Saturday, December 18, 2010

the hard way

I heard someone post recently about feeling envious of those who had gotten published without much effort. You know, famous model, actress, singer, whatever, turned author. Or the person who just decided to write a book, did so, sent a few queries out, got the agent they wanted, and voila. And I’ll be the first to admit I get a little twinge of envy when I hear these stories. But it isn’t just jealousy. It’s the part of me that likes a good story and a good story means a challenge, a good story has obstacles and conflict, difficulties and failures along the way toward that goal. So when I hear how easy it was for someone to get published it feels a little like a cheat. I’d rather hear the story where someone has the talent but maybe they don’t apply themselves so it takes them longer, or maybe their efforts are derailed by some event that takes precedence over writing. Or maybe they’ve just been unlucky and they’re down to the last minutes on their cell phone. Maybe they’re starting to doubt themselves. And then they get the call.


This is the kind of story I want to hear. It satisfies my need for a proper tale with a hero who kills the beast and gets what he/she wanted. It isn’t the easy way. But I wonder if it isn’t more satisfying to get what you hoped for rather than what you expected.

Meanwhile, sunny and brisk here, very little snow, and I’m on chapter 29 in my revision of Grimoire. 23 remaining. Oh, and I finally got a tree which will definitely cheer me up a little. If I can get it decorated tonight I may take a pic and share it with you tomorrow.

What are you doing this weekend?

10 comments:

  1. Hey, thanks for checking out my story!

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  2. I'm with you!! I love the stories that drive me to want to keep going, rather than wonder if it's all going to be a fluke anyway. I've never queried, so I don't know what it will be like for me... but right now, the stories I hear where people write a book in 2 months, spend another 2 months revising and then snag an agent asap make me CRAZY. I've spent a year on draft one... and 4 weeks revising ch. 1 - if that's a sign of whats to come, I think I'll be querying my entire life before I get an agent!

    So on with the thoughts that lead to drive - because those are the only healthy ones! :)

    Great post!

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  3. I think challenges are a good thing sometimes. Although, I wouldn't mind a bit of ease from time to time. LOL.

    Great post.

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  4. I feel exactly the same way about everything.
    Marriage, Parenting, Novel plots and movie plots. Let people "earn" their way to happiness. Build character or pay their dues. Sacrifice! This is satisfying.

    But I don't think it is necessarily the best view.

    It is a bit like, I am the judge of your success isn't it? I don't so much like that part of myself.

    Still. I get it and I do it.

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  5. Congrats on getting to chapter 29, that is very cool and, exciting. More than half way done. Woohoo!

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  6. I’m not jealous so much but instead marvel at their good fortune. The writers who are in the right place at the right time, submitting to an agent who happens to be in an expansive mood, reads their query, and decides to take a chance.

    I think I get the agents who just came from a root canal.

    I enjoy every success story from the writer submitting a hundred queries to the one who got her agent on number sixteen.
    I am like you, deep into revisions. My writing music is playing, the wood stove warming the house and the hubby asleep in his recliner.

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  7. QE, completely agree; it is NOT the best view, better to just be happy for them, or, as huntress says, marvel at their good fortune.

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  8. Great post Marcy. I think I probably appreciate the things I've attained through sheer tenacity and hard work more than those that were easier for me.

    I so remember having this geography class my freshmen year in college. Now you wouldn't think a geo class would be that difficult, but this dude was incredibly hard. I was at the top of my graduating class in high school so think of the surprise when I found myself at mid-term with like a D. I was devastated.

    But I worked my butt off. Heck, I had maps of water and maps of crops specific to the areas etc. You see, it just wasn't about knowing the location of a particular place, this dude wanted you to know everything about that dang place. Its crops, government, blah blah blah.

    Anyway, I studied more than I have for any class ever because there was no way I was going to get a bad grade in this class. When my girlfriends went out on a Friday or Saturday night, guess who was studying? But my hard work and sacrifice paid off. I aced the final and ended up with an "A" in the class. I don't think an "A" (and there were many that followed) ever meant as much to me as this "A."

    I learned so much more than geography in that class. For the first time in my life, I encountered something that didn't come easily to me and I had to work like I never worked before.

    And so it is now with writing. I'm not giving up, and I'm willing to work hard and make sacrifices. There's something in me that won't give up on this dream. I know that you won't either, Marcy. And I hope that all of your followers won't.

    Blessings to all of you as you pursue your dreams with everything you have. I hope that one day I see your book(s) on the store shelves. We're climbing this mountain together:)

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  9. Yep, I am going the hard route. I've come to realize that while my first book is good, it can still be much improved. I am going to put it on hold until I finish my second book, which I think will more easily appeal to agents.

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