• j.mee

Always be contacting...

What's the hardest part of being a writer?

It's not the writing.

I envy the people who wax poetic about the beautiful agony that is the filling a white page. I do not suffer this affliction. I am of the 'if you build it, they will come' mindset that says writers block doesn't really exist. Nobody gets plumber's block do they? (They clear ungodly blocks, of course, but that's not the same thing) They show up, they plumb. I show up, I write. That's how it's done.

It's not even the rejections.

Rejections are actually sweet relief. They close the door and there's something to be said about a closed door. It's no longer open. The typical rejection in publishing comes around three months after the inquiry has been made. That's three months of wonder, imagining scenarios, and waiting... lots of waiting. When the rejection arrives, it's an invitation to move on. It's like being released from a bad relationship where he never calls.

So what's the hardest part for me?


Submissions are the bane of my existence. Researching markets... finding places to submit... finding people to submit... drafting queries... fulfilling specific requirements... only to wait three months, receive a generic rejection and begin it all again. There are a lot of opportunities out there, but digging them out of the rubble of internet searches takes a lot of time and energy.

Time and energy I'd rather spend writing... or, lets be honest, watching youtube videos of cats. (Phew, I shouldn't have looked for a link for that... that was a black hole time suck, but soooo cute.)

Do you feel this way too? What to do?

My strategy? Stolen from the spirit (though not the potty mouth or anger) of Glengarry Glen Ross: Always Be Closing.

Or at least, if not closing... contacting.

Every piece of writing I have completed is out in the market in someone's submission pile. When a rejection comes, I give myself three days to get it together, find a new location, and submit to someone else. It's not the balls to the walls, golden testicles manner of sales recommended in the real estate renegade movie, true, because my emphasis of the sentence is on always be. Any project sitting in your drawer or desktop folder and not in someone's inbox is both your time and energy wasted. As far as I know, no one's ever cold called unknown potential authors just looking for new books to sell.

Don't let your projects sit. Always be contacting. Submit!

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