Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Deflating one's ego

The post brought this month's ego deflater also known as the RWR. Some parts of it are interesting, but mainly it serves to remind me exactly how far it is that I have to go. Equally, how many other writers there are out there, each seeking the same thing.
In the first sales column, there are always multiple books sales, by someone who has just produced their first full length mss. Well, it took me 7 full length manuscripts before I got a sale. And although I have options on my contract, it is not the same thing as being a multi-book contracted author. I am somewhere down the ladder there.
There is always advice about agents. A slight sore point, if I am being honest. Yes, I know at the moment, I don't need an agent, but I have dreams of writing single titles and getting on best selling lists. I am going to need an agent at some point and this is going to mean writing the single title and sending out, hoping that it and my past track record will tempt an agent. sometimes this is an exhilerating thought and others, absolutely terrifying.
Then there is the helpful advice generally includes someting about people not selling books after they have made their firstsale. Not necessarily what I want to hear as I wait for my editor's thoughts on the one sitting on her desk.
finally there are the contest wins. Sometimes, I think great but I sold, will these sell? And others I think, but I wonder if I would have even placed in the contest, and well...are these the mega best sellers of the furute and where does that leave me?
But all in all I think it is good for me not to be comfortable, too sure of myself. Every now and then I need to be reminded of the competition and that I can not become complacent. I have to stride forward and keep trying.
Now I simply have to attack my current wip, and strive to make it the best it can be, all the while knowing that there is another person just like me, trying to do the same thing.


Donna Alward said...

I think Michelle you need to remember how many partials get picked out of the slush and asked for fulls. Then remember how many of those get asked for revisions, and how many of those sell. Then remember that you have so far sold THREE books. Don't be too hard on yourself! Sometimes it's not a good thing to look at the big picture. Like with edits....looking at the book as a whole can be completely overwhelming and disheartening. But chapter by chapter...manageable. Workable.

If it helps your deflated ego remember that you inspire others too.

Julie Cohen said...

Yeah. What Donna said.

Julie, looking at her RWR and wondering whether to open it... ;-)

Anonymous said...

I third that.

I'd also say maybe don't take Donald Maass to heart. Last time I read the book (OK, so it was stupid to read the whole lot in one chunk, but...) I spent a week thinking I was a failure and I'd never be able to write another book!

Go with your heart. You've done it three times, you can do it again, and you'll get better with every book.