Mark Terry

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Writer's Ups & Downs

August 15, 2007

With apologies to the ladies, I feel like I've got male PMS, at least in regard to my writing.

Much of this has to do with a conversation I had with one of my biggest clients concerning some ancillary aspects of working with them. That is to say, it had almost nothing to do with the work I do for them, but it was all pretty much critical, and it reminded me all too vividly of being back in the workplace.

So I'm a little grumpy about writing at the moment, to say the least. Hopefully not grumpy enough to go jump off a cliff, literally or figuratively (cliffs being rather hard to find in this part of Michigan). It did finally occur to me this morning that they were bitching at me about aspects of the job (travel) that I do voluntarily and they apparently do not require me to do, and if it's going to piss me off and they're not happy about it... Well for God sakes, don't do it!

Anyway, the point here is that things go up and down in the writing life. Generally speaking I feel pretty much like things are going well, that I'm a success. I would be fooling myself and everybody else if I were to constantly give the impression that things are always 100% fantastic, even in the fiction department. They aren't and most of the time these days I have a good enough attitude about life overall that I just say, "Hey, that's just part of the business. Live with it."

Is this too vague? Perhaps this is a small example: back in January I met an editor with a major New York publisher who, under no urging from me (I was just having lunch, I didn't try to sell him anything) asked me to send him something. So I had my agent send him off a project we'd been marketing.

As of early this week, he STILL has not made a decision on this. For that matter, he hasn't completed reading it. This is almost 8 months. And HE asked for the material.

Now, this doesn't really drive me crazy, but when my agent asks for an update and he doesn't respond or when he does respond promising (again) to get to it "this month," I get that crazy little bit of hope going, then a few days later slide into the "oh what's the use" mode. Maybe that's just me. One of the problems with the highs is you tend to hit the lows sometimes afterward (sounds kind of bi-polar, doesn't it, but hey, that's the writer's life), or worse, simultaneously. Sometimes the whole thing strikes me as trying to pay your bills by buying Lotto tickets.

Which reminds me: we were watching the news last night and they had surveillance footage of a couple guys ripping off a party store and they were throwing the lottery tickets into their bag of loot.

I looked over at my wife, puzzled, and said, "Are those easy picks, do you think?"

I mean, makes you wonder, doesn't it?


Mark Terry


Blogger spyscribbler said...

Strangely enough, PMS is a great time to write for me. :-)

It sure does go up and down, doesn't it? Here's hoping for more ups. Or at least some even keels.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I don't understand people in this business like the NY publisher you mentioned. I used to think it was just how everyone was, but I've "met" too many agents, editors, etc. who say they understand writers are on the edge of their seat until they hear back from them. So, they try to be considerate as much as time allows. Eight months???? Geez.

4:07 AM  
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