Manuscript Peddling: Only Slighlty Preferable to Being Waterboarded

Writing isn’t the hard part of being a writer. That’s the easy part. I have more ideas than I’ll ever put down. Getting published…. that’s the hard part. Imagine engaging yourself in an activity that purposefully invites criticism and rejection on a daily basis. It’s masochistic.

I’m in the process of flogging my latest manuscript. I used to keep rejection letters when they were actual letters. Now I just delete and move on. It’s part of the business. Even if it does feel personal after the umpteenth rejection, ultimately it isn’t. It is what it is. Frustrating. Unkind. Demoralizing. Impersonal. There is no business that will kill you quicker with hope than publishing.

Because of my location it’s difficult for me to get to the majority of writers conventions. That’s where the money is. That’s where you meet the agents and publishers and can sell your idea, your love for it, and your enthusiasm in person. I really would have no problem wrestling an editor to the ground and forcing her to read my manuscript. Every time I’ve had an opportunity to get a publisher by the proverbial throat and force them to read what I’ve written I’ve walked away successful. It’s just a matter of getting their attention.

The blossoming of the internet has made the process of selling my ideas infinitely easier than it was eight or so years ago. Back then I would have to buy hundreds of dollars worth of postage when I was in the states and smuggle it through customs (FYI it’s taxable). Then I would have to prepare submission packages complete with the SASE. I received more requests for partials and fulls back then than I do now. The reason is (confirmed by several people in the know) because now that agents and publishers have opened up the doors to electronic submissions they get bombarded. When it took some work to get your work into anyone’s hands, writers tended not to shot-gun out submissions like they do now.

Despair comes with the territory. Then you have a moment. A shining, validating, golden moment. Sort of like when you’re learning to golf and you’ve just about convinced yourself you can’t hit the ball then you drive that sucker like Annika Sorenstam. There is no giving up. You’ve tasted how delicious it can be if you just keep whacking away at it. You can’t give up. Those moments are the ones that pull you back in. I had one of those moments. There are harder, more painful, horrible fates in the world than having to face an inbox full of rejection emails. Waterboarding comes to mind.