Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hope Springs Eternal

You think a girl would learn.

A few months ago, I made the decision to retire my novel from the querying market. It was really hard at first. I had started the whole business with such high hopes. And when I started querying, I had an above average request rate, so that only accentuated it.

As time passed, however, and the rejection letters started to pile up, and the requested material started to come back with "good, but no thanks" letters, that hope started to waver. The day I made the decision to pull my novel out of the system, I felt pretty low. I couldn't even enjoy our family's weekly trip to Barnes and Noble. It hurt too much to see all those beautiful books--someone elses dream come true.

So, I sulked, and then I steeled myself. I told myself that I had been given a splash of ice cold reality in my face and that when I queried my next book, I would be much wiser, much more realistic. I had learned my lesson.

Well . . . maybe I haven't. I am nearing completion of my newest novel. As the time approaches to start querying it, I'm finding that good old feeling coming back to me. The other night we went to Barnes and Noble, and I was filled with a flutter of excitement, not to mention visions of my book nestled on those shelves.

Hope! It really does spring eternal. Now, granted, I have learned a lot from my first querying experience, and I really do think my expectations are more realistic. Realistic, but not without hope. And, I think that's okay.

I don't think we writers would make it very far without hope. Hope is what gives us the courage to send out those first letters, to those top New York agents. Hope is what drives us to push on when the rejection starts piling up. And Hope is why, when everything else has failed, we sit down to the computer and start writing a brand new book.

So, I'm glad that my hope has come surging back into my life. Even if it means wild dreams and possible visions of grandeur. Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. I am so there with you Renee. Except, I haven't faced facts that maybe my first book isn't right for them. I just convinced myself that it just wasn't good enough yet. So I am rewriting yet again. Though without the fervor that I had to begin with. The rejections have put a few holes in my sails, but I am still moving forward, if little slower this time. Good luck with your queries, it gives me a little more hope everytime someone else regains theirs. Thanks for the post!

  2. Don't give up!!!!Never give up! That is the difference between your book sitting on your computer eating up harddrive space and your book being put on that shelf at Barnes and Nobles! The people who are the most persistant are the ones with books on the shelf! Tell yourself that YOU are persistance itself and your book will be there..on that shelf. Just remember "Never give up! Never surrender!"(Galaxy Quest! Love that movie)

  3. Nikki-You know best! I think it shows commendable hope and determination to rewrite. Go for it!

    For me, I knew that I needed to just put it to rest. Probably because I had started working on a new book that I was excited about.

    Mary-So true!! And, in a funny kind of way, after facing rejection once, I feel even more determined this time.

    P.S. I love Galaxy Quest! Such a great show. :)

  4. Renee, you're awesome. You can do it! I'm excited that you're nearing the second query phase. And your hope has also given me hope. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Eeeh! How exciting for you! I have written so many and as of now, not one has been bought. But it's okay, once I get a brand new idea I go with it, then when i can I rewrite the others. I've got a whole lot of rewrites to do! LOL! But it's so fun to revisit a book and make it stronger. don't worry, there will be a day when you pick up your other book and you'll go WOW! This is really strong! This is really good, and then you'll be able to get to the places that needed fixing and see what to do. I'm so excited you're querying again! This will be awesome! I know it! And please let me know if we can help you! Jenni

  6. Kasie-Thanks! Glad to inspire. :)

    Jenni-It's true. We just have to keep moving forward. I do love the novel that I retired, so I hope that one day I'll go back. We'll see.

    Also, I'm not quite querying yet, but I'm very close. (*gulps*)

  7. I'm think my second book is going to be a stronger book to query too, but I still love my first book. I just realize how much I was learning as I wrote it. I would love to read both your books someday. I think they both sound awesome!

  8. ooh! Renee--Take Candi up on it! Seriously! She's an absolute genius when it comes to editing! GENIUS! Some people have incredible talents in all sorts of places, but Candi (and Kasie) are amazing editors--And writers! LOL! Jenni

  9. I totally agree, perseverance is what sets apart the people who get published from the people who don't. We'll just keep trying together and our hope will boost us along the way. :)

  10. Candice-Yeah, that's how I feel about my very first book. I learned so much about writing. Actually, I feel like my second book taught me about the querying business. So, hopefully, I'm finally ready to do this thing!

    Jenni-I totally want her to! I've been batting my eyelashes and smiling at her for some time. (in a non creepy way)

    Jenn-Yep, hope is like the gas in the car. You have to have it to keep going. And, if you keep that tank full, drive forever.

  11. Good luck on the second book, Rene! It must have been so sad to retire your first book. Did you cry? And I'm glad you don't bat you eyelashes in a creepy way. Then I would stop visiting your blog.

  12. You guys are funny! Totally non-creepy :) I just feel priviledged everytime I get to read another author's work.

  13. Jessie-No, I didn't cry. My lowest point was after about 3 months of querying. I was very blue, but it was the dead of winter, so that certainly didn't help. :)

    By the time I decided to retire my book (a few weeks later) it was almost a relief.



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