Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It never gets any easier

Well, I take that back. Maybe if you're Nora Roberts or Dan Brown. But I can tell you that most, if not all, the published authors that I know fear submitting a proposal as much as they ever did pre-pubbed.

Maybe even more.

I still remember the day that I got a call about my second and third sale. "I'm not a fluke!" I screamed to my sister. "I am NOT a fluke!"

I even confessed that to my editor at the time, and she chuckled. "Nope, you're not a fluke."

Despite all that, sometimes, lots of times, we writers feel like flukes. This next book proposal, that's when the editors will discover it. This next book release, yeah, they gotta figure it out sooner or later.

And when it comes to actually sending those proposals in, oh, my. I, at least, obsess. Is it perfect? Is it as good as I can humanly get it? Will she like it?

My current editor graciously agreed to "edit across the lines" and take a look at my new proposal -- the one that I had ready to go. The line editor, the big cheese, has said she is willing to take a look at a new-old author -- my term for an author who was pubbed in a different line, but is brand new to the line she's hoping to be pubbed in.

So yesterday I got a cheerful e-mail from my very cheerful editor who said, "Send it to me as an attachment, and I'll get it to her as quickly as I can."

Ooooh, but my finger hovered over that send button. The two were like opposing magnetic poles.

What won out? What made me hit that send button?


Hope. The same hope that every writer has, no matter what her publishing status is. Just plain old hope.

I've decided that hope is a true gift to get us over all sorts of obstacles. So hope. Go ahead and hope.


Jamie said...

It really gives us unpublished writers "hope" when we find out that published authors still get as nervous and unsure about their work as we do about ours...thanks for this!

Cynthia Reese said...

Oh, Jamie, you wouldn't believe what nervous nellies we are! Hey, we're you, except for the One Phone Call that changed our lives. And we're still waiting on The Next Phone Call to tell us our lives are still changed! :-)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Actors are the same way, Cynthia. All performers : writers, actors, singers -- they're only as good as their latest work.

At least that is what they fear. If you don't believe in yourself, believe in the taste of all those readers who spend hard-earned dollars to buy your first book and then the ones after that.

I will pray that your editor replies favorably. Say one for me that some agent will offer me representation, Roland

Tawna Fenske said...

Crossing all fingers and toes you get both a speedy response and a speedy sale!


Cynthia Reese said...

Roland, got you on my prayer list! You have such a distinctive voice that it's only a matter of time, I'm sure!

Tawna, don't you ever get tired of pretzeling yourself whenever I need all fingers and toes crossed? You're such a great friend!

Margo Berendsen said...

You definitely got to keep hoping! Thanks for the encouraging post. And I am hoping for you for great success in your new area!

This comment has been removed by the author.
Cynthia Reese said...

Margo, about the success: from your lips to God's ears!

And Samuel, you are definitely no slouch yourself when it comes to great blogs! My old newspaper publisher (gone to that Big Newsroom In The Sky) is laughing at your compliments on my titles -- I never COULD title anything to suit him, and he always came up with the cleverest "heads."

Linda G. said...

Crossing my fingers for you, Cynthia! Hope you hear good news really fast. :)

Sarah said...

I certainly didn't know or think that published authors still got freaked out at the thought of sending proposals! So, the doubt and stress never goes away, huh?

out of the wordwork said...

Good luck, Cynthia! Wishing all good things for this proposal!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm the SAME way. I always have worries and doubts.

But I'm sure your editor will love your proposal!

Cynthia Reese said...

Linda, I'm liking the "really fast" part. Guess you've figured out by now that I have the patience of a gnat!

Oh, yes, Sarah, the dirty little secret no pubbed author likes to confess: we're only as good as our last book or our next proposal. But I will say this: that first sale is a confidence booster out the wazzoo, and it opens doors to you that you wouldn't have as unpubbed. So I'm grateful. VERY grateful.

Nelsa, you know how I freak, don't you?? Thanks for all the hand-holding!

Jennifer, glad to know I'm not alone! Let's hope that there's something in my proposal that sparks my editor's, "Yeah, if we fix that and this and that, then yeah, yanno, I think we can sell this sucker" button. :-) Good thing I'm always open to revising!

India Drummond said...

I've got my fingers crossed for you!

Cynthia Reese said...

Thanks, India! With all these crossed fingers, something good is BOUND to happen!