Friday, August 17, 2007

The Why

Finish every day and be done with it... You have done what you could;some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it...serenely, and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

So... got another agent rejection today in the old inbox. This means I need to send more out, but it does get hard. At least this one was personal, so that was something. Still, this rejection thing gets really old. I've also had one publisher rejection of my novel. It's still out at two and one agent has the full. So, it's not as though things aren't still viable.

I often wonder, though, at the kind of people writers are. This goes for other folks who willingly open themselves up for the possibility of constant, subjective rejection -- actors, singers, etc. Why do it?

My DD told me she wants to be an artist when she grows up. Of course, she's only eight, and last year she wanted to be president (or a firefighter). Still, I told her if an artist was what she wanted to be, that was wonderful and she should work hard at her skills. In my head, though? I was screaming, "Don't do it! People will hate your work and point and laugh." Of course, look at Picasso... I still don't understand why he's so famous.

People can be scathing of the work of another person's heart. And that hurts. And yet, we keep writing and keep submitting and occasionally get published. And then, we'll do a Google search on our names or the titles of our stories and find out Mrs. Giggles gave it a 9, or that someone on Fictionwise rated it poor. And it's devastating.

And yet we keep writing, and keep submitting and occasionally get published. But mostly, writers are rejected.

And sometimes it doesn't matter that your work is good, or even great. I know of many writers who are some of the best I've read, who are -- only now -- beginning to get a little recognition for their work. And some of the worst stuff I've ever seen has been published.

Writing and reading... very subjective. What I love, you may hate. And the same goes for agents and editors. Despite the fact that they have the power to publish and make household names of some authors, they are still, in fact, human. With human thoughts, and human feelings and human failings.

And THAT is why we keep going. We know -- because we love our work and we keep learning, and striving and getting better -- that somewhere, there must be at least ONE other person who will feel the same way. And just like we looked for that one person out of billions to marry, we look for that one agent, that one editor who will read our work and think, "Yes! This project I love. This project I can get behind and sell and promote."

And so, I write. And I submit. And sometimes, I get published.


Pillar Place: Monarch has only two residents left. We released three more butterflies yesterday. Two had hatched when my DD got up to check them, and one (Bob) was black and ready.

The first two were fine and went off into the world without a hitch. Bob, alas, had some man-made problems. First off, DD got to see him actually hatch. I got there about half a second too late, but did get pictures of him still all scrunchie and weird looking (and, no, I don't have them to share.... maybe I'll do a photo montage when all this is over). In a matter of seconds, his wings looked normal -- but were still floppy and fragile.

It was at this point DD thought it would be a good idea to pick him up off his chrysalis. Um, not such a good idea. He fell and his wings bent. She grabbed him up. When they first hatch, they hang so that gravity assists their wings. So she hung him from her fingertip. I advised her that it take a couple of hours for his wing to be strong. And, for some reason, he wouldn't use his front legs to cling, so we couldn't get him back on his chrysalis shell or on the netting of the box. He just kept falling and bending those new wings.

She was sobbing and generally feeling awful, certain she had condemned poor Bob to death. Meanwhile, I found a slim, bark-covered (therefore ROUGH) stick and taped it inside the box lid. Finally -- something he could hold on to. We left for our errands, and when we returned... he was no longer there. Yay! Bob had flown.

Turns out, we weren't entirely correct in this supposition. A little while later, I was out front watering some new bushes. I hate rolling and unrolling the hose, so I put the nozzle on "jet" so it would reach farther and sprayed a bush.

And hit Bob.

Apparently, he figured he would be safe hiding inside the bush. Normally, in the event of a natural rainstorm, he would have been. Most of the time, rain doesn't fall sideways.

Poor Bob fell out of the bush and onto the ground. I cried out and dropped the hose, running to his side. I scooped him up and shook him off a bit. In a matter of moments, he was flapping away.

When I shared this with Judy, she said, "The next time you see a monarch flying near you, and it stops, stares and then flies rapidly the other direction, you'll know it's Bob."


Your Dosha is Kapha

Calm and grounded, you are not prone to mood swings or anger.
However, once you do get angry, it takes a lot to cool you down.
You tend to think a little slower than most people, but your logic is astounding.
Overall, you very loyal and trustworthy. You're not scared of being who you really are.

With friends: You enjoy their company, but often listen more than talk

In love: You crave connection and affection. It's hard for you to be single.

To achieve more balance: Exercise vigorously (especially in the sun) and let go of attachments.

Dear heavens, this couldn't be more wrong. I am mood swing central! Sheesh...


Allie Boniface said...

Were you writing about me in your rejection post? :)

Yes, it's hard. Very, very thick skins are required. And even then, it's sometimes not enough. But we keep on because we love what we do, right?

Your quote today is one of my favorites, by the way.

Tori Lennox said...

LOL re Judy's comment! Poor Bob.

I got:

Your Dosha is Pitta
You have a quick mind, a gift for persuasion, and a sharp sense of humor.
You have both the drive and people skills to be a very successful leader.
Argumentative and a bit stubborn, you have been known to be a little too set in your ways.
But while you may be biased toward your own point of view, you are always honest, fair, and ethical.

With friends: You are outgoing and open to anyone who might want to talk to you

In love: You are picky but passionate

To achieve more balance: Be less judgmental of those around you, and take cool walks in the moonlight.

Oh. That's actually pretty accurate. But I gotta ask. What the heck IS a Dosha?!

Marianne Arkins said...

Tori, the definition of a dosha can be found here.

Allie, you were *sort of* mentioned in this blog as one of the "...many writers who are some of the best I've read..." -- and are just now being recognized. *G*

Brandy said...

Poor Bob. *g*

I have always had the utmost respect for authors, the way they put themselves out there for possible rejection. Not to mention the stories and character that fill their heads. You give me even more reason.

As for the quiz, I received the same answer as Tori!
Have a fun and wonderful weekend.

Dru said...

Poor Bob..glad that he was able to fly away.

I read both your recent short stories and I enjoyed them both.

My dosha is kapha, and it's moderately accurate.

I hope you have a good Saturday.

Gay said...

I've decided that personal rejections aren't rejections... and that makes me feel better. (My rationalization is that they'd accept my work if they had nicer bosses or their wives, husbands, S.O.'s were nicer to them over breakfast). :wink:

I have a fistful of them.

MaryF said...

HUGS on the Rs - I got 2 this week myself. Sigh.

Alice Teh said...

I love Judy's sense of humour (re Bob). LOL.

Keep trying, Marianne. I'm sure things will come through for you. :)

Jen said...

Judy's comment cracked me up. And what the heck's a dosha?