The Good, The Bad, The Ugly


Saturday was my Writers Conference. I submitted 20 pages in March, to be critiqued by an agent.

I’ve got good news, OK news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?

I’ll give you the OK news first.

She thinks I write beautifully. In fact, I think she might have used the word “flawless” — though perhaps I’m inserting that term into my memory to inflate my ego. The pages she handed back to me were essentially clean. There were no major suggestions for revisions/rewrites, most pages had nothing written on them at all, aside from a compliment.

Here’s the bad news.

She won’t represent me because she doesn’t think there’s a market for my book.

If I had written on a different topic, she said she would have signed me on the spot. She gave me her card, and said to contact her if I wrote anything else. She was quite nice and sincere when she said this, so I think she really meant it.

But honestly, I would almost have rather she ripped my writing to shreds, but then told me that it was a very marketable book. Because at least then I could work on it, and possibly sell it. It’s almost worse that she likes my writing but doesn’t like the topic.

Since the proposal is mostly finished. I’m going to just try to get an agent anyway. I don’t doubt that it’s going to be a tough sell, and that I probably won’t be successful. But I’ve come so far, there’s really just no point in turning back. (Also, how hard is it to email a bunch of agents a proposal? I don’t even have to leave my home.) I’m also going to try to submit to small publishing companies, unagented.

I came home from the conference exhausted and truly bummed out. I fell asleep at 9, and moped around the first half of the next morning, uttering such overly-dramatic phrases to my husband and children such as, “I don’t know why I kill myself doing this!” and “I’m never doing to get anywhere as a writer” and “I should just give up and go back to law.”

Then, when I was putting the baby down for a nap, I got an idea for a children’s picture book. I came downstairs and spent the rest of the day writing.

By late afternoon, I had outlined most of the book, and had a few pages written.

I don’t know that I’ll ever finish it. I don’t even know that I like the book. But that’s not really the point, is it?

Because the good news is, is that which doesn’t kill me, keeps me writing.

I don’t know what to think of Elizabeth Edwards, up at skirt! At least I’m not the only one.

Update: MemeGRL just sent me this link about Elizabeth Edwards. My fingers are crossed that it’s true. But if it is, why the heck did she write the book?

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4 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

  1. Man, what a trip. I’d feel the same way. I know the publishing industry just stinks right now and while that’s no consolation, I don’t know. I wish I had something better to say to you.

    I’d get that proposal out there. That agent’s opinion is their own and not the truth.

    You ARE a beautiful writer.

  2. I hope you keep writing, because you are so gifted. And that agent’s opinion is just that–one person’s opinion. I agree with you–keep sending out the proposal. What do you have to lose???? Good luck!!!

  3. I feel very bad for Elizabeth Edwards, mainly because I dated a guy that my family told me was EXACTLY like that (recent history) and I semi-understand her conflicted state. In a lot of ways my ex is a really great person and I will always love him, but I found after about a year that he had an entitled attitude towards the concept of fidelity, he truly had no concept of how his actions harm/humiliate/upset other people and very poor impulse control.

    The truth is that people like this aren’t born bad or anything, and they’re usually extremely charming, extremely driven, and extremely ambitious and as a result they both attract and go after attractive “good” girls, most of whom fall under their spell because who doesn’t want the awesome/charming/cute/similarly educated dude? Unfortunately, individuals such as these are also making up for deep insecurities and problems and the end result is the public humiliation of the women who yoke themselves to the idea of a mutual rise through the ranks (see also, E. Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Elliot Spitzer’s wife).

    I could see how with the pressure of children, a long term marriage and a very public profile women like E.E. want to stay. The second reason is that EVERYTIME these guys will drag you back in by apologizing, saying they’ll never do it again…and you want to believe that. First because you want to believe that deep down they love you and secondly because you want them to have the same morality and commitment towards you that you have towards them. I feel that these desires often lead to the inclination to “blame” the other woman.

    Sad to say but it was the combination of the Spitzer and Edwards dramas playing out so publically that ended up sealing my decision to leave because I knew in 20 years that was going to be my fate while everyone debated behind my back whether I stayed for the money.

    This is all to say that my heart really goes out to her but I wish for her sake she had paid more attention early on because I know that the warning signals that the guy is putting himself first over and over again are there fairly early on.

  4. well, first off. if you ever write another book, hell yes, you’ve got a way to get it published.

    second, she’s not the only publisher fish in the sea.

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