I have a good friend who’s really down today because her wonderful fantasy novel keeps getting rejected. It’s hard to feel TOO sorry for her when she’s getting such nice rejection letters…the editors all have a lot of positive things to say about her manuscript (which she glosses right over), but there’s always some reason they ultimately can’t take it to committee. It’s also hard to feel sorry for her because she’s only had 5-6 rejections on it (none of them form rejections, BTW), and I KNOW IT’S GOING TO GET PUBLISHED EVENTUALLY!!!
But it’s not my manuscript. And MY telling her it’s going to get published eventually sounds hollow, I know. I don’t know anybody who tries harder than she does. And she IS published. She’s published a novel and several picture books, a couple of which have gotten some really great reviews and are selling well! But yet she said today, “I’m a fraud. I can’t write a good, publishable novel.” She’s NOT a fraud. She CAN write a good, publishable novel. She’s done it several times before. AND…she leads novel writing retreats all over the country, and teaches other people how to write good, publishable novels.
But I know how she feels. And I’m guessing anyone who’s reading this post knows how she feels, too. It’s HARD to be a writer sometimes. I tell kids all the time, “anyone can be a writer…you just have to want it badly enough to stick with it through the hard times.” I honestly believe that.
Sometimes *I* feel like a fraud because I haven’t published a book with a major New York publisher. Nevermind there are many days I wonder if I really want to publish with a New York publisher. I like my small publishers…they take very good care of me. But there’s this nagging little voice inside me that tells me I really haven’t “made it” until a New York publisher wants to publish my work.
And then there’s the agent thing. I’ve sold 16 books of my own (soon to be 19…I have 3 contracts pending right now)…actually, I’ve sold 26+ if you count work-for-hire/series books…but I can’t seem to interest an agent. Not that I’m trying all that hard…I tend to query 2-4 agents in a given year. And again, there are a lot of days I’m not so sure I want/need an agent. But on the days I DO want an agent…and I actually do some research and I think I’ve found one who would be perfect for me, they’re never interested. Why is that? Am *I* a fraud?
Are there any writers out there who DON’T feel like they’re a fraud at some point? Are there any PEOPLE out there who don’t feel like they’re a fraud at some point? Whenever I feel too sorry for myself, I think of all the people I know who are just working a job, counting down until the weekend…I’d take my life over theirs any day. At least I’m doing something I love…