Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Honesty, Not Whinesty.

So, I've been battling with what to do and what I want to do and what I need to do over the past couple weeks. And I THOUGHT last week I decided to just stop blogging for now. I didn't see where it was helping me at all, and I didn't see where forcing myself to make time for it would help matters right now.

But today, as I'm missing the community, and feeling guilty about how many of you guys I haven't dropped in on in so long (meaning: all of you), I decided instead of hiding from you all I'd just pop in and be honest. I mean, this blog was started with the original purpose to chronicle the journey to published author. What point it is if I disappear and don't write about it when things get a little sticky? (or cement like) Okay? So here we go.

I have nothing to post about that is helpful in any way to potential authors. (IMO, maybe someone else will see that it isn't all sunshine, magic fairy farts and a 6 figure book deal in 3 months time. Maybe that will help them not be discouraged to know other people don't make it so easy. I donno.)

I am not an author. I am a writer. Those things are completely different to me, and I do not feel comfortable trying to impart wisdom on anyone when I'm having such shit luck at querying my book right now.

I have absolutely nothing to offer you guys besides my opinions, my personality, and my experiences.

If you have any inclination to know any of those things about my writing experience and so forth, then that's what you'll get. But I don't want anyone to come here looking for huge knowledge barfs and expect to be the next anyone bigger than me (everyone) from my blog posts. Okay? I feel this is much better to tell you all, and lower the expectation in my own head for my blog, otherwise I will absolutely give it up until I can come back and say "I got an agent" or "I'm going to be published" or anything along those lines.

So lets try out honest me, not wracking-my-brain-for-advice-and-insight-that-I-just-don't-have-right-now me, and see how that goes, okay?

As of right this moment I'm querying and have been for a couple months. When I began I was like a cracked out horse busting out of the gate, hauling ass. I got requests for fulls almost immediately (and one from a DREAM AGENT holy crap!). So my head was practically floating it was so big. Which, I should have known then was my downfall.

See, I'm a believer that if my expectations are high, and I tell people about possible good news, I jinx myself. It always happens. Which. I did this time too. It was one agent after another with the fulls who came back and said no thanks without any explanation why. I know they're busy folks, and I don't bash them or wish them any harm because of it, I just donno what the problem is now or how to fix it.

And since then it has been a complete poop-storm of no's.

But, I did have another beta reader blaze through it in 2.5 days, and immediately ask for the second (which, obviously won't be written until the first's future looks bright.) So that was a bit of sunshine in the middle of my poop-storm.

I'm not discouraged yet. I have so much encouragement and love coming from other people, that it's hard to stay down about it all the time anyway.

But, isn't there a ratio or something--so many rejections vs requests and you need to tweak your query? If anyone knows what I'm talking about, feel free to educate me. I'm feeling like I may need to start the tweaking. 

But on the bright side, just finished up my Girl Trip for this year, and had a much needed time out from all the sighing and ho-humming.

So, all in all, I'm discouraged but not out. Writing a new book for distraction that I'm enjoying, and keep on plugging along.

How's everyone else going? I've been loving stalking around spying on good news here and there. New, gorgeous book covers and things. It's all fabulous! I'll stop lurking soon, I swear. ^_^

Happy Monday, all!


  1. Get out of my head. How did you fit in there anyway? I thought my skull was too crowded already. =op

    I read this whole post nodding my head and saying 'yep... yep... yep'. Been there, done that, nailed it shut, got the t-shirt and a free bus pass to Isucktown. I think discouraged is the natural state of being for the unpublished writer. And yeah, some of my blog posts are out there because I hope someone else can feel they aren't alone out there.

    You are not alone, Colene. :hugs: Have fun with your new WIP and as long as you're still plugging along, you're winning. (And remember how when you said you were going to start querying and I said I was, too? Well, I realized my book needed some massive editing again, started to hate myself and only just recently started writing again. So, yeah, you totally aren't alone.)

  2. I come here for you.
    Don't feel bad about not giving sound advice. Even after two books I still don't feel qualified. So don't worry about it and just be real.
    Have you contacted Matthew at the QQQE about help with the query?

  3. Hey lady!

    I've been away for a while too and, in some ways, it has been for the same reason. I feel I have nothing to offer. Nothing to offer but myself and my opinions and my view of my little corner of this great wide world. And you know what? That's ok. It's what YOU have! And when you're YOU, people see the truth in that and come back. People appreciate honesty and the like coming back, checking up on your, making sure you're ok and cheering you forward.

    So here I am, cheering you on, making sure you're OK and saying, keep doing what you do and it doesn't matter if what you put on here is profound or insightful or just plain day to day diary entries. As Alex said, we come here for you :D Even if some of us (ahem -me-) tend to get dragged off in some nether region by school work and fail to come by in any regular capacity!

    Cheers and hugs,

  4. I nodded all the way through as well. I've often thought that why should I blog if I don't really have any advice to give anyone, but I don't think blogging is necessarily about that. To me it's about seeing that other people are going through the same thing as you.

    I went through the querying woes for a while, but after getting a rejection that said that my first chapter wasn't as good as she hoped, I knew I had some editing to do. Before that I think I tweaked my query after every rejection. It's such a painful process, this getting published thing, just keep writing. But I would miss your blog if you left.

  5. I'm so tracking you, Colene. I've been querying for a month now, and while I haven't had any full requests yet, I have had some partials and those nos HURT I'll tell you. I'm still waiting on that first full request and I've gotta say, the confidence is dwindling lol.
    Don't feel like you have to post only "advice and sunshine and unicorns" on your blog. We like seeing honesty (not whinesty ;) because we're all in these trenches together. I think seeing someone else have an easy time of things just makes the rest of us mad, doesn't it? Like, why was it so easy for them and I'm sittin in this "all hope is lost corner" as my friend calls it, flinging my own poop?
    We should compare agent lists--maybe I've found some you haven't tried yet, or vice versa :)

  6. Don't worry; your opinions and personality are interesting enough. Write about your most recent trip to Little Rock or your next tattoo. And then at some point I'm sure your book will be accepted. DOn't give up, and enjoy some blogging in the meantime >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  7. ugh! This journey can be so discouraging the entire way. I think that's why I'm still here--because I get so much encouragement from all my fellow writers. We're all in this together. Try not to put so much pressure on your bloggy self. And GOOD LUCK w/the sunny beta readers. If you're getting requests, you're getting close. Hang in there, honey! :o) <3

  8. I think everyone experience blog fatigue/ writer fatigue/ just plain old human fatigue and it's totally natural. Summer's almost here. Sounds like the perfect time for a break :)

  9. Re: "I have absolutely nothing to offer you guys besides my opinions, my personality, and my experiences."

    I seek nothing more. Heck, I can't give anything more of myself. :-)

  10. Just don't give up. It's hard. I'm querying myself right now, and the rejections keep rolling in, slowly, but surely.

  11. I think keeping writing and focusing on a new project is the way to go. Keep making progress, and don't let yourself give up (I've been tempted to so many times!). And if you've stopped getting responses from the query, maybe tweak it? I don't know. I'm certainly not a query expert. :) Good luck, Colene!

  12. Oh Colene! I understand. "I have absolutely nothing to offer you guys besides my opinions, my personality, and my experiences." When I first started blogging and reading blogs I realized I didn't have anything to offer in the way of writing information. So... I decided I share those things that have meaning to me: stories about growing up in the Virgin Islands, words, and anything about my present life that I thought worth sharing. Your opinions, your personality, your experiences are really what writing is all about, no matter what the genre or the age level.

    And as for submitting... If not this book, then another one.

  13. I feel your pain. I was happy to stop querying to work on my revision request (but I'm not holding my breath that the agent will love it). It's amazing, even though I've stopped querying months ago, rejections (and one request) are still rolling in. It's like agents want to remind me they're still there to torment me with rejections even though I've long forgotten about them.

  14. Agents are not taking clients on because traditional publishing has never been in more dire straits.

    You got fulls; that is awesome.

    Seriously give some consideration to epublishing. Take ownership for yourself.

  15. I completely, completely understand. Writing first, blogging second. We didn't do this to become professional bloggers (although some do, and that's totally cool). Your blog is always around when you have the time and the energy, and it's okay to let it go when you've got too many things on your plate.

    I know querying is tough! Hang in there, my lovely!

  16. Ditto on what you said and Ditto on what everyone else said ;p Thanks for being honest- we all need that in our journey toward publication. Love ya, Lady!

  17. I guess this is a topic a lot of us are thinking about today. :) Yup, I got nothing on the advice line either. I've just shelved my last book. Pretty much your story exactly. But like you said, now I'm working on the next book (which I'm loving), and I'm honestly enjoying not being in the query frenzy.

    So here's to blogging with our honest selves!

  18. I've been in somewhat of a blogging funk, too. But more on that later. But I'm trying to get over it. And I totally get where you're coming from!

  19. I'll be honest with you. It's the people and their personalities that shine through their posts that draw me back and not the inspiring advice on writing (as much as I may be grateful for those words of wisdom).

    Post what you can when you can. And be you. You is what keeps me coming back, Colene.

  20. People were drawn to this blog because of your personality! They're naturally drawn to you. You don't have to offer advice. We come here to laugh with you because you are funny and we love to read you. As for the Rs - this business is soooo subjective. If we try to figure it out, we fail. Being surrounded by everyone in this community will help buoy you an keep you up when the Rs roll in. It's good that you are surrounding yourself! You'll get there in the end - it's a journey. We're not in this to win the race just to get to the finish line. You're far too talented not to get there!! Love you. Mean it!

  21. I love visiting you and my other good blog friends because we're all writers, and have that artistic connection. I don't care about advice and whatever. I don't hardly ever do anything like that on my blog, either.

    And, I'm in query hell now, too. I've barely gotten any responses at all, which is enough to make a girl psychotic. So, I feel ya. And all we can do is just keep coming back, to our writing and our dreams. I recently found out that Laurell K Hamilton got over 200 rejections for her Anita Blake series, which is now on book 20 or something. We just gotta hang in there, and it'll happen eventually.

  22. Thank you for being honest :-) I'd say it's definitely preferable to blogging about something your heart isn't even in right now. And anyway, I like reading your blog no matter what you're talking about :-)
    (Seriously. You can make anything amusing.)

  23. I hang here cause your blog is awesome! I've taken a step away from advice too. What the heck do I know? Zippo. Besides if you stop blogging, who else is going to tell me about awesome books like Hex Hall and the Rachel Morgan series?

    Good luck with your query and your new novel project. Hang in there.

  24. "I have absolutely nothing to offer you guys besides my opinions, my personality, and my experiences."

    That's quite a bit actually. :)

  25. Excellent post, especially mention of unicorn farts because, I mean, who doesn't love those?

    Sorry for the poop-storm, but the if you want a rainbow, you gotta put up with--

    Nah, that doesn't work. I'd say grab some more betas, ask them to be brutal in pointing out what doesn't work for them, see if any of them match up, then revise as needed and move forward.

    It only takes one yes. You'll get it. :)

  26. I think we all get to this point, but a quote, yes, yes a quote, always seems to egg me on.

    An author is an amateur who didn't give up.

    Don't give up.


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