Friday, August 23, 2013

See-saws and Brick Walls

I finally finished the third revision of my historical fantasy. Finally! Now I'm just going through and polishing. Or...am I taking things that were fine and making them not-so-fine? Yugh. In the past few weeks I've worked myself into a state of nerves; I've definitely been playing on the see-saws at the playground lately.
 

 When I'm up I think-- this is it. I've wrote the best story I've ever written, with a premise that is unique and hopefully with catch an agent's eye. When it's my turn to go dooown I think-- But it's still just not good enough. I know it. This isn't going to happen, you're never going to see your name on a book sitting in a bookstore or a library. You're wasting your time, and all your hard work(three years spent on this story) is for nothing. Big. Fat. Nothing. Where's the chocolate?
 
Any of this sound familiar? I know it does, because if you're a writer(or anyone who cares deeply about something-- gymnastics, spelling bees, clam farming...) and you're reading this, I'd bet a dozen Baby Ruths that you've taken your turn on the see-saws at the playground too. But it's okay. It happens and it's natural. It's just part of dreaming, realizing and dealing with the obstacles that can come between you and what you so desperately want.
 
One of the reasons I like quotes so much is that they can help pull you up out of the doldrums, and oh yummy chocolate kisses, did I ever find a good one the other day, when I was reading this article: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/my-first-400-queries-were-rejected-how-i-persevered-and-got-an-agent-book-deal
 
I made sure to copy and paste the quote so that I can reread it often. Here 'tis:
 
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to
keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how
badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the
people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

21 comments:

  1. It doesn't stop, unfortunately. Even when you scale the wall and achieve your goal of publication, there's always a new and different hurdle. So write, and enjoy it, and write more, and open your hands to whatever may fall into them along the way!

    And yes, this is 100% normal. :0)

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    1. Thanks for the insight! And I'm glad I'm normal...in at least one aspect anyway, lol! ;)

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  2. Lovely quote, and best of luck in your queries!

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  3. Another writer once referred to it as the Newbery/Dinglebery syndrome. We know it well.

    In order to work effectively, we need to think of our work as worthy. When we do, we give it a chance to become just that.

    One step at a time. You're doing it, girl. See you at the Newbery!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, it means alot!

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  4. Leandra, I promise you--about 30 minutes ago my husband was telling me all about "The Last Lecture" and said I needed to watch the video. Then I sat down and read this post by you. That is just crazy!! Needless to say, I will be reading the article you linked and watching the video this week! = )

    I *completely* understand what you are feeling right now. I have signed with an agent/lost the agent/been to acquisitions more than once/never got a contract/written 3 chapter books and 8 picture books/still don't have a contract/but am still writing, attending critique groups & conferences, and pushing forward. It is HARD sometimes, but with great writing friends we can cheer each other on and help keep each other's dreams alive. Seeing how wonderful your blog is, I am certain that your new historical novel is amazing! GOOD LUCK and keep the faith, my friend!

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    1. That's funny how that worked out! The universe, huh? =) And dang, girl, you know all about those brick walls! From what I've read about you and experienced on your blog, I'd never have known that you'd faced all those hard knocks. But I am completely confident that they'll only make your success all the more sweeter. And I will be delighted to scream congratulations in all caps on your blog! ;)

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  5. LOVE THIS! Keep going girl! The fact that you have something on the screen/down on paper already means a lot!

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    1. Thank you!! That is 99.9% of the battle, isn't it?

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  6. You have a great book! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you until you nab that agent.

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  7. That's a great quote. Very true.

    Best of luck with your manuscript.

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  8. Wow...amazing quote. Thank you for sharing it! And hang in there until you're at the top of the see-saw again. :)

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    1. Thank you! And writing about and looking at see-saws is making me want to go jump on one. Its been ages! ;)

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  9. Good luck on the query train! And I definitely feel you with the ups and downs...

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    1. Can the query train be anything like the Hogwarts Express? =0) That would make it less scary!

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    2. Wouldn't it though?? Mostly it's just long and super boring, with spatterings of heart attacks and devastation...

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  10. That's a great article and a great quote. Thanks for sharing. I'm always on that see-saw as well. Wishing you more ups than downs!

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