Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh, Help

Y'all, I would rather light my hair on fire than put myself before strangers to be judged.

Hell, I'd rather let a stranger light my hair on fire than give them an opening to tell me how many ways my writing (or whatever) isn't good enough.


I keep saying I am a writer, albeit an unpublished one.

It's time to remedy that unpublished part, and for that...well, I need to grow a pair. OK, maybe not really, since growing a pair would make me a medical oddity, and while garnering my place in talk-show history might also make my fortune, it isn't exactly how I picture funding my retirement...or at least my kid's future education or some solar panels or the next run to the grocery store. I won't aspire to paying for fuel for the van - that would just be asking too much.


So I finally finished some things - one longish Not-a-Mystery and several short children's stories - and I've been sitting on them. Again, not really...that would hurt my bottom and make for some terribly wrinkly paper, and also I don't print hard-copy...but I have been letting them languish on my hard drive for a few days weeks months OK, for over a year. I have about a dozen more long ones and an equal number of short ones in half-finished limbo - hey, you try getting anything done when there's a five-year-old Evil Genius around all day.

The trouble is, while I enjoy writing my stories, and while I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment when I actually completed something longer than a few paragraphs or pages (90, 212 words, to be precise)(Yeah, have I mentioned that I sometimes can't shut up??), that doesn't mean anyone else will share the sentiment, and I haven't done anything with them.

I'm worried that they just aren't good enough. I'll keep writing no matter what, but...but I am just not interested in throwing myself in front of the bus - the bus, in this instance, being the publishing world in general and agents in particular.

Don't get me wrong - agents are terrific folks, from what I've seen, and they're eminently useful when you know bugger-all about getting published - but they're strangers, just the same...and querying them (to me) is like begging the cool kids in school to let you eat lunch with them when you just know you're not good enough - it takes guts, more than I apparently have.

So here's where you come in (no worries, you don't have to do anything difficult) - if you've got a kind thought to spare, send it my way...because for the rest of this week I am researching how to write a query letter, who is interested in representing the sorts of twiddles I write, and flinging myself under the fast-moving, twenty-ton, cross-town bus...

I know, I know, there are so many people out there with bigger worries, but I am feeling just a wee needy and self-centered at the moment - I'm tired of feeling like I don't contribute anything to my family's upkeep, that I don't have value because I don't earn my keep, and I really don't have any marketable skills except my ability to string words together in song or story.

So wish me luck, if you have a little to spare, please.

And that quaking you feel? It's not a tectonic event - it's me shakin' in my shoes.



RachelW said...

Well-wishes coming your way! You know your dragon stories have my kids' firm stamp of approval. ;) And as a professional editor, I too can say they are pretty damn good.

Mrs. G. said...

Best of luck. Sendin you good thoughts right now.

The Glamorous Life said...

I have no real words of wisdom- since I have never attempted to be a REAL writer (ah-YET anyway).

Except that: YOu have to try. You can not wait for your life to come to you. YOu have to be the PILOT of your life and not just the passenger.

Now do it.
And send me autographed copies when they are all published. Oh yes, they will be!

Ginaagain said...

Go! Throw yourself at that bus and trust that it's not going to run you over! It's going to stop and people are going to get off and come running to pull you on board and take you someplace new and wonderful. Take a chance. Be scared.

Susan said...

Congratulations on setting your hair on fire. Er, taking the leap. I know bupkus about publishing so I'm not much help but I certainly think you're more talented than you give yourself credit for. And you don't dangle prepositions like that. Great luck to you!!!

Kyddryn said...

Rachel, I'm glad they liked 'em - I was going to try and have an artist friend of mine illustrate them but he never got back in touch with me and I don't want to wait another year...oh, well.

Mrs. G, Thank you.

Glamorous one, thanks, and you're right...one must be proactive.

Gina, scared I can do...and thanks for your support.

Susan, thank you. Also, your comment about dangling parts of speech reminds me of a joke...I think early Foxworthy...about a parent/teacher conference. The teacher says "He has a problem with his dangling participle." and the parent replies "Oh, he can't help that, he got it caught in his bicycle chain when he was a little boy and it ain't been right since!"

Kit said...

Silly: I've read it, and I TOLD you, it's good! It belongs on the mystery shelves. I'll finish my proofing soon, I promise! (I could at least give you the few things I found on the first run-through.) And remember, we are here for you!

chris said...

I wish I could string a few words in a song or a story...