A little novel excitement – short-lived

I was on two panels last weekend at the Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference – one on memoirs and the other on building a platform. After getting much kudos I was feeling pretty good, so good that I jumped at the chance to present a short pitch to a literary agent about my novel. I had a synopsis with me and I knew my story cold, so why not? When it was my turn I told the agent about my book. He smiled and told me to tell my story without a lot of details. When I finished, he nodded his head and said, “I like it.” He then asked me to send him a synopsis by email. He didn’t want the hard copy I had with me. I was stoked. When I got home I decided to rewrite my synopsis. And thanks to Jane Friedman I found a wonderful resource: How to Write a 1-page Synopsis by Sooz. The outline was easy to follow. And in most cases I was able to use some of the synopsis I had already written. I also wrote a cover/query letter that included a recap of my meeting with the agent to refresh … [Read more...]

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Does fear of rejection cause procrastination?

I’m procrastinating about getting my novel ready to send off to my first group of beta readers. I keep thinking – what will I work on while it’s being reviewed? I don’t have another book in mind – unless it’s poetry, or maybe a book of essays. I feel at a loss right now about what I’ll work on next. I’m also procrastinating because I’m worried about what the reviewers will think. After all, this is my first novel – most of the stuff in it is totally made up – something I’ve never done before, so it is a huge confront to send it to people who will actually read it and hopefully give me their honest opinions and criticisms. However, Seth Godin – one of my favorite bloggers – came up with just the right words in his blog today: "But I might get rejected Indeed, you might. You might get your hopes up only to find them dashed. You might decide on where you want to go, and then not get there. You might fall in love with a vision of the future and then discover it doesn't happ … [Read more...]

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Rejection – another cause of a U-turn

Talk about a U-turn. This must be my week. Here I am facing that U-turn again, and I need to find a way to work myself out of it. It is so easy to get in the rejection doldrums. Any little thing can set it off – an unreturned telephone call or email, someone saying they’ll do something and they don’t, and of course that actual dreaded rejection letter. I’m sure most of my creative readers know what that dreaded word is about it. You’ve probably experienced it. I know I have. I actually got sixty-eight rejections (by actual letter or by silence) before I got a publishing contract for my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. So I thought I was immune to it. Turns out I’m not. Rejection hurts. In the last month my work has received two rejection emails. And since these rejections were from anthologies I’ve been featured in before, my first reaction was Whoa, what am I doing wrong here? I better stop and rethink my course of action. Did I just say I’m taking a U-turn? I think … [Read more...]

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