Someone I know shared this image on Facebook recently (see below). It really struck me because I was in the middle of a week that looked exactly like the ‘reality’ section and it sucked. Haven’t I told myself (and possibly you) a million times that this writing journey is hard and fraught with disappointment? Haven’t I weathered enough rejection letters to be impervious to their sting? Nope. Apparently not.
You write your first full length novel. You pat yourself on the back every time you think of your grand achievement. You edit it once (maybe). Your friends and family praise you – marveling at the fact that you managed to think that up. You pick a name of an agent or publisher at random and you send your manuscript off because you think you’re doing them a favour. And you wait for the phone call that will change your life. The phone call arrives and you’re soon handing in your resignation letter and traveling the world doing book signings.
What we really do: (or maybe it’s just me?)
You scrounge around for time to plan, research and churn out your novel. You edit it – more times than you’re willing to admit. You enlist the help of some critique readers – not family or friends, not ever, that would be too easy. You bawl your eyes out at the very true feedback you receive and edit again. You have panic attacks over your dismal query letter and synopsis, wondering if any writer has ever mastered such a task. You summon the courage to send the novel out after extensively researching every possible agent on the planet. You wait. You try not to think about it but you don’t succeed. You wait. You start working on something else to stop yourself from going back to your submitted novel. You wait.
Then you get the e-mail… “Thank you for sending us your manuscript. Having considered your work, we do not feel we could offer to add you to our list…”
And you sob your heart out.
And then you start again…
There’s a saying that goes: nothing worth doing is ever easy. It’s true. This isn’t easy. Whoever told you it would be – just because it’s your ‘dream’ – has probably never done it.
Just keep writing.