Rant about writing
Not long ago, I entered a writing contest and got phenomenally high scores from both the first-round judges. In fact, they seemed almost too high, at least to me. And that isn’t false modesty speaking. It’s honesty. Sure, I think I can write pretty well (although that doesn’t mean I should stop trying to improve), but I know I don’t write as well as these scores would lead you to believe.
So, I was really looking forward to the final judge’s critique of my entry. I thought it might offer some insight to what I need to do to bring this story to market. Of course, since this judge is a well-respected agent, in my dreams, he would also have loved my entry and asked to see the complete manuscript.
Turns out his feelings were a little cooler. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say the man didn’t like anything about my entry, and wasn’t shy about saying so. He wasn’t rude, just unmistakably unimpressed.
After blinking back the tears, I realized what this means. It means that this particular agent doesn’t like my writing. Furthermore, he doesn’t have to. He has as much right to dislike my entry as the first two reader-judges had to love it.
That’s the thing about writing, or any artistic endeavor, from cooking to ballet. No matter what you do, or how well you do it, there will be people who don’t like it. Just as one person will love the characters in your book, there will always be others who hate them. I happen to love Richard Armitage. You may despise him. There are many readers right now who are into vampires and zombies. In general, paranormal fiction leaves me cold. That doesn’t make any of us right or wrong — it simply makes us individuals.
You’ve known it since kindergarten. Every person is different, with the right to think and feel as they choose. While we’d all like to believe that everyone loves us and the things we do, the truth is there are people who don’t. And there always will be. If as a writer, I can’t deal with this now, how will I ever be able to deal with my first negative review?
So, I guess I’m a reject. And you know what? I want to make something out of it. I want to turn rejection into success. To do this, I need to — say it with me now — finish the damned book and find an agent and/or editor who loves it just as much as my initial judges.
Sorry to hear Dream Agent didn’t respond in the way you’d hoped. Don’t let his coolness temper the warmth of those first two judges. They are readers, after all, and those are the people we want lots of, right?
Hang in there–on both your journeys.
Thanks, Rosemary. At least he wasn’t rude. And, though it certainly wasn’t what I wanted to hear, you and I both know that different people — including agents, editors and readers — like different things.
I appreciate your encouragement for both my current “endeavors.” 🙂 Thanks for commenting too.