Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shout-out to Rachelle Gardner

This blog post is my shout-out to Rachelle Gardner.
She probably doesn’t know, but her blog was the absolute first thing I read as I sat with my newly completed two novels after five years of writing and said to myself, “Ok, I guess I have something here.  What do I do with it?”
I never intended to write a novel.  I now have three completed and find myself constantly in search of time to complete the remaining stories living in my head.  (They seem to multiply daily!  Those little buggers are worse than rabbits!)  Coming out of the writing closet and face to face with the reality of publishing is a harsh and blinding thing!  Rachelle (along with so many other agents and authors out there) is a great source of unapologetic reality and invaluable information.  Because of her blog I began to say to myself, “Maybe I can do this.”  For that, I am forever grateful (and will be even more when I actually find and agent and get published!)
As many of you might be aware I just had a blog-ument (of course I think we would both refer to it as more of a discussion than an argument) with Rachelle regarding form rejections.  Six months ago as I sat and began to take in information on agents (what I need and agent?), and querying (what kind of a letter?), and the process of becoming published (I don’t begin to know what to do!  This is impossible!), I never thought my words could be heard, let alone illicit a response, argument, discussion!  Cool!
We are writers, we are authors, we are editors and agents and publishers.  Our job is to share ideas.  New ideas, old ideas, good ideas and bad ones too.  It’s what we do.  I welcome and enjoy the opportunities I have been forced to discover as I am yet beginning on my own publishing quest.
This process, matching up with an agent, seems flawed at best.  But what relationship isn’t?  We don’t expect to marry the first guy we meet (or if we do, we figure out right away that it doesn’t happen like that!) so why do we think an agent-writer relationship should be so easy to establish?  We are individuals with varying interest and tastes, schedules and hectic lives.  It takes time, it takes trying and failing, it takes patience and perseverance.  Eventually there will be one who sees through all the words and says, “Hey, I get that writer.”  I will appreciate them all the more because of the ones who never did.  But in the meantime, I listen and learn, I read and I write.  I also really, really appreciate all the ones who don’t ‘get’ me, but share their unique point of view with me.  I learn from them, and hopefully become a better and more refined writer because of all the things they tried to tell me.
                So to all the agents out there, reading our endless queries, correcting numerous mistakes, sharing what they know, and just being people with thoughts to express; Thank You!  Specifically to Rachelle Gardner, thank you for putting so much out there, accessible, to all of those trying to find their way into this business.  It is daunting and you want to run away screaming the moment you put the search topic into the engine!  You go from “hey look what I did!” to “I can never do this!” in a fraction of a second.  Then, if you’re lucky, you find a site like Rachelle’s, with clear rules, definitions and advice.  It starts to become manageable again.  Finally, you are able to say, “Maybe I can do this”, just like I did six months ago.
                I’ll let you know when that part actually happens.  Until then, I will write and I will query.  (Oh, along with all the reading, reviewing, blogging, tweeting, following, editing, revising, oh yeah and being a wife and mom and daughter, all that stuff too.)
                Whew!  I’m tired!  Think I’ll go to sleep now.  Wait it’s the middle of the day and besides I decided to give up the whole sleep thing, very unproductive!
                Thanks for the ears and the cheers and the jeers!


Sandra Rose Hughes said...

I read the discussion about your post on Rachelle's blog. I appreciated your original comment (the one that Rachelle) was writing about, because it expresses so much of what it feels like to be an unpublished writer.

Wendy Delfosse said...

Nice! I wrote a blog in response to Rachelle's blog today, too. Definitely not because of you or any of your comments but the way other people responded to it and, sometimes, to agents in general. I think your responses have been great, though. Thanks for opening up a good dialogue. :-)

Jennifer Hillier said...

I enjoyed your post about form rejections. I thought it was very honest, and it's exactly how I felt when I was querying. Out of the 48 rejections I received, 46 were form. I would have killed for a least a hint of what I doing wrong.

Keep blogging! :)