February 1st, 2010

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Ripped Panty Hose, Cold Coffee, and Chipped Nail Polish: Must be Monday

A few things to note:

* A few months back a friend sent me an article that made note of the fact that literary agents tend to deal with new clients or query letters on Mondays. Since then, I can confirm it's true. Almost every one of my rejection letters comes on a Monday. In a way, this has taken some of the anxiousness out of trying to be published. Really. Knowing that my chances of hearing anything are greater on a Monday means I have to a degree stopped obsessing about it other days of the week. And true to form, there was a rejection for a query letter I sent back in October waiting for me when I logged into my email this morning. It was pretty nice one, short, and vaguely encouraging.

* I realized that the difference between me a year ago and now is that when my manuscript gets rejected, I no longer feel like someone is killing my baby. Really, a year ago when I got my first request for the manuscript, it was physically painful to be rejected. I wanted to curl up and cry and eat Snickers bars and not talk to anyone. A full year of "Thanks but no thanks" later, and I'm okay. Yeah, it still sucks to be rejected, and sometimes without meaning to I take it personally (how could I not?), but it's just a fact. When I started submitting Smashing to agents last year, I hadn't submitted much in a long time. And that which I had submitted was never requested, so all I seemed to be doing was wasting postage. So of course it felt awful. My skin was too thin. A rejection now isn't the end of the world. It's just another No. When I rule the world, these people will be punished for their insolence, but other than that, ehh, again, they don't like it, I'll find someone who will.

*It helps that I feel my book is better than it was a year ago, thanks to all the work I put in it. That takes away some of the anxiousness when my stuff is out there in the world all by it self.

* I tried this weekend to do a sort-of "battery re-charge" in terms of my creative side. And by this I mean, I thought a lot about writing, and read a bunch about plotting and craft and all that nonsense. Sunday I took myself to the MFA to stare at my favorite painting and see if I could use it as inspiration. I got a few pages scribbled in my notebook, but nothing I think would be a good jumping off point for a longer project. And as a result, I'm not sure I know any more about what I'll work on next then I did on Friday. Maybe I just need to let it go and flounder for a while.

* I'm not very good at floundering. Possibly because I hate fish, but also because I like to have some direction. I like to say, "I'm working on a novel about X" and sound very important and interesting. Being between projects makes me feel unemployed.