Saturday, December 28, 2013

Celebrating Positivity (Margie Gelbwasser)


It's been a tough year writing wise. I'm trying to find a new agent, and I keep getting encouraging rejections saying the agents love my writing (based on sample pages) and to please think of them in the future, but the market is not great for the book I wrote so they're going to pass. Here's the thing. I don't write to trends. I just write what I love and hope someone wants it. Unfortunately, this time, the book I wrote is dystopian. According to numerous blogs and publishing info, dystopian is dead, buried, makes editors want to throw up or curl into a fetal position (I really read this). My hope was that someone would say, “You're an awesome writer, and I don't think I can sell this now, but you have potential so let's make this work.” I know. I know. That's a tall order, but I know people this has happened to, so a girl can dream.

Speaking of dreams. The writing one has always been mine. I have two YA contemps published, but they were FAR, FAR from best sellers, although they did get really good reviews. So that's two strikes, right? Books that didn't do great and a new one that's so scary in this current publishing climate, it makes people want to run away.

I was down for awhile about this and thinking about what I can do. I have ideas like reworking my pitch to highlight the other elements of the book (I feel it's more political than dystopian, but clearly I did not represent this in the query) and moving some things around in the opening pages. I also decided not to give up. Another thing I decided to do is go back to the contemp book I started last year but put aside in favor of the dystop. I will also continue to put my all into the other contracted projects I have—books I am excited about and thankful to have the opportunity to write.

And, above all, I decided to be positive. This is not easy when anxiety and such pull at me, and when it's so much easier to wallow. But positive energy brings positivity. I truly believe this. Besides, letting myself fall prey to negativity and feelings of failure don't help. They don't create a book that will sell. They don't conjure an agent. All they do is make me feel worse.

I'll tell you something else. Making the conscious decision to feel positive and go about life looking at stuff in that light, has made me feel a lot better. It makes me feel like things are possible, like if I put my mind to finishing the contemp, to reworking the dystop, to working on my other projects, good things will come.

                                                                                     


I have a six-year-old son who knows his mommy is a writer, who knows that's what I have always loved to do. I don't want him seeing me giving up. I want him to grow up thinking it's ok to feel sad and want more, but to then keep going. To keep striving. Even when it takes all you have to do so.

So that's what I'm celebrating. Positivity. Determination. The decision to keep chasing my dream, until it's in my grasp again.

8 comments:

  1. Publishing is so strange, fickle and unpredictable that this is all we can ever do--our best work with our best attitude. And the only thing that never works is giving up.
    Wishing you the best in 2014!

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    1. Thank you! "The only thing that never works is giving up." So true!

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  2. Yes. Write the books you love. And never give up. Sending good vibes for the new year. --c.

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  3. Margie, I feel you on this SO much! I also have two books published that I'm super proud of, but they didn't sell well and for the past five years every partial and full project that I've been shopping (2 fulls and 2 partials total) has yet to find a home. I spent way too much of that time beating myself up, but this year have been really focused on positivity and writing for the love of writing. It hasn't led to publication, but it's made me a lot happier. I wish you all the success in 2014 and plenty of positive vibes!

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    1. Stephanie, each time I read your posts, I feel like we're going through many similar things. I agree that we have to write for the love of writing and there was a period where the end result was all that mattered (e.g. publication). I love sitting down and falling in love with the characters and words again and that's progress. I don't want to lose that again. Thank you so much for the wishes and vibes!

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  4. Go, Margie, go! It can absolutely be done.

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  5. Good for you, Margie! Keep thinking positive! I'm trying to do the same...

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