Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WTF Wednesday: Frustration

After reading some of the comments from yesterday's post I decided it might be time to post something that we wrote a few months ago. We had hit a major bump in the road to publication and were beyond frustrated. As Heidi Willis said yesterday, "Once you get published it doesn't feel like the dream came true. It feels like it's just getting started."

I don't want you to think we have rainbows shooting out of our asses, because we most certainly DO NOT. We've gotten rejected more times than I care to remember, we've had our asses handed to us by editors, agents and beta readers of all shapes and sizes and we've come thisclose to giving up about a million times.

But we're still here.

So, without further ado, here's my take on frustration:

As I'm sure you guys have noticed we're sort of glass-half-full kind of gals. There's not a lot that can happen in the publishing world that really gets us down. In fact, one of our writer friends recently confessed that when she pictures the two of us she can't help but visualize us shaking pom-poms. [For the record, we were NOT cheerleaders. In fact, as those of you who have seen me dance can attest, rhythm is in short supply in the Roecker gene pool.]

The truth is, we love what we're doing and I think that happiness just sort of bleeds into everything we say and do.

But today, for whatever reason, I'm frustrated. I get this pit in my stomach and wonder if we're ever really going to make it in this business. I'm terrified that we've been given this golden opportunity and we're going to somehow blow it. I'm tired of all the waiting. I'm frustrated that we just had to delete 20,000 words in our WIP. And I just want this whole crazy business of getting our book published to be easy. For once.

Are you guys throwing rotten tomatoes at me yet? I mean, how dare I complain? We've made it, right? Our book is going to be published. We should be sitting at a pool somewhere sipping strawberry daiquiris and giggling at our good fortune.

But in this business it seems like there's always another hurdle ahead. Oh, congrats on your book deal! Are you going out in hardcover or paperback? What's your budget for PR and marketing? Have you gotten your cover yet? Who's blurbing your book? What's your print run? Are all the major chains going to stock your book? Have you sold in any foreign markets?

And the list goes on and on and on.

So, today is one of the days I stop and remind myself that we ARE lucky, this is a golden opportunity, and that no matter what this crazy business throws at us next, we will not blow it. And above all else, we'll enjoy every single moment of this process. Even the the dull ache I get in my index finger after refreshing my e-mail approximately 5,000 times a day. After all, a couple years ago the most exciting thing to hit my inbox was a dirty e-mail forwarded by my grandmother.

***

I guess we just want to remind everyone that we ALL have bad days and we all feel like giving up at one point or another. Laura wouldn't let me post this in the midst of all of our drama for fear that we'd come off like a couple of Negative Nancys, but I think it's important that we all recognize the highs and lows in this business.

And you know what? We made it over the hurdle that inspired this blog post. It wasn't easy and it wasn't fun, but we survived. So, whatever bump you're facing in your writing or life in general, don't be afraid to shift into reverse and hit the gas. Sure you might crash and burn, but chances are you'll be over it in no time. After all, it's only a bump in the road.

36 comments:

Maggie said...

I actually am sort of in love with this post. Because you get through that this isn't an easy process. You get upset and mad and sad and frustrated. But throughout all that, there are a ton of little things that make it terribly great. And I think that's quite amazing. :)

Piedmont Writer said...

Than you Laura, Thank you Lisa for this very timely post. The simple frustration of creating the WIP is bad enough, but to then have to deal with everything else on top of it, yeah, makes me want to give up right now. But I won't because I know, after the deal comes through and you see your name in print, it's all worth it. Never give up.

Jen said...

Lucky people still have bad days, still have whiny moments... and are still ALLOWED TOO!!! If you are frustrated SING IT (or say it if your voice really sucks.)

Us unpublished folks look up to you and want to how it all ends up after you are up for publication, if it's not all roses best we know now!!!

I wish you the best and I hope tomorrow you are crapping rainbows and flowers again :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Lisa and Laura,

I SO hear you on this one! Before my book was out a week, the questions came flying at me ...

When's the next book coming out?
Uh....
Why isn't it in hardback?
Well...
How many have you sold?
??????

Sometimes you have to take your eyes off the horizon for a bit and look back and appreciate where you are and how far you've come. Gonna try and do that today, in fact.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Preach it, sister!

Katie said...

I agree. I am so glad you posted this. It's refreshing. And it's true. Honest and true.

middle grade ninja said...

Sigh. Can't you just lie to us and say everything is great? I know it's not; it never is. But I like to live with the fantasy that somewhere some writer has it easy and if I figure out the secret, I can too.

salarsenッ said...

Your paragraph starting with 'But today'--ending with--'For once', hit it home for me. I'm still so new at all of this. Sometimes I wonder if I even have the right to feel down, get frustrated. Look at some of the wonder authors who've taken forever to get where they are. You both are wonderful, and thank you for reminding us that it's okay to have a slumpy day, and in reality it truly is 'only a bump in the road.'

*grins, feeling a warm hug*

Kim Harrington said...

I totally feel ya!

And now, I'm always going to picture you as cheerleaders shaking pom poms while rainbows shoot out of your asses. So thanks for that.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

You writers with agents and book deals, will you ever stop stressing? It's annoying to us scrubs who are floundering out in Queryland.

lol. I meant that in the most LOVING, SUPPORTIVE, and NOT SNOTTY way.

There is so much love for LiLa through the blogoshphere. You gals are gonna do fabulous. Don't ever doubt yourselves.

XO

Anne said...

So, so true! I'm a spaz over everything lately. I'm glad there are others.

storyqueen said...

Oh yes...there IS always that next hurdle.

I wish I appreciated more the time between hurdles....

Shelley

Lisa Desrochers said...

Good to know the publishing cheerleaders are human too! =) You guys totally rock and I'm glad you made it through the pothole without popping a tire.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Great post. There is always the next hurdle waiting. Like you said, it's not easy or fun, but you get over them eventually. Hopefully stronger. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I guess no matter what road you're on and where you're headed there are always bumps and frustrations. Some bigger and uglier than others.

I like the reminders - thanks for sharing :)

K. M. Walton said...

My brilliant mom always says, "Anything worth having is worth working for."

And I'm hella working. Like you two.

Meredith said...

I think there are always going to be frustrations. Which is awful, but at least it means we'll always have goals to aspire to!

Patti said...

I've often wondered how I would be able to handle the pressures of getting a book out and writing another one. It's good to see that other people have their down days as well.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Darn it I was going with yesterdays post that it was a piece of cake! Great, now I need some chocolate, lol. Just kidding! Thanks for keeping it real! You gals are great!

Heidi Willis said...

The feeling will come and go. The best dream day was my first book signing and champagne party afterwards. It felt like my dream came true.

The next day I was doing dishes and taking out garbage again, and wrestling with writing another book and figuring out how to get my first book into people's hands and in front of their faces.

Good days and bad days. Some days you will feel you are eeking every moment out, and some days you'll wonder if you've blown it. :)

It's all better than not having done it at all!!

Regina said...

So I get it now when my daughter says "Shush up Nancy" to me. lol

Krispy said...

Bumpy days happen to everyone. Glad you got past that one! And thanks for this helpful reminder that there will always be days when you're down, but that it will pass.

Lola Sharp said...

Amen, Sister! *raises hands in the air* Testify up in here!

Stephanie Thornton said...

This is a fantabulous post. This business sure as heck isn't for the faint of heart- it's a little soul-crushing sometimes. One would think it just gets easier as time goes on, but I don't think it works that way for most writers.

Dara said...

Thanks :) That really helped me today.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

im sticking my tongue out right now...:)

Marsha Sigman said...

I love you both more than a little bit right now.

Lisa Gail Green said...

Thanks, I needed that.

Oh and now I want someone to do a comic strip with a superhero that flies around, propelled by rainbows that shoot out of his ass.

Joy said...

Well - you pretty much covered the angst ladies! My two cents? (oh you didn't ask for it, you say? Well, I think the phrase, "leave your comment" would indicate otherwise) It's the journey. And you know what else? I think those days/hours/months/years when I'm scared that I just can't do it/that it's too damn hard/that I'm a total hack and what the hell was I thinking when I tried to become a cool kid - they're what keep me getting better. If you didn't delete 20k - that would be a problem. No one succeeded without failing and falling on their respective assi. (Wow, I've used damn, hell and ass in one comment post!)

As someone who is currently procrasting finishing her own line edits that were due to Editor Kelly um, NOW, I get it. Even now at book 2, it's actually harder cause now I know what I'm doing!

Hugs!

Lori W. said...

This is a post to print out and tack up onto the wall. The one you linked to was awesome as well. Thanks.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

gave you an award today on my blog :)

Hardygirl said...

Yeah. It's a bumpy road all right. And, sometimes you just have to sit there stalled out in the middle of the road for a while.

I love your grandmother.

sf

Erica Chapman said...

Great post! As always, it's so honest and heartfelt. It's all part of the journey, the good, the bad, the ugly. Bumps in the road eventually get paved ;o)

Fabulous post!

Creepy Query Girl said...

I don't know if I should be reassured that there are so few bad days amongst the good or discouraged by the fact that it really doesn't get any easier no matter how many hurdles you go over. I guess what matters most is loving what you do and enjoying the process of fighting for it to see the light of day. I think if we didn't have those two things, we probably wouldn't make it. Great post!

Caleb said...

Know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Janet Gurtler said...

Yes. :)

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