Plenty of famous authors were initially cast aside with rejection letters. Kathryn Stockett – author of The Help – amassed a collection of sixty. I’m looking forward to joining the club, but I would be satisfied with less. I think that I’d feel sufficiently humbled and disillusioned with twenty letters. Yes. Twenty would be fine.
You hear that, agents? Number twenty-one has to be the charm. I’ll let you know who you are.
If only it were that easy.
I know that rejection letters – along with no response at all from some agents – are part of the process. And that’s okay. In fact, rejection is better than okay. It’s great. Those letters are proof that I’m really doing this. They’re proof that I am not just a hobbyist. They’re proof that somewhere out there an agent has read my work and considered it – even if for a moment.
So far I have received one rejection and one chirping cricket.
I’m on my way.
I just read this article on CNN that must have clothing designers aghast, but it had me ready to sign up. I think I’ll go with the gray t-shirt. Every day. And jeans. Sounds great.
The point of the article is a point made and ignored all too often these days. In essence, humanity has let itself become bombarded with information, and thus decisions to make, and we are stressing ourselves out. Unable to stop checking our email, texting our friends, surfing the net, signing up for more activities, taking on more work, multi-tasking to the nth degree – you know the drill. Our little minds are spent. Those who understand this evidently find respite not in yoga and meditation but in their wardrobe. They take one potential stressor out of every day and just wear the same damn thing. Brilliant.
So to all of my blogging friends, this post is just one more reminder to pause and give your minds a rest – whether through your clothing selection or something else. I’m going to apply this to my writing in that I’ll stop checking my email ten times a day to see if I’ve had any responses from agents yet. It’s a futile and disappointing effort, and it sucks my time and focus. So enough. They’ll write when they write. And in the meantime I’ll live my life.
I feel better already.
The process of researching a novel is like a scavenger hunt. You pick up a pebble here and there. You search for ideas and inspiration without knowing what you will find. You fill your proverbial pocket with an arsenal of useful information – things that you’d have never sought out and learned were it not for your writing.
I have gathered a small collection of new favorite books – all found as a result of writing and researching for The Scars of Martyrs. I thought I’d share some of them with you. Here are my favorite ten finds in no particular order:
- Mariette in Ecstasy – a novel by Ron Hansen.
- Mont St. Michel – a book of photography by Michael Kenna
- Mont-Saint-Michel: Immensity – a book of photography by Olivier Meriel with text by Nicolas Simonnet
- The Tides of Mont St. Michel – a novel by Roger Vercel
- Joan of Arc In Her Own Words – a book containing transcripts from Joan of Arc’s condemnation trials.
- Fatima in Lucia’s own words – a memoir from one of the three children (now an adult) who claims to have experienced private revelations from Mary
- Moines & Moniales au Mont-Saint-Michel – a small French book detailing in words and photos the lives of the Religious who make Mont Saint Michel home.
- A Still Small Voice – a book on private revelations by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel
- Our Lady of the Forest – a novel by David Guterson
- Hunting and Gathering – a novel by Anna Gavalda
If you’ve ever had an interest in any of the topics covered by these works, I highly recommend them. And if you haven’t had such an interest – pick one out and give it a try anyway. After all, that’s the fun of a scavenger hunt: finding unexpected treasures.