The Big Lie

I’ve had something of a revolution going on inside the past couple of weeks. I’m cleaning out the old regime that has been ruling my writing mind with a cruel hand. Basically, I’ve come to an important realization. One I want to share, on the chance that someone else might be going through the same thing.

Ever since I started querying, I took great pride in my “realistic” approach to it all. I wasn’t over emotional. I wasn’t blinded by my love for my own stories.

Me: Sure rejections sting a bit, but they don’t rule me. I make all of my choices based on a calm, rational approach. If I stop querying a book after 20 queries, that’s because I have gauged the market, and can see it simply isn’t right. No problem. On to the next. I’m barely even sad about it.

Man, was I full of it.

What I’ve realized in the past few months is that I stopped querying books because rejections, in fact, HURT LIKE HELL. They did rule me. Especially the rejections on requested materials. They hurt, but I wouldn’t even admit how much. Deep, DEEP down, I told myself that these requests must mean my story stinks so why don’t stop making an idiot of myself and TRUNK it. But at the surface level, I applauded myself on how “realistic” and “rational” I was being.

And that was the big lie, guys.

Well, no longer. Things are going to change. I’m putting a halt on my WiP for a while. Instead, I’ve got some apologizing to do. I’m turning to the three novels I poured my heart, sweat, and tears into . . . only to trunk after a very half-hearted querying round. I’m turning to them because they are NOT crap. They are actually really good! And they deserve a real chance. I need to give them a chance.

And so I will. I’m going to be honest with myself from now on. Both on how much the rejections hurt me, but also, most importantly, on how GOOD my writing can be.

So to end on a high note, watch this, and repeat after me:

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12 Responses to The Big Lie

  1. I know EXACTLY how you feel. It’s hard to be rational when rejections hurt so much. *sigh*

  2. You’ve totally just had your “Come to Jesus” writing moment, Ren.

    *sniff*

    I’m so happy for you.

  3. Awe. I’m so glad you’re trying again! Good luck!

  4. Miriam-Very true. Rejections kind of cloud everything

    Natalie-Lol! *waves arms in the air* I believe! I BELIEVE!

    Colene-Thanks!

  5. Abby Minard says:

    That must be a big step to admit that. I think its easy for us to convince ourselves that it won’t hurt because everyone tells us to keep a thick skin and not let it get to us. But it does, and I’m sure it will with me when I start querying. Good luck!

  6. See you are SO ahead of me. I mean, I was so sure about how rationally and unemotionally I was going to approach querying. But now I am doubting myself. Maybe I will care. A LOT. Darn.

    And THREE books! Holy cow. Get back to querying!

  7. I think every writer goes through this, so yay that you’ve made it! I’m really excited to see where you go from here. :)

  8. Keep working at your books because you are right – they don’t suck and they deserve the chance to at least be queried to everyone who you believe would like your them.

  9. Abby-So true. We want to do things “right.” And the “right” way to do it is not to get too emotional about it. But obviously, I’m learning there needs to be a balance.

    Jessie-It’s tricky, because it IS good to be rational and unemotional about it. But if you do face emotion, don’t just push it down and think it’s gone. It’s still there. And it has to be dealt with. :)

    Michelle-yes. It’s a common theme. But it’s funny because no matter how many times you read about it, and think you are prepared, you still have to go through it yourself.

    Bethany-Thanks :) I think I’m really going to try. :)

  10. Shari says:

    Renee – Just found your blog via Erin’s, and I had to comment on this post. I’m just starting the querying phase for my new manuscript, but I’ve definitely been in a similar place in the past. It’s important to sort of decondition yourself to how badly rejections can hurt, but at the same time, it’s really tough to turn off those emotions. I look at it this way – it hurts because the novel means so much. It’s painful because we care so much. That doesn’t always help, but it usually helps put things into perspective for me.

    Best of luck with everything!

  11. Shari-Thanks! And you’re absolutely right, it hurts because it matter so much. And if there’s a way to make it matter less, I sure don’t know it. :)

  12. :) says:

    I’m into triple digits and aiming for 200+ before putting a book aside and querying the next.

    If you’re looking at your work from the perspective that it might not be good enough and you still think it is good enough then it’s probably good enough.

    Just a matter of stumbling upon the right agent/editor at the right time.

    Keep querying, keep writing.

    :)