“Of course, I won’t give up,” I replied to the New York agent who dropped me a note saying she had read The Murder Plague manuscript, found it wanting, and took a pass.
“I would encourage you to submit elsewhere,” she had concluded.
What else can we do?
I mean, after drinking the beer, enduring the troubled sleep and witnessing that universal sign of hope, another sunrise, it feels like a time to get over it.
Every rejection letter from an agent hurts a little bit. But most of those rejections are based on a query letter, maybe a synopsis and maybe a few pages. When they ask for the full manuscript, and you send it off, and you enter that oh-my-God-oh-my-God anticipation, and you don’t get the phone call, but rather an e-mail, the hurt goes deep. Doesn’t it?
“Unfortunately…” Any sentence that starts with that word might as well have brass knuckles on it. “Despite my initial interest, I will be passing … ” she continued.
Here’s where her e-mail really got troubling: she offered constructive criticism. She told me WHY she felt the need to write the word “unfortunately.” Her observations were gracious, thoughtful, unnecessarily honest and potentially enormously helpful.
But what do I do? That’s where the dilemma begins.
I believe in biorhythms; not from some mystical, California-lifestyle point of view, but from personal awareness and observation.
Sometimes I’m purely in the mood to write. Sometimes I’m purely in the mood to read. I haven’t written a damn word in a month. But I’ve gone through several books.
That can’t be a good pattern for anyone serious about writing novels. Everyone says, you’ve got to write, write, write, regardless of the weather, the life distractions or the psycho-physiological cycles.
Bull shit, I say.
Sometimes, I’m just not in the mood and I’ve found that at times like that when I do write, it turns out to be garbage. So I don’t beat myself up over it. I just ride it out. I’ve been through these cycles too many times before.
At any rate, I’m going to launch into a full-out effort to rewrite and improve my unpublished novel, Eve’s Swath. It’s a great story that I’ve neglected since I launched into my full-out effort on The Murder Plague a year or so ago.
Watch for more about Eve’s Swath here soon.