Thursday, September 10, 2009

Submit or be mitted…

I’m in month number… well, wait a minute… Vicky would say it’s the eighth month and I’d say it’s the ninth month… but just saying that means Vicky would probably say it’s actually only the seventh month… anyway, I’ve been unemployed now since the end of January, a pretty damn long time…

But I’m not going to write about that.

See, the thing is I’ve been looking high and low for a job but that’s not all I’ve been doing. I’ve also been working like a dog to get my books and plays out in front of people – you know, agents and publishers – in the hopes that I might be able to get something moving there. I’ve had no luck, yet. And, yes, sometimes like today I get disheartened.

But then I think about this website I saw a few days back. I wish I’d saved it so I could share it with you. The writer talks about how he just sold his first book and he provides a chart of all the submissions he’s done, sending his book out to agents and publishers and what have you… The final tally was over 500. Can you imagine? If he sent out one each week, that would have taken ten years! And that’s not always easy, let me tell you. Some weeks you find two or three places to send stuff but others you come up dry. That must have taken an awfully long time with a great deal of effort.

So, that got me to thinking. How many submissions have I done?

Take my book No More Blue Roses, for instance. That’s gone out to only about 112 agents and publishers, only about one fifth! How about With Eyes to See? Only 98 or so! Wormfood, a horror novel that has seen some of the most strident rejections, has only been rejected about 49 times! And Climbing Maya, which I’ve been faithfully plugging more than any other book, has only been rejected 264 times!

So, what’s my point? Well, on a day when I feel just about as down in the dumps as you can get I figured it would be good to remind myself that this isn’t a sprint and I’ve only started. Heck, I’m 43 years old. I’ve been writing seriously for over 20 years now. I’m proud of what I’ve done and this kind of rejection is no reason to lose heart. Because others have been here before me.

It’s time for me to keep going and not give up. I hope you do, too. They say anything worth it is, well, worth it. I hope we both find out… and soon!

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