Friday, May 27, 2011

The Brutally Honest Truth

I can't believe how impossible it's been to tell the whole world, but I think it's about time. Maybe just for my own sake. Or maybe it's just so you know- in case you're still convinced I'm some kind of superstar... ha ha ha... so kidding.

First, let me tell you that I acknowledge how teeny tiny and not universally important the following is. Whew. Glad I got that out of the way.

In April my little bubble of my writing career popped. My agent, who I had signed with nearly a year previous, decided she was no longer interested in representing YA. (As a small consolation, I have reason to believe she gave the same news to her other clients. I received collective e-mails addressing her former YA writers.)

So there I was, standing with finished manuscripts in my hands and no one to represent them. I thought I had been patiently waiting for the process to work. I know how busy agents can be and for that reason I tend to leave people alone to do their job unless something important comes up.

I have to admit that I felt like a complete idiot when she said she thought she dumped me six months previously. SIX MONTHS. Uhm, she didn't. The beauty of e-mails. I read every single one she sent me, and nothing remotely referred to this. But I had left her alone for six whole months, busily writing the book she had given her enthusiastic blessing on, the whole time thinking that any day, a contract would magically pop out of the ground like a tulip.

Do I take any of the blame? Yes.

I learned that if I don't hear anything from my agent at all, I should check in at least once a month via e-mail just to be sure we're still on the same page.

Other than that, I think the hardest part has been getting over my own reaction to the hit. All I could think was that my writing wasn't good enough. Which of course equates to- I'm not good enough. And if my writing and me aren't good enough, what the heck do I think I'm doing in the book industry?

And then, after nearly two months, I've finally come to a new conclusion. People are willing to give me more chances. I have to be willing to take them.

The light went on. I was trying to convince myself that I didn't need writing, that it wasn't worth the pain I felt because I couldn't be happy unless I aspired to the career I knew I wanted. That I still want.

But in the process of trying to leave it, story ideas have tracked me down and followed me around like Marley's chains. The only way I can ever feel free is if I write.

And now- I am in love with it all over again. I still don't have an agent. I don't know how long it will take to get one. I may end up having to write a whole new story and start over with the queries.

But now I know that I will.

Not so much that I can, but that I will.

7 comments:

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

If you could get one agent, you'll get another. I think it's the hardest working, strongest-believing writers that truly make it, and I can see that fighting spirit in this post. I wish you the best of luck!

Artemis Grey said...

I know you'll get another agent, and I'll be reading another book by you soon enough! Until then, just keep believing in yourself and never stop writing! :)

Laura said...

Thank you both for your gracious words. Really. It means a lot.

Mystica said...

I agree with the first comment. She cannot be the only one around so lets see you getting someone better now.

L.T. Elliot said...

From the moment I met you, first read ALVOR, read your blog, I knew that you were going places. I can't explain it but I just know, deep in the heart of me, that there's something out there waiting for you. I don't know what or when or how but you're meant for great things, Laura.

Whatever that means, you should know how much I believe in you, how much I admire you and how brave it was of you to post this. You've never had an easy row to hoe but I have no doubts that you're going to bloom and flourish.

LouMac said...

I think I just solved your problem. I'll be your agent!!!! Haha, just kidding. I don't have the first clue about being one, and I'm not even worthy of being YOUR agent. :) But seriously, if I were one, I would pick you up in a heart beat!

I totally agree with what Artemis Grey said:

You'll soon get another agent and we'll all be reading your fantastic books that get published one after another, after another.

Don't give up hope. It may be a dry spell now, but then everything will start to blossom...

Just remember that you're an amazing author and an even better person! It'll all work out in the end...

Laura said...

Where did all you angels come from? You see so much good- and I feel so grateful for it.

From the depths of my heart- Thanks for the cheering words.