Monday, March 28, 2011

THE DREADED .... "IT'S SUBJECTIVE."

Writing is subjective. We've all heard it, but living with the frustration can be taxing at times. This past week had me thinking about this a lot. Between not moving to the next round of ABNA because of sexual content(which was perhaps a tad stronger than PG) and not semi-finaling in another contest because of "correct" grammar choices the judges didn't like, I really felt the sting.

Most of the time it rushes of my back and I move on determined to polish my writing until its blinding. BUT, in some cases it has nothing to do with polishing, it's just subjective. Reader/judges/agents/publishers like what they like and there is nothing we can do about it. We ARE at their mercy. I'm the type of person to look at the positive side of negative situations. This whole experience was a good lesson for me. As I have bee reading on many of the blogs this week one word comes to mind PERSEVERANCE. If you don't have it, you mine as well close up your laptop and call it a day.

That and determination will get an author published. Only the truly lucky, and yes, I mean lucky, hit a home run on the first hit. How many published books have you read that aren't up to par? How many amazing stories, like ours, don't see the light of of day? We all know the answers to those question.

So for now, my advise to all of my blogger friends ... DON'T GIVE UP! Keep plugging away and get you work to agents and publishers. The law of averages will catch up and you will see your work published. It's all in the persistence.

Now for a much more pleasurable subject, I would like to WELCOME more new friends to my bloggy family.

Jessica, Sarah, Alison, Roger, and Sue. I am looking forward to getting to know you all better. Allison, Sylvia, Laurel, Elena (A wonderful new friend, who I've already gotten to know), Mooderino, Ruth, and Olivia. Thanks for dropping by, I hope to see you all soon.

Don't forget to join the fun for my HP blogfest. If you haven't signed up there is plenty of time, just click on the Harry, Hermione, and Ron. We post on Wednesday, March 30th!

Have a pleasant Monday everyone. It's going to be our turn soon.


36 comments:

  1. Thanks for your encouraging words, Michael. I'd add that if you are feeling discouraged about the progress of one project, try something completely different. It will really boost your enjoyment and best of all, KEEP YOU WRITING!

    I've been seeking an agent on an off for two years for my YA contemporary. Yes, you heard that right! In the mean time, I've also begun writing and submitting poetry and short stories in new genres (one romance, two middle grade). I now have more irons in the fire than just the novel, and it feels awesome!

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  2. Don't lose hope, Michael. If I can stumble my way into publication, anyone can do it. It's not just an issue of subjectivity - it's all about the timing as well.

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  3. I agree with you determination and perseverance are two things a writer needs. The subjectivity you are talking about is real, I've even learned this by being at the other end.

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  4. Michael you summed it up beautifully. Thanks for the encouraging words.

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  5. Perseverance is definitely important Michael! It's tough to get rejection after rejection (and sorry to hear about the latest ABNA results!). My feeling about writing is that I want my writing to be the best work I can put out there and ultimately it has to satisfy my (fairly high!) standards. If I am satisfied with my work (and I do listen to critiques of my work-although I don's always change everything they suggest-) then that is what is important to me. I know that there is a certain market and that I may not fit into it for whatever reason but I can't try to conform just for success's sake. Writing is something I do because I NEED to, not because I need something from it. If I never get published I will still write.

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  6. Alex is right : it is very much about timing -- hitting the right agent/editor/purchasing agent at the right time : when what you are writing is what they want to be selling.

    Of course, there have books to have found an agent, an editor, only to be turned down by the publisher's purchasing agent because he/she was not convinced there would be a gauranteed return on the advance.

    If we stop, we will never know if we would have succeeded. Great post, Roland

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  7. When I'm feeling challenged, I ask my husband 'Couldn't I have chosen something easier to do?' I suppose I could have, but this is what I've dedicated myself to and therefore, nothing but my best effort is going to be good enough.

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  8. You rock, Michael.

    I keep telling myself that changing my writing to suit someone else's taste would be selling out, that we'd end up with the same books being published over and over. But it's hard to fight the temptation! I so want it to be my turn! But you're right- it will be our turn soon!

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  9. I suppose "it's subjective," is a nicer thing to hear than," What were you thinking sending this junk to us? Your writing sucks!"

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  10. Look at you racking up the followers! Publishing is a game, and like all games, luck plays a HUGE part. But so does effort, skill and heart, and you've got a lot of all three.

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  11. Good advice and warmly put. Thanks, as usual, for an inspiring post
    Lx

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  12. Your words are deep and encouraging, whatever the setbacks (which are piffling in the big picture of your future success!)Thank you.

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  13. I agree, don't give up! You'll be published before long.

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  14. I have felt the sting of 'subjectiveness' a lot lately so I know exactly what you mean. It becomes exhausting at times but we have to stay in the fight. It isn't who takes the most hits but who is left standing. ;)

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  15. Hi Michael. You are a positive person, but even so, there are times when we all falter. I know.

    I have some writer hero's that help me. One of them is Frank L. Baum, the Wizard of Oz. No one would touch it. After numerous failures he finally self published and look what happened. Whatever path you choose, find a hero for the times when you despair.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

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  16. I have a friend who's had three short stories published in journals, now, after at least fifteen years of writing and constant submissions (and rejections). She is a great writer, brilliant I often think, but definitely quirky and not for everyone. Persistence is absolutely key! Chin up, Michael, we all need you to hang in here with us while we're working on keeping our own chins up! Based on the vignettes of your writing that I've read, I'd say you're a natural born storyteller! You can be proud of your work.

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  17. There's so much involved, and as Alex says, for him timing was key too. You know your turn will come. It's great that you are brushing yourself off and still have hope. It's a long and winding road for some.

    Denise<3

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  18. Yes it will!! I love your last comment - Sweet! And so very true. Keep writing Michael!

    Talei x

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  19. It's so true, isn't it? Not every story is for everyone, but even MORE than that, not every VOICE is for everyone. There is the wise advice to look for writers who 'sound' like you and target their agents, but truly unique voices have a much harder time. (I have found peers for my Cozy voice... my suspense voice? Not so much--a peer reader has my nearly polished Legacy at the mo and says 'I've never seen a book like this' erm... okay, and so HOW do I target it? I believe in the work, but may run into trouble for that 'nobody to hang on the shelves with' thing.

    Perseverance though, is one quality I have... So i'm with you, my friend... we'll get there...

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  20. Thanks for the encouraging words.

    All the best for you on your endeavours!

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  21. Alas, yes, it is VERY subjective! Keep on keeping on. It seems to be about finding the right fit, and the right person who finds that your work resonates with them. Like-souled, or whatever. (Especially with an agent and an editor, I think.) Best wishes!

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  22. I had a frustrating day as a writer starting with a tiny, tiny royalty check from one of my publishers and then a different publisher asking me to resend something I then couldn't find.
    Thanks for sharing encouraging words.

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  23. Yes, "subjective", perhaps we could think of a code word so we don't have to use the term any more than necessary! :)

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  24. So sorry, Michael, about the recent lack of good news. But you seem to be taking it in stride, which is a great reminder to us all. I have recently made the hard decision to give up on (temporarily, I hope) a manuscript that means so much to me, so I can concentrate on one that might stand a better chance in the marketplace.

    A little grieving time is okay, too.

    Keep persevering!
    Vicki

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  25. ...it's all about timing, persistence, and patience. And in the meantime...keep writing;)

    Your heart's in the right place, Michael. Keep plugging away!

    EL

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  26. let me give u a couple of songs to dance to before u get right back to writing
    Try Again - Aaliyah
    Dust the dirt off your shoulder - Jay Z
    Pop ya collar - Usher
    Don't care if you look silly just have fun and then get back to writing
    Bisous

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  27. Very encouraging Michael. I truly hope things start looking your way soon.

    ......dhole

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  28. Glad you can stay positive Michael! If it's your passion, keep doing it. This business is so subjective and it is all about timing. But it never hurts to take that advice or constructive criticism and learn from them. As writers we are always learning and honing our craft (at least I am). I like to think I'm a better writer now than when I started my first novel 2 years ago. And a lot of it is attributed to blogs and crit partners. Keep up the good work Michael!

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  29. You are so right, Michael! It is so hard to find the editor or agent that has the exact same sense of humor or taste that you have. Even when you do all the research, you might hit them on the wrong day...So what can you do? Just dig in and search for someone else...Eventually it will all fall into place. You are right about another thing...you shouldn't give up.


    Have a wonderful week!

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  30. I could not agree more, Michael. as they say publication or winning a literary prize is a subjective lottery. Talent counts but being in the right place at the right time and with the right judge, publisher etc can make all the difference. It's an excellent reason to go on trying despite the setbacks.

    I'm here through Rachel's blog and pleased to meet you.

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  31. Wonderfully said!
    Can't wait for your fest tomorrow!

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  32. I agree with everything you've said and there must be thousands of authors facing this kind of thing every day. Sometimes getting published is about being in the right place at the right time,, and you won't be in that place if you give up.

    Don't ever give up, Michael!

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  33. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...
    It's what I've been singing all week. We're all in this together and blessed to have each other. :)

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  34. i did see a great post on being persistent yesterday! (@ the sisterhood, i think) yes, subjectivity. i like to think that when the right agent comes along (for my project and for me) then it'll just be, well, right! it's about fitting together more than just the one story and an agent. once the right one comes along it'll hopefully last for our writing careers! christy

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  35. This is truly a great post, Michael. And I am sure you'll be fine.

    Heavy sexual content, weather in adult or young adult is a big turn off for some readers, but it is a topic every person faces in life so why shy away from it.

    Sorry to hear about the other contest as well.

    Be persistent, keep trying. The agent is out there who will love your work as much as you do. As much as we all do.

    J

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