Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Love Me, Damn You -- Coping with Demoralization

How do I deal with demoralization as a writer?

~snort~           ~snicker~          ~rolls on floor~

Dear readers, last week I re-engaged in the great Agent Quest. Since this is not my first time into the foray, I find this week's topic a wee bit amusing. You see, my previous stories were shot down in great flaming blazes of form-rejections.

~clutches pearls~
~slaps back of hand to brow~
~nails couch landing~

The first time, I took rejection like a champ. I mean, hey, I have a lot of stories spinning through my head-space. I'll just write something else. Something different. I reminded myself the rejections weren't personal (as if any of these people knew me, psht). I pulled up a new doc and stared at the blank page one.

~blink, blink~
 ~drum, drum~
~spin, spin~

It occurred to me that maybe, just possibly, there was something "wrong" with the way I'd written my first story. I mean, I hadn't even scored a personalized rejection. No one said, "hey, your writing is great but the market's oversaturated with this genre. Sorry." So, analytical me took some classes. I worked on my craft. I learned I'd committed some fairly atrocious sins that were common among beginners. The second story I wrote committed none very few of those tell-tale crimes.

Nobody wanted Story Two.

Honestly, the second round of canned Hell-Nos was harder to accept. I'd done what I was supposed to. I'd honed my craft. It was, I felt, on par with works in print. Why didn't anybody want this story? Why couldn't I get a nibble? Thanks to the handful of professionals who taken the time to personalize their response, I learned what I'd done "wrong." What I viewed as the genre of my story was not what the professionals considered it. Sure, it had elements of Genre A, but it was far more like Genre B, a genre-pool in which they did not swim. When I submitted to folks of Genre B, they responded with "too much like Genre A, we don't want it."

~blink, blink~
 ~drum, drum~
~scowl, scowl~

Fine. Be that way. Since publishing is a game of hurry up and wait, I had written Stories Three and Four. This time, I made sure the stories fit within the tropes and expectations of a very specific genres. I chose Story Four to be the one to brave the Agent Quest again. How will it do? Too soon to tell.

I haven't gotten remotely close to the other potentially demoralizing trials of being an author -- 100 page editorial letters, scathing reviews, poor sales, dropped contracts, etc.  I'd like to think I'll cope with them in the same way I deal with rejections.

Keep Learning. Keep Writing.
There is only so much within my control.

What about you, darling readers, how do you cope with discouragement?


  1. Well KAK, I can't offer any jewels of advice in this area since you and I are (willingly?) jumping into this foray at the same time.
    I am polishing up my query letter and have my list of potential agents to annoy...wait, dazzle. So you made it though one, then two. Now you are just (not older) wiser and more skilled :)
    What is it Flo Rida says?...sometimes, I get a good feelin.

    1. YAY! Cheers to requests for fulls and The Call!

      (FYI, try to limit refreshing your email's inbox to 1,000xMin; otherwise, the computer 'splodes.)

    2. Cheers to you too! May we both have something to celebrate soon :)

      And good pointer, I will have to defrag my computer soon to make sure it is up to all the 'refresh' clicks.

  2. Love you? NO! You're a chocolate thief!

    You nailed this post, KAK, and your sense of humor shines as part of how you deal. :)

    1. ~sobs~ ~peeks between fingers~

      If you think your chocolate's in jeopardy, you haven't spotted the six foot mojito straw. ~evil laugh~

    2. Chocolate thief AND a mojito thief! I am going into lockdown. Raise the moat! Ready the bowmen! Minions defend the yummies!!!!

  3. I cope with chocolate and retail therapy :-) Neither one is really good for me, but the endorphins can't be beat...and then I go back to writing! LOVE the pearl clutching!