“Don’t bring me down, I beg you
Don’t bring me down, I won’t let you
Don’t bring me down”
- Furler, Sia; Macklchan, Blair. Song “Don’t Bring Me Down” Sia
The life of an unpublished writer is fraught with uncertainty, self-doubt, and if done right, a lot of dedication. Some of my fellow aspiring writers have entered a dim period. It must be the winter blues, especially since most of these writers have witnessed an onslaught of snow, even in places where snow rarely falls.
I follow several types of blogs.
Agents and editors who dole out advice:
Published writers, some giving advice, some not:
Aspiring writers, who either talk about the trials and tribulations they face and/or offer advice:
Aspiring writers who mention writing, but often it’s more about life:
I guess my own blog would fit in that last category.
I have a problem with the term “aspiring” writer. It makes it sound like we’re aspiring to write, but rather, our aspiration is to be published, or to write well enough to be published. Laurie Halse Anderson says writers shouldn’t call themselves unpublished, but pre-published, as if there’s inevitability. Sigh.
Much of my time is spent writing. The only thing that keeps me from getting demoralized to the point of giving up is that without it, I’d be lost.
Yesterday, the first 200 words of my manuscript appeared on the “Secret Agent” Contest list. Until I saw the comments, I was happy with what I’d written. Then I wasn’t. I was down because although there were some encouraging comments, I dwelled on the parts that weren’t as positive. But they were right. In my quest to make it clear that the preface speaker was different from the protagonist starting in chapter one, I had made the language too complicated. And how many times did I use “was”? Too many times.
Then I groaned over where I’ve sent the manuscript to other places in its inadequate state. My goal is to bring the query, synopsis, and nine-pages to the conference, so it needs to be polished. That’s why I entered this contest in the first place. If I don’t hear what’s wrong with it now, the chance of an agent or agent being impressed with it at the conference are slim.
A few hours later, I got an encouraging e-mail. An editor whose blog I comment on from time to time, asked me if I’d be interested in writing a piece for his blog after I attend the conference. Would I?! Whether it was just from my one comment about the conference or several comments or because he thought I could write from viewing my blog or the contest I entered on his site, I have no idea. All I know is that I’ve been asked to write something from someone who works with writers and agents for a living. That’s something.
A glimmer of hope.
To my fellow writers, thanks for your inspiration and support. I’m glad I found you. This award is for you. We can do it!