Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Getting Revenge: Voodoo Doll vs Writing

One of the greatest joys of becoming a better writer is helping others along their path. I recently received a request to assist someone with her query and synopsis. She knows I'm deep into editing my novel THE SECRET KEEPER, but felt she could benefit from my expertise. (Hah!)

What I realized while looking at her work is how far I've come in such a short time. In November of last year, I received my first and only request for a partial for LITTLE PEARLS. It was my first book, consisting of a series of quasi-autobiographical vignettes loosely linked together to form a "novel." I worked on it off and on for over 13 years. What was the result of my one and only partial request? A much-deserved rejection. It was terse, something along the lines of, "I was very disappointed in these pages. They were nothing like I hoped they'd be." OUCH!!! (That's how I remember it. I threw the actual rejection away. I don't like having negative juju around.)

Did I consider getting a Voodoo doll with name of said agent that I could mercilessly stick with sharp pins? No! Okay, well maybe for a few, glorious, self-indulgent moments. But ultimately I decided to get even another way: I kept writing.

In the past year, I wrote three and a half novels. (I still hope to turn that 1/2 into a whole one of these days!) The requests for partials and fulls increased with each project, until I landed the most awesome agent in the history of the universe. (My mom always said I was a drama queen. To this day, I don't know what she means.) I'm working hard with my agent (SQUEE!) to get my book ready to go on submission. That is my current and very focused goal.

No matter where you are in the process, concentrate on that. There really is a time to every purpose under heaven. When you're ready, your time will come, the doors will slide open, and your dreams will unfold.

Until then (and forever after), work your ass off!

44 comments:

Daisy Whitney said...

Words of wisdom as always...It can be tempting to curse and furrow our brows with rejection and we often need to vent for a bit...but at the end of the day, you keep doing the good work and keeping spirits up!

DebraLSchubert said...

Daisy, How true. The best revenge is success!

SM Blooding said...

It IS very important to keep the good juju flowing! Whew! What was it about The Secret? If you think positive thoughts, positive things will come to you? Yeah, kinda the same thing.

*positive thoughts...positive thoughts*

Frankie

Christina Davis said...

I like the "work your ass off" advice. Just what I needed to hear.

koralee said...

Just had to pop over and thank you so so much for your sweet comment you left on my blog. We do so miss our Rosie but your caring words have helped me today. Thank you so much my friend.

DebraLSchubert said...

Frankie, Yup - the Law of Attraction works!

DebraLSchubert said...

Christina, Hard work is what makes "overnight successes." Now, get to it! ;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Koralee, I'm truly sorry for your loss. Keep smiling and know Rosie will always be a part of you because she'll forever be in your heart and soul.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Success is the best revenge! :)

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

DebraLSchubert said...

Elizabeth, Amen, sista!

Karen Walker said...

This is such sage advice, Debra. I can get so discouraged if I don't produce what I think I should or that judging voice comes down hard about what I did manage to produce. Forget about rejections. That's a whole other story. Thanks for sharing the hard journey towards finally succeeding.
Karen

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Every day I'm getting better and better. Looking back makes me wince. Look out world, here I come!

Elspeth

DebraLSchubert said...

Karen, Be gentle but firm with yourself. Life's too short to be harsh with yourself or anyone else. Success is living the journey the way you're meant to - it's not reaching a particular point. Goals are good, but they're simply milestones. Being present along your path is where true success lies.

DebraLSchubert said...

Elspeth, I have a feeling we'd better look out! Good for you for taking on the world. ;-)

Kelly said...

Great sentiments and advice!
Especially with all this holiday food around, I'm so ready to work my arse off! ;)

DebraLSchubert said...

Kelly, Hah! Work it, baby, work it!

Angela Corbett said...

Thanks Debbie!!! Rejection is difficult but it makes me appreciate the small successes (even if it's just a partial request) even more. Thanks for all your help! :)

DebraLSchubert said...

Angela, Thank you for inspiring this post! You're on the right track. Keep working it!

Jemi Fraser said...

It's always fun to look back or step sideways and see how much we've improved!

DebraLSchubert said...

Jemi, That's SO true. Seeing our own improvements is inspiring. It's part of the thrill of being human - being able to choose our paths and seeing our progress.

julieduck said...

"No matter where you are in the process, concentrate on that." Totally true. Yes, the law of attraction works. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves to go with the flow. Great post! BTW, I love the voodoo doll. Nice pins! LOL!

- Julie

Joelle Charbonneau said...

Okay...your "work your ass off" comment is making me turn off the internet and try to get to the end of this silly book I'm writing. Thanks:) (Happy revising! I can't wait for you to sell!!!)

Kelly H-Y said...

Awesome post!!

Journaling Woman said...

Thanks, I will tatoo these words to my hand.

DebraLSchubert said...

Julie, Aren't voodoo dolls fun? There were many times in my life I wish I had one. ;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Joelle, Yay! I got you to get back to work! (Does this mean you'll list me in your acknowledgments?) ;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

JW, Tattooing? Wow. I hadn't thought of that. I've been meaning to get a tattoo. Hmm.....

DebraLSchubert said...

Kelly, Thank you!

jdcoughlin said...

You know, gotta love those people that get to the heart of things, only when it ain't yours, right? I mean, what happened to No Thank You. But working your ass off, always a good fix for someone's bad manners.

Love that you named your book after your street!
I live on a route, damn.

DebraLSchubert said...

Judith, I know - it was harsh, but, in hindsight, it was a good thing. It pushed me to get myself to another level. I sure am happy where I'm at now! ;-)

Baker's Mark said...

I am glad to hear that you don't do agent voodoo dolls. I would be very frightened. And for whomever that unfriendly agent was...her loss is my gain!

DebraLSchubert said...

BB, I promise I'd NEVER do a voodoo doll for you! You are the bomb. I'll tell you who the evil agent was next time we talk. ;-)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Debra, I think you're grand. Stop by today to see a little gift I have for you...

DebraLSchubert said...

Caroline, You're the sweetest! I'm running out the door, but will check back as soon as I return. ;-)))

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Hey found you from Caroline's blog. Wonderful writing and truths in your blog. I'm a new follower.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

This is fabulous advice and just what I needed to hear right now.

LOVE the voodoo dolls! ;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Terry, So glad you found me, and thanks for following! Caroline's awesome - I'm humbled you found me through her. Hope to see you around often!

DebraLSchubert said...

Shannon, Glad the advice helped! Don't you just love voodoo dolls? There's something deliciously creepy about them.

Julie said...

Voodoo, huh? Nice. Oh, wait, the moral of the story wasn't revenge by voodoo. Darn. ;)

I think you are absolutely right about this. And whenever rejections gets me down, I write my way out of my funk and keep on moving. Great post!

Voidwalker said...

I like that, "The best revenge is success."

DebraLSchubert said...

Julie, Hey, I never said I was opposed to revenge via voodoo. In fact, maybe I'll call Elin Woods and suggest it... ;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

VW, What could be better than seeing the looks on the faces of the doubters once you succeed? Okay, maybe chocolate. And diamonds. Yeah, definitely diamonds. And, oh yeah, a really nice car. And...

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