The business of being a fiction author is truly a heartbreaking business. It is so much harder than I ever thought possible. On a regular basis, you put your hopes and dreams out there on the display, only for them to be dashed into a million pieces. For me, I have a good cry, pick up the pieces and get to work to putting the pieces of the dream back together - again and again. It is much like fixing Humpty-Dumpty over and over. Only to have this loveable character fall off the wall - again - and watching while it happens.
But, sometimes... sometimes, your stories don't fall. Sometimes they soar and you soar with them. The more they soar, the more you want to soar and the higher you try to fly. And the harder you fall.
The highs are so damn good that they make the falls worth it. In retrospect. When the fall is fresh, it's more than just bone broken. It's your mind, your heart, your ego. Even the good rejections hurt. Later, after a time, I'll be able to look back at this most recent one and smile.
"You are talented and obviously a prolific writer."
"This is a tough decision for me, but..."
"... you'll have no trouble finding an agent that sees what I do which is a superior talent on her way to the front tables of my local book shop!"
In time, I will look at these words later and smile. I will be grateful for them. But, right now, I am shattered. Every edge hurts. Every demon is screaming at me. Every tear is salty on my face. My hand is firmly stapled to my forehead and I feel overly dramatic "woe is me" prose coming on.
I'm going to wallow in this. I've earned it. I was just rejected by one of the top agents in the business because of various reasons but... BUT... she believes I have talent. She had to think about it. She read two of my manuscripts. All the way through. Some people never get that far. So, yes, I am going to wallow and cry and feel this pain all the way to its end.
Then, I'm going to pick myself back up. Dry my tears, remove my stapled hand from my forehead, tell the demons to shut the hell up and start picking up the pieces of my dream again. Because I have to. Because I have a plan. I always have a plan. I always have next step in case what I'm doing falls through. I have to. In this business, you have to. If you don't, you'll fail before you begin.
The thing that keeps me going and will keep me going is the fact that I love to write. I love to tell stories and I will write no matter what else happens. I also have victories to remember. I've co-written three books. Two of them come out this year. I've sold my anthology, the thing I conceived and nurtured for years. It will be published in July 2009. I've been invited to write for anthologies. I have victories. They are awesome victories. They make me proud. They make me feel validated as an author. I -am- an author. Not just someone who dreams about it.
That's why this particular fall is so hard for me right now. That's why I cry while I write these words. That's why, tomorrow morning, I will pull myself up by my bootstraps and keep on keeping on. I will succeed. I know it. I just can't give up. Not now. And I won't.
But that does not stop this from being a heartbreaking business. One that will break my heart again and again. And, yet, like a fool, I will keep on trying. I can't help myself.
I heal myself by writing.