Friday, January 7, 2011

Ramblings and Doubts

Like a lot of people, we’ve been dealing with the upper respiratory flu in our family.  Jacob had it first, then Cal and Matt.  Luke and Ariel got flu shots. (The university offers cheap shots and Ariel’s bout with the swine flu a couple of years ago taught them the importance of shots.) So far I remain flu-free. 

I’m hoping and praying that I remain flu-free for a lot of reasons—classes start on Monday for the kids and things function much better when mom is running the household.  But one of the reasons is selfish.  When I have the flu, I can’t write.  I can write with a bad cold.  In fact, it gives me permission to lounge on the couch and write to my heart’s content.  But the flu...I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work. High fevers make my eyes water—blurry vision doesn’t mix with writing.

Right now, I’m almost 2/3s of the way finished editing a novel.  And I really want to be done.  Though that means I have to start the query merry-go-round again—and with two books.  I know I’m really bad.  I have a finished novel (the detective mystery) that’s sitting in a drawer (actually computer file) collecting dust.  I even have the query letter finished.  But I got skittish.  I sent out a couple of queries, feeling very confident.  An agent asked for the full.  I got a strange rejection back. I showed it to one of my beta readers, who responded that the agent much have been “on something” when she read the full because the rejection had very little to do with the actual plot/characters of the novel and seemed to be about what the agent thought my mystery was about. 

Despite what my beta readers have said and the amazing feedback I got when I took the novel to a lit conference, I’m now plagued with doubt.  I know it’s silly, I know it’s only one agent, but...  It’s those buts that have kept me stagnating. But it’s time. As a dear writing friend says, “It’s time to get my big girl panties on.” 

She’s right. It’s time.

What about you, readers?  Have you had similar experiences?


  1. Well, I'm not a books. But sometimes my art/comic pages can be pretty nerve wracking. That is probably why I have a stack of roughed outlines in a box and haven't finished them yet..*sigh*
    But I am sure your book will do great:D
    Hope you don't get sick!

  2. Nope, I have never had such experiences.

  3. Don't let is bother you!! It's only a single agent, who probably was seriously "on something."

  4. I did have one--it was clear the agent didn't read the full partial, because he missed that there were two main characters and his brief comments, though vaguely helpful and overall positive, indicated he thought there was only one. I have a feeling he only read a couple pages. Oh well. There's an honest answer for you, huh?

  5. @Luke, cmon...what about the time you flooded the chem lab with the Eye-washer-mabob...didn't that make you question yourself at all? hmm...

  6. Do not dwell on whether you can or can't. Only ask if you will or won't.


    Yeah, doubts are pretty much a waste of time. Just do it!

  7. we didn't flood the Chem lab, some water just drained on the floor, besides, it was Mr. Meinart's idea.

  8. Love Duncan's quote--either you will or won't--duh, so simple. Very good advice and I may put it on my corkboard.
    Since I haven't yet started submitting query letters or partials of my novel, I haven't experienced this exact thing. But I did have an editor who rejected a short story because she had a vampire phobia and told me so--only my story was about a writer, not a vampire (it was a metaphor, hello)which she would have seen if she'd read more than a few paragraphs. Happily, she published a story I sent after that (you can't give up!!) but I still think the other story was as good, if not better. As Rowenna says, oh well. That's a writer's lot.
    Go get 'em, girl!

  9. What's a Beta Reader?