine and stalling. I know with all certainty I am going back out there and shop around this book and I am also going to date, fall in love and maybe get my heart broken again. It’s all part of having a pulse as far as I am concerned. As long as I’m looking down at the dirt instead of looking up at it I plan on living with abandon despite the fear and despite the joy, it’s about riding it till the wheels come off and then some.


1. Ridden Wench on March 15, 2011

There is going to be the perfect...SMARTEST publisher ever that will find you to be the greatest find... and all the others that weren't smart enough to pick you up will damn themselves for being so stupid and ill read! I love ya girl... you keep plugging away and doing you!

2. Mame Dennis on March 19, 2011

Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!

3. Edna Mode on March 25, 2011

Never look back, Darling. It distracts from the NOW.

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