Tales of a neurotic author

I got a note from a reader yesterday and she asked me, ever so nicely, if I could talk about the hard stuff that writers deal with. No, not the horror of edits or deadlines but the things that make us neurotic and crazy and depressed. She’s actually quite sweet so wish granted.

Last week, I had a full manuscript request with an agent. This is a big deal. I very much want to be represented, I want to break and write for NY as well as continue with ebooks.

But alas, the agent, while liking me and my voice, did not like the book. Now, the thing is, writers are already neurotic people. We’re needy and while we talk a good game about being used to rejection, don’t let us fool you. Being rejected sucks. It does. It’s not a trade secret or anything. But being rejected with a book that’s close to your heart and when you feel on the verge of the next big step? That really sucks.

I tried not to let it bother me but I couldn’t. So I wallowed. My husband brought home brownies and poured me a shot and cracked a corona for me right when he walked in the door. I cried in my bed and wallowed and freaked that it would never happen.

But the next day, I got up and back up on the horse (with the aid of a very encouraging email from the agent). Cause it’s what we do. If we don’t, we’re damned. Damned and lost and we’d most certainly never make it then. Still sucks, but you move forward and try to toughen up because rejection will happen again. It is part and parcel of the deal.

So there you go, Gail. A little scary insight into the neuroses of this particular writer.

5 comments to “Tales of a neurotic author”

  1. Sasha
    March 13th, 2006 at 10:27 am · Link

    We put so much of ourselves into very story…it’s hard not to get hurt when someone rejects it. *hugs*

  2. Millenia Black
    March 13th, 2006 at 12:29 pm · Link

    That’s the spirit, Lauren. I read a quote recently that said something like, “If you want a place in the sun, you have to expect some blisters.”

    Corny quote, IMO. But it popped in my head as I read your post. 😉

  3. Vivienne King
    March 13th, 2006 at 5:10 pm · Link

    I don’t think that’s corny at all. Kinda fitting for what we do on a daily basis, I don’t believe there’s any other profession in the world (and if there is correct me, but…) that you are forced to be so intimate on paper. These are our thoughts, our feelings, our babies..and so for better or worse when that rejection comes we almost always blame ourselves for writing nothing but crap.

    and yeah, though I wear a suit of armor, rejections still get through the chinks in the steel. Sigh…so sorry hun, but keep pluggin’ away.

  4. Collette
    March 13th, 2006 at 6:40 pm · Link

    I’m sorry sweetie. I’m glad you took the time to wallow a little–your husband’s brownies, shot and corona sound like just the ticket. And, I’m even more glad that you got up the next day and started over. Thanks for the insight and being brave enough to be vulnerable. I suppose that’s part of what makes you such a good writer.

  5. Lili
    March 16th, 2006 at 4:37 pm · Link

    I don’t think that’s quite neurotic. I think you cheated.

    An agent asked to see my first 30 pages last month. They say it can take 8 to 16 weeks for a response, so I expect 32 to never. It’s how it goes. You’ll find someone smart enough to see your value, and so will I. Someday. Because we are us!