Baring It All, and Then Some


I don’t know if Natalie Whipple will ever get her book published. But if it happens, I’ll buy several copies just for the favor she’s done for all of us struggling writers.

Here, she writes a moving, suspenseful, heart-breaking account of what it’s been like for her to  be on “submission.” (Submission is the time frame when a writer or her agent submits her manuscript to publishing houses for publication.) Her journey has been ridiculously long, unfair, and stressful.

The reason her post is so significant, is because this is the one area that writers never talk about in public. (I don’t talk about it, either, despite the fact that I’m dying to.)

If you post on the internet that no one wants your book, or so-and-so Big House Editor loved the book- but the marketing department shot it down, or that your Agent dumped you, it will get back to everyone involved, and you’re shooting yourself in the foot. In this business, everybody knows everybody. And no one wants to work with a bellyacher.

But Natalie’s situation is not unusual. In fact, it’s quite typical, and it’s an excellent example of how inefficient and frustrating the process is. If you have a moment, go over to her blog, and leave her a comment telling her she rocks. She wrote a second post yesterday, that follows up on the first one. It’s equally as good.

Natalie’s posts have brought to light something I’ve been struggling with the past few weeks, as I think about 2010, where I am, and where I want to go.

Yes, I love writing. I write all day long in my head, when I can’t get to my laptop. I jot notes constantly, I delve into words while three children are screaming around me and dinner is burning in the oven. I stay up way too late so I can get down a thought. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.

Aside from my family, writing is the heart of my soul. I need writing as much as I need breathing.

But here’s the thing: I don’t know if I love it enough.

It’s a sobering thought, but it’s true. I don’t know if I love it enough to deal with heart-breaking rejection. I don’t know if I love it enough for the non-responses, the harsh criticism. I know I don’t love it enough to expose my personal life or the lives of my family. I know I don’t love it enough to spend time building a platform, creating a “brand.”

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2 thoughts on “Baring It All, and Then Some

  1. Food for thought. Hmmm…

    I’m not a writer, I don’t necessarily enjoy writing, I don’t jot down notes and I don’t know that I care enough to build a brand, either. I just don’t think that my life is all that interesting. A reality show? MAYBE.

    I do it to vent. TO get it out. For therapy. That’s about it.

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