Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Won't Make It

Just ask anybody. Hell, ask me!

When I'm 82, I'll have my whole house pasted with rejection slips--even the outside!--and a hundred or so "finished" manuscripts stuffing my filing cabinets (I'll have to buy a whole lot more if I keep up this stupid writing). My poor grandkids or great grandkids, after I kick the bucket, will have to dig through all that moth-eaten crap. One of them might even try reading a manuscript or two, just to see if I really do suck as bad as I always said.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," another grandkid warns.

"I'm just reading a little."

"No, I'm not kidding. Grandma said it was all crap." This grandkid tries to pull the manuscript out of his cousin's hands at this point.

"Just a chapter," the first grandkid insists, shrugging it back.

"Okay, stupid, but I warned you."

This grandkid might even take the manuscript home and try reading it to her kids. At least until they say, "Mom, can we read something else? This stuff is crap."

"But it's your great grandma's writing."

"It's boring!"

But the manuscript won't get tossed in the trash. Instead, this little grandkid of mine--now an adult--has somehow channeled all the creativity and talent from the whole family into her little self. So she revises the manuscript. Or just takes one kernel of its ideas to use. And finally the novel I'd always hoped for comes out, beautifully written, meaningful, intelligent.

I'll read it again then, nodding. Sure, I won't make it. But that idea will, someday, somehow. And all this work will be worth it.

Wait. What am I saying? How can I be hopeful? Am I crazy?

[Slaps wrist.]

At least I won't have to see it. I can live in my discontented wonderland of rejection letters and griping my whole life, without interruption. Whew!

Now I'm off to rack up those rejections! Got a prophecy to fulfill now.


  1. Fuck all that leaving it for the grandkids, that may have been good for Emily Dickinson's sister and all but naw let them find their own way to express what's already been said...five button pushes and I can delete it all (yes I have it all digitally backed and only a few hundred on paper.)

    OH look I came to the other place.

  2. I feel like that sometimes. Querying sucks rocks.

  3. I have no doubt you’ll make it… and I am sure you’ll see a lot more rejections on the way—it’s just part of the journey.
    Keep looking for that special story, the one that you haven’t written yet, the one that turns out to be magical and sends you on your way to being published.

  4. But that's just it, Walking Man... grandkids? Like I'll care if they find it some day. I'll be dead!

    Susan, I just don't like the way it fills me with bile... like I already have the rejection letters in my hand.

    The problem with looking for the story is that it isn't a matter of having the most compelling story. It's about marketing it well. THAT is what will get a book published. The story won't get any play at all if the marketing to sell it isn't done right (or done at all).

  5. Change the prophecy. Stop putting negative thought-forms into your environment, thought-forms that'll manifest into reality (if there's such a thing as reality).

    Keep plugging away at the writing!

  6. I don't buy that... story and executions is everything, marketing comes later. Even stories labeled as “unmarketable” have found a home—and success to boot.

    Commercial appeal is helpful, but not the end-all-be-all. Great stories set the market not follow it.

  7. Don't worry, Mohamed. These thoughts are here only so that I can toss them away as foolish ones, so that I can laugh at the nasty voices instead of allowing them to control me. If you want to know what I REALLY think, read my OTHER blog. Believe me, I am WRITING happily, especially now that these voices have their own trash can.

    Jeff, the story is the thing... but I have no desire to be an Emily Dickinson. I don't want to write in a vacuum, only to have my stuff pulled out of a trunk long after I'm dead. I don't want people shaking their heads when considering my life of quiet writing or timidity. I'm not afraid of rejection at all. I expect it to happen for a while, but eventually I'll find the right agent and the right publisher at the right time, and all will fall into place. In the meantime, I'm writing. And writing, and writing, and writing.

  8. Well, if your manuscripts are half as entertaining as your blog, you might have to eat your words. :D Keep pushing, keep learning, and you can do it. I know that defeats the point of your blog, but :P I can't help being an optimist.