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:~: Thursday, April 06, 2006 :~:

Expectations

You know how you write your first book and start fantasizing? Come on. You know what I'm talking about . . . until you're aware of the realities of publishing, you write the book, write your query, send it off, while visions of editors calling and the mailman delivering advance checks dance in your head.

Some part of you expects to sell that first book. Sure, you know it doesn't happen to lots of people, but you're different. Your book is different. Of course it will sell.

For most of us, it doesn't take long for the reality check to arrive in the place of that advance check.

My first reality check showed up on December 16, 2003. I'd written a book, polished it, polished some more, declared it ready for the world, sent a partial off to a publishing house in October 2003. Sure I'd be offered a multi-book contract (oh, for the joys of naivete!), I happily started on book #2. I mean, I'd need something else when that editor called, wanting everything I'd written, right?

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we dabble in grand delusions . . .

Well, it's 2006. And believe it or not, I'm still wrapped up in that book. I've written other books, but that first book, despite the editor rejection from December and many more agent rejections, still gets my hopes up. It's the book I landed my first agent with. It's the book still sitting somewhere at four publishing houses. It's the book I'm currently working on in the lower realms of Revision Hell.

It's the book that hasn't sold. It's the book that I know needs further work (hence my time in Revision Hell before I send it to another publisher -- yes, sans agent. We parted amicably this week as she's no longer repping romance works.) It's the book that still raises my expectations.

Might I get yet another reality check? Well, sure. At this point, I've opened myself up for five of the suckers. But what's five more? Somehow, the expectation lingers, realistic or not. And the expectations aren't limited to selling that first book. We have expectations when we sign with an agent. We have expectations when we sell a first book or a fifth or a tenth. The expectations never go away.

And I imagine the reality checks don't either, not really.

So what do you do to keep your reality checks from overdrawing your expectations account?

3Comments:

Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

My expectations didn't last long with my first book. It was about an ex-FBI agent who couldn't let go of his last case. Did I mention I did NO research on the FBI before I wrote it? Oh, Lord. Saaaaad. Surprisingly, the full was requested by like four agents. And then of course it was immediately rejected. (Thank the heavens above).

Expectations keep me going. I like having them. I like fantasizing about getting the call, selling that first book (Okay, not "that" book, but the first one of mine to sell. LOL), making it. Gives me something to strive for. A reason to keep writing and getting better. Because I am. It's not something I simply "want". It's something I "expect". And I know I'll get it as long as I don't give up.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

I want the call. I want a book in my hand with my name on it. I want people to be able to read what I write and feel they ere entertained and enlightened. I don't want much! LOL But that is what keeps me cranking out the books, sending them to agents and editors. And perfecting my writing.

The rejection letters that say, "Loved it, but" "You can tell a story, but" and my friends saying it made me cry, it made me laugh. That's what keeps me going.
Nothing is better than to create characters that people love.

8:26 AM  
Blogger MaryF said...

The book that has me in the same situation isn't my first book, but it has gone through revisions/requests/revisions/rejections over and over again. I just sent the latest round of revisions to my editor two weeks ago. Let's hope this time is the trick!

9:05 PM  

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