When I first started querying back in Fall of '04, I had wild dreams. I let myself believe I'd send my magnificent work out into the world (by mail because at that time most agents didn't accept e-queries) and the SASEs would come flooding back with offers for representation. I mean, come on, my book was freakin' awesome. Who would possibly turn that work of brilliance down??
Okay, let's just say
that 9 years later I still don't have an agent and leave it at that.
This isn't about rejection letters. This is about getting your hopes
Don't get me wrong. Hope can be an awesome
thing. Sometimes it drives us to do things, to try things, we never
would've dreamed of doing. If I didn't have at least a little hope, I
never would've been able to write that first book.
problem comes when the hopes get too high. They're up there in the
stratosphere filling us with totally unrealistic expectations. You've
got to keep your hope tempered with reality.
those rejections to my first book damn near unraveled me. You see, my
hopes had been so high that when they fell, the resulting impact made it
so my second book - which I was working on like a good little writer
while I waited - got crushed in the process. I set it aside and didn't
write a damn word for 9 months. And when I finally got back to it, I
was so disheartened that I thought I'd written the first book all
wrong. I changed my process to meet someone else's expectation of how a
book was supposed to be written. The end result was crap, btw. (Good
premise. Bad writing. I really need to re-write that sucker...)
the point is that maybe if I'd tempered my hopes a little, I wouldn't
have fallen as far and the hole I made wouldn't have been so hard to
crawl out of.
If you want to survive this journey, keep your hope but rein it in.
Time for the rest of you to chime in. How has hope helped or hurt you? What do you to rein it in?