I am writing this because this week has been a shitty week in my writing world. I guess one might compare it to a really bad bout of morning sickness during pregnancy. I will try to use this analogy, even though I have never been pregnant. It just seems, at this moment in time, fitting.
A little less than a year ago, I decided to start writing about my horrible time at law school. Please take a moment to read the following, because it describes what happened soon after I began writing more eloquently than I can at this moment in time:
It (my book) started out as a cathartic means of dealing with my utter regret of having attended such a soul-sucking institution. However it soon evolved into more. Not only does it chronicle the life of a law school outcast, but it is an open and honest account of how difficult and outrageous law school can really be.
This excerpt is from one of my earlier attempts at a book proposal a few months ago. I got it into my head, after having written a good chunk about my time at law school, that my book should be published because others needed to know what law school was really like. Suddenly, I thought, hey, I am going to become a writer! In my delusional state, I convinced myself that this would be easy. My mom has read my book and she loves it! So, of course, that means that I’m fit to be a published author already. Of course it does. Ego is a bitch, let me tell you.
I have been told throughout my life that I was a good writer. Good writer does not equate to awesome published author, no matter how much I prayed and dreamed it would. It suddenly occurred to me that I might need to get some help, some practice, dare I say, even take some classes. If this is something I truly want to pursue, I am finally coming to realize, I will have to treat it like any other craft…practice makes perfect. I can’t just assume that because my teachers and my mom have told me that I’m a good writer that I am automatically a nifty short story teller or non-fiction novelist. Please…it took me three damn years to be schooled in the subject of law, and I have to think of writing in the same way…as a subject that I need to take time with in order to learn more about. Raw talent helps, but it just isn’t enough.
In this blog, I am hoping to keep a type of journal of the process I have been through and the things I will be going through. Hopefully, it will help out other aspiring authors. Hopefully soon, I will also be able to provide links to my own published works!
Oh, back to the pregnancy issue before I wrap up. A week ago, I had a former law school colleague read through my book. He now works at a book agency. He got back to me and told me my work was good, that it needed some work, but that it had great potential. I was flying high. The next day, a literary agent got back to me and told me they were interested in seeing more of my work. I was flying even higher. These were the signs that I had been waiting for, the moments that told me hey, you can do this!
This week, I received the following from an editor at a publishing company to which I sent a chapter of my book:
I must say to begin, that I am sure your life and experience is very interesting to you. As an editor I must honestly say that you have managed to tell your tale, if it is such at all, and not the ramblings taken directly from a day to day diary, in a manner beyond boring. The only things you have left out are your bedtimes and how long you brush your teeth.
If this is intended to be, or in your opinion is a book, may I remilnd [sic.] you that what we are talking about here is publishing and literary works.
My best advice? Try writing a text book. Or better yet, a series of essays for a law journal.
Hope this has been helpful.
OK. I added the Bitch-Ass part in. But that is what I wanted to call him.
So. Heart crushed. Can’t breath. Life sucks.
Blow number two. That literary agency that had shown interest in my work? Yeah, got an email from them this morning telling me that they wanted to represent me. Why am I not happy? Because it appears it is a bogus literary agency. I am going to write a whole post on that specific topic later on, because I feel like it is important that aspiring authors don’t get sucked into this little dreamworld agencies like this hand to you, only to have them pop it later on because they are charging you for things they shouldn’t be or don’t have one damn author published under their agency. Until I write that post, be wary of WL Writers Agency or Writer’s Book Publishing Agency or whatever the hell they are calling themselves today. They might sound official, have a fancy little website, but dig deeper, and you will see a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
So, on that note, I have felt sick this whole week. Weak and sick and upset and constantly questioning myself. Can I really become a writer, a writer that is reputable, that has works published, shit, that gets paid for writing? I am going to keep on trucking and see what happens. And while I’m at it, I invite any other aspiring authors along for the ride. Pregnancy, I have heard, can be a bitch, but I have seen my beautiful nephew Marcus come from it, and I know, in the end, something worthwhile will come from these adventures in writing, something amazing.