The Waiting Game

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You’ve finished your book. You’ve edited until your eyes bled (then edited again). You’ve built a small but manageable marketing platform. You’ve networked, advertised, revised, and lost countless hours of sleep preparing the best query package you can.

You’ve spent hours, days, and even weeks researching your specific publishing demographic. You’ve handpicked a few dozen literary agents and small publishers who specialize in your genre. You’ve taken the time to read what they’ve read, support authors they promote, and generally get acquainted with them– long before you ever dare to write their name in your introductory line, ‘Dear Ms. or Mr. Agent Person’.

The rejections come in quick. Some are brusk and rude, and you’re slightly insulted after spending so much time trying to get to know them before you pestered them with two-decades worth of hard work. You wonder why they would reject you so swiftly and spend yet more hours, days, and weeks pouring over your work to glean what in the world could be so bloody wrong with it that it deserved such an offhand dismissal.

You get depressed. You feel like a failure. That twenty years of your life, might as well have been spent journaling. No one will ever be interested in your work, if a professional such as ‘SO AND SO’ doesn’t find anything marketable in it. You wonder why you stopped drinking, and take to watching Investigation Discovery in your pajamas in your spare time. Soon, you’re eating crackers upside-down on your couch and weeping into your twentieth can of LaCroix. You’re a joke; a middle-aged wannabe with no life and zero talent.

Then, the requests for manuscript roll in. There are more than you hoped for at first, when you were still capable of ‘pre-rejection’ rationale. A tiny glimmer of hope pierces your hazy, self-pity bubble. You start to wash your hair and drink actual fluids again. It’s going to be okay. SOMEONE thinks your work is worthwhile. Just be careful… don’t get cocky. Don’t get excited. Be cool. BE ZEN. They may yet tell you you’re a hack.

The second round of rejections comes in, and you weather it better this time. You’ve had one acceptance letter, but the terms were terrible and you’re not going out like that, son! That glimmer of hope is flickering but constant, in a distant, very Great Gatsby sort of way. Through the fog of self-doubt, your potential career flashes green over a wide expanse of cold water. It’s steady, but faint.

You wait… and wait.

You take terrible part-time jobs to keep the lights on while you wait. You opt not to query additional publishers and agents, until you’ve heard from the first round– because as every agent and small publisher will tell you– they’re going to take their time and if you’re serious about them, they expect you to be patient. So you wait some more. The bills stack up and you’re working forty hours a week, while trying to squeeze in time to write your sequels. You remind yourself that you were going to have to wait it out and in the end, might have to self-publish just to keep food in your fridge. You’re prepared, but the green light is still flashing on that far dock… and you know you’d be better served waiting it out. Months drag by and you’re still in limbo, wondering why you ever thought you could do this in the first place?

You read self-help articles. Positivity articles. You follow hordes of talented, recently published authors, who inspire you to keep going. You go to work. You come home and work. You get up early, and go to bed late. You hit ‘ignore’ on any random phone calls… you know who they are and you have nothing to give them. You’re tapped-out, stretched thin– a tearing canvas, drawn far too tight over its frame. You’re worried you’re going to be stuck chasing that far green light for eternity; a lifetime spent serving others, while your one passion withers on the vine. Who even are you? Do you know anymore? Did you ever?

You wait… and wait…

… and wait some more.

 

(Image copyright@www.lanaemichelle.com)

 

 

 

 

True South

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Hello! I know it’s been a while, but a great many things have happened in my personal life in the past few months. I am recently divorced, have sold my house, moved across the country, and am now starting over in a new(ish) city. I have finished The Sons Of Mil and its arduous editing process (thank jeebus), and am now actively seeking representation for it. I’m also working to rebuild my photography business here in my new(ish) state, and shopping around for galleries to feature my work. Needless to say– I’ve been crazy busy! Haha.

Now that things have calmed down a little, (did I mention The Sons Of Mil is totally DONE???) I’ll be getting ready to properly launch the Innisfail Cycle series, and starting the editing process for Book Two: The Children Of Danu. If you’d like regular updates about this process, please follow this website and subscribe to my mailing list. Any and all announcements will be made here first.

Also, if you are interested in following my photography, please go to My Photo Website and subscribe to my newsletter. Additionally, my Landscape Photography is also up for sale! Looking for an original book cover or sleeve for your novel or website? Message me for details. I sell digital prints.

As if I needed more stuff to do (but I AM a total workaholic, so…), I will be launching editing services from this website soon. Developmental and Line Editing services will be announced and advertised within the next few weeks. If you are interested in delving into the structure and pace of your story for thematic flow and clarity, email me here at your convenience or feel free to DM me on My Twitter account. If you are looking for a copyeditor (please refer to my former post, ‘On Editing’ to differentiate between these services), I know several fantastic folks who charge fair prices– and can point you in the right direction.

Anyhoo, all caught up? I hope so;) Don’t forget that I am on Facebook, and Instagram too!

Catch ya later!

— LaNae

 

 

Sunday Writing Motivation

A bout of writer’s block dragging you down? Don’t let it!

Nothing helps me beat the ol’ Block, like photography (except maybe hiking…but that’s for another post!); specifically landscape photography, but every now and again, I like to mix things up!

So, drop and give me 250!

In this image:

Can you smell the rain drying into the pavement? Distant gasoline vapors, tar, wet bricks and asphalt? In this brief flash of setting sun, and swirling clouds– can you feel the humidity on your skin? Taste the dissipating storm, like ether on your tongue? Is there any wind? Is it summer, or spring? Does a light, damp breeze rifle through these empty buildings?

What do you feel?

Is that man on the water-tower, friend, or foe? Does he wave to you, jeer at you, or ignore you altogether? Can you hear the blare of car horns, planes overhead, tires screeching, men and women shouting, dogs barking, trucks honking…or is it quiet? Nothing but crickets chirping, sparrows singing, and people whispering as they pass?

Get to it!

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Image Copyright: Dequindre Cut

Sunday Inspiration (Writing Prompt)

 

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Nothing inspires me quite like a vivid landscape. It’s definitely the reason I was drawn to photography in the first place. Every scene I shoot, has a story. The smell of the wind, the shadows reaching between the trees, the slap of a wave against a sandy shore, or the swirl of colors in sunset. There are emotions in those images. Thoughts, and impressions. Nothing helps cure a bout of writer’s block better, for me, than immersing myself in a vibrant landscape.

If you’re stuck on a scene, a chapter, or perhaps even your first paragraph…put it down, stand up, and walk outside. Is it winter, or summer? Is the sun shining? If it is, how warm is it? Do clouds race overhead, or do they hang fat and idle in a blue sky? What does the grass smell like? Is it damp or dry? Do your toes squish in mud, or scrape against hard-packed earth?

Sometimes all it takes to unblock oneself, is to move. Whether it be with your physical body, or in your mind. Struggling with your setting? In my opinion, photography is a fantastic writing aid. There are literally thousands of gifted landscape photographers online, sharing gorgeous landscapes from all over the world. If you are unable to travel to your locations, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience them. I consider writer’s block a clog in the proverbial creative drain. Sometimes all it takes to dislodge it, is a shift in perspective.

Give it a try! Pinterest, Google, Instagram and 500PX are all great places to search for landscape photography. Here in my blog, I will share one of my own landscapes with you every Sunday. Use it as a tool! What quality is the light; dense or bright? Can you feel motion in the scene? Are there sounds? Scents? What do you feel?

Write any impressions you have down! Then in your own manuscript, apply the same logic. Where are your characters now? Describe their environment, as you would explain how you would feel in that scene. Relax, and have fun!

Hope this helps! Happy Writing, fellow Writers!

Image copyright: Yellow Dog Falls

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