Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What They Don't Tell You . . .

When I was pregnant with my son, I devoured any and every bit of information I could get my hands on relating to pregnancy and babies.  I subscribed to about three different magazines, I watched "A Baby Story" on TLC religiously, and I read What to Expect When You're Expecting from cover to cover.  Yet, when the day came to deliver, I found myself saying, "What the hell?  No one told me anything about this!"  Who knew that when they tell you to push like you were having a bowel movement, that you just might . . . well, have a bowel movement.  Also, why didn't anyone tell me there'd be more hands in and out of my vagina than the Christmas grab-bag at work (did I just lose some readers?).  Don't even get me started on the freakin' contractions you have after the baby is born (while recovering).  They were actually more painful than the ones I had before! 

The same thing goes with trying to get published.  You can read author bios, blogs, and "How To" books until your mind explodes, but there are certain things no one warns you about.  Below is a list of my top ten, and in true David Letterman style, I've saved the best for last!

10)  Determination plays a larger role in success than confidence or talent.

9)    Revising will often take longer than the initial writing of your manuscript.

8)   A submission request can put you on cloud nine for the entire day, but a rejection can depress you  for an entire week.

7)   You will descend a little into madness with each book you write.  Characters will have conversations in your head and will even go as far as to tell you what they want to do.

6)  When people tell you not to take rejection personally--the writing is being rejected, not you--you just might have the urge to scream, "Who the hell do you think did the writing?!"

5)  No matter what the manufacturer says, there is no such thing as an indestructable laptop.  If you throw it against a wall, it will break.

4)  Remember that first roller coaster you went on when you were a kid?  The one that slowly crept up hills and then just when you got to the top, it threw you down with a take-your-breath-away fury?  Yep, the entire process is a lot like that.

3)  The word "subjective" to an aspiring writer is kind of like the bell to Pavlov's dog, except we don't salivate when we hear it, instead we twitch . . . severely.

2)  Finding an agent can only be compared to Indiana Jones trying to find the Ark of the Covenant.

1)  You will learn more than you ever imagined on this crazy journey, and if you're lucky, you might meet some amazing people (yep, that's a shout-out to ya'll ;).

Did I leave anything out?  Is there anything all the research/reading in the world couldn't have prepared you for?


  1. Oh, this is great - I'm going to share it with my writer friends! LOL!

    And the title of your blog is hilarious!

  2. My biggest surprise was the work after you get an agent. While you are querying, you think, "God, it can't possibly get worse than this..." And while 'worse' may not be the right word, somewhere deep down, we all think that once we land that elusive agent the hard part will be over.

    Yeah, not so much...

    So now I'm at the stage of thinking that once I get a publishing deal the hard part will be over, however I'm thinking that's a lie too...

    Although, no matter how much work you have to do after getting a publishing deal, at least at that point you have a check in hand, so that has to help right?...


  3. LOL! Thanks for the tips I'll be sure to watch out for those things. :D
    Do they really expect writers to feel no emotion? What are we doing writing if we don't feel things deeply. Maybe more publishers should figure that out!

  4. These were great, Angela. I was laughing in spite of my pain. ;) I agree w/Marian. Getting an agent, although it's validation and a high like no other, is only half the battle. It doesn't guarantee publication. So go into it knowing that yes, it's a wonderful step up, but there are still lots more steps to go on that winding staircase of torture before you reach the top tier. HEH.

  5. Oh Yeeeahhhh - to all. I wish someone would've explained to me that I'd piss myself w/out knowing it the first time I stood up, post-delivery. I also wish someone would've explained that I'd piss myself, post-agent phone call, when I stood up. :)

  6. Such a great list! My things blogs/articles couldn't have prepared me for: how to keep your composure when you finally get the call. How to tell who's the right agent for you when more than one offers (all the questions are helpful, but in the end it's up to your gut instinct). And how to be patient (so far, my method consists of obsessing on the inside, never letting anyone see it on the outside. ;)

  7. sososo true, especially about the poop. will poop also come out when one acquires an agent? oh, probably, knowing my luck.
    thank you!
    my capcha word is LACTINGLE. i kid you not.

  8. Haha! I love this, Angela. So true! =)

  9. @D.U.Okonkwo- thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed it & thanks for passing it on to your friends :o)

    @Marian- This whole process is kind of like raising kids, isn't it? Just when you think the worst stage is over, a whole new one begins! lol! Oh well, just like raising kids, we write because we love it- not to say a little bit of money wouldn't be nice ;o)

    @Jen- I don't know . . . I mean, if rejection didn't bother us, than I think that would be a sign that we're not really doing what we love. Of course, there are good ways and bad ways to deal with rejection, but I think there's something wrong with a writer who feels nothing.

    @Anita- From all the blogs I've been reading, I'm starting to realize that finding an agent is just the first step in the second phase. But still, just to have someone in the "biz" get EXCITED about something I wrote . . . *deep sigh* It's my dream :o)

    @Mindy- You're so funny . . . I can totally see myself losing control of my bladder if/when I get "the call"

    @Natalia- Thank you for stopping by! "The Call" seems like something so far away, I haven't even given any thought to what I would say, or what I would ask, but after reading your comment . . . I guess I should! lol! Great, another list of things to be neurotic about ;o)

    @Jenny- Haha! Yes, my husband loves telling my kids the "poop story". lol. "LACTINGLE"- a lactating pringle (ewww!)

    @Cherie- Thank you, Cherie! Yes, unfortunately they are all VERY true . . . lol

  10. Wish I could sympathize with the whole contraction, pooping in front of people bit, but I had labor, no pushing. (I think I just lost a few readers).

    You're absolutely right, though. Parenthood is like a brick to the face, but the Motrin afterward is divine. I imagine that's how publication will be--hard, painful but worth it.

  11. Bethany- Oh girl! You don't know what you missed out on! ;o) lol.

    Such a good analogy! Yes, I can't imagine anything better than (hopefully) seeing my book on the shelves some day :o) It's what keeps me going!

  12. Good points. Another thing to add to your list is that nothing is final until you are holding a published copy of your book. Contracts do get canceled after they are signed and advances are paid.

  13. Carol- Yes, that's another sort of "taboo" topic that doesn't get talked about very much- cancelled contracts. I'm learning that the publishing world is a crazy industry that is constantly changing. You definetly don't want to count your chickens before they hatch ;o)

    Thanks for the comment ;o)

  14. Okay. You're not helping my hubby's case about the baby thing! LOL. I actually already knew those things, minus the post contractions thing! What? That's crazy. No one ever tells you a lot of things about the publishing industry. I discover something new and shocking almost every day. Sometimes, it makes me wander if I *really* wanna go there.

    The answer's usually a resounding YES! There's always some bad with the good. =)

    Love this list!

  15. Awesome post! You just earned a new follower!

  16. @Ashely- I'm so LOL right now! When I wrote the baby delivery stuff, I was so thinking of you! Yes, the post contractions are actually REALLY bad after your second kid, because according to my Dr., the uterus muscles have to work extra hard to get it back down to normal size (or something like that- it's been 6 years, lol).

    I agree, no matter where this crazy road may lead me, I've never been more sure of anything in my life! Though, I'd rather travel down a smooth road as opposed to a bumpy one ;o)

    @Berinn- Thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you liked the post, and thank you for the follow!

  17. I learned this in my Entertainment law class not first hand but unlike in the music industry where the advance is only recoupable in literary publishing the advance is usually recoupable AND refundable... meaning your advance is paid off with royalties but if your book doesn't sell well enough and it isn't paid back then you may have to pay back the part of the advance not paid off. Something to keep in mind when reading contracts.

  18. Mary Kate- Yikes! What a horrible thought. Talk about adding insult to injury! A good reminder to always know exactly what your signing.

    Thanks for the comment!

  19. Just an FYI for those of you not familiar with the "Great Blogger Incident of 2011." Blogger was down (off and on) for a couple of days, and in the midst of all the chaos, posts and comments disappeared (looming somewhere over the Bermuda Triangle perhaps?). I just wanted everyone to know that I DID NOT delete any comments!! I LOVE when people leave me notes and I would never do such a thing (unless they were evil and/or mean spirited ;o).

  20. I love #2! That's the stage that I'm stuck at and it's very true.

  21. I know, right? lol. The only thing we can do is keep on truckin' and hope and pray for the best!

    Thank you for stopping by! :o)