Monday, January 25, 2010

Owning My Insanity

First, for your Monday viewing pleasure:

Ever feel like that? :D Annnywho......

They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same action expecting different results...or something along those lines.

It got me thinking. Are we, my dear writers, insane? Sending out query after query, revising over and over, plowing on despite the rejections and accidental deletions and manuscript fails and revision dead ends....

Or are we just persistent? Driven? Determined? Plain ol' stubborn? :D

I'm inclined to think it's a mixture of all of the above. I think it takes a certain amount of insanity to put yourself through the wringer that is the publishing industry. But at the same time, that wringer weeds out those who have a true passion for what they are doing from those who might have been trying out a passing fancy.

Because, let's face it, unless you absolutely love what you are doing, this game can really get to you.

The thought of querying both chills and excites me. It's daunting, to say the least. A seemingly never ending cycle of emails and snail mails and requests and rejections. Incredible highs followed by crushing lows....we seem to be our own special type of adrenaline junky.

Do I go jumping off cliffs?

Heck no!! I send a query letter, baby!!

Do I race a car around a track at 200 miles an hour?

No way! I go through my manuscript one more time and send that puppy off to the agent that I just know is impatiently waiting by their inbox.

I HIT SEND!!! WOOOOOO!!! What a rush! 

Did I curl up in the fetal position and cry uncontrollably when that tree fell on my car a few years ago?

Pshaw! I save that sort of devastation for REAL when that agent who LOVED my manuscript decides they just don't love it as much as they should. (just kidding....or am I?) ;-D

So, are we insane? Maybe. But you know what I love about writers? At least the ones I know, the ones who are so determined to make it they stick to their guns no matter what delightful particles of nastiness may be poised to smack them in the face -

They own their insanity.

They embrace, rejoice in it, and with a smile on their face and a song in their heart they put yet one more query letter in the mail, knowing that THIS time, the answer will be different. Despite the rejections that are literally wallpapering their office, they KNOW that eventually, someone is going to say yes.

And when that next rejection comes in, they simply say:

and do it all over again.

They are my heroes :D

And if that's insanity, well count me in. Sounds like a grand plan to me :)

How about you? Are you a proud, card-carrying member of the Insanity Club?


Sandra said...

Snort! For my day job, I run the same tests with the same reagents and equipment, but I keep getting different results. Does this mean my day job is insane?

Natalie Murphy said...

Yep! I got it laminated and everything-- just in case the coffee gets away from me.

Cole Gibsen said...

HaHa! Great post. Exactly what I needed on a Monday.

Emily Ann Benedict said...

It's true! You have to be a little bit crazy to be a writer...and basically ask people to criticize and reject you.

...But it's worth it when you hear and honest, "I loved it!"

Lisa Amowitz said...

I love you, Michelle! You and Elana always have me rolling on the floor. How's your new digs? It's always good to know I'm not alone in my card-carrying variety of nuts. I think I'm even beyond nuts. But soon, very soon, the next round of queries for the latest monstrosity goes out and up will go my blood pressure. I'm going to make a special email that I will only times a day.

Michelle McLean said...

LOL Probably Sandra, but that's okay. Insanity is good for you ;-D

Natalie - ha! you sound like me. EVERYTHING gets away from me :D

Cole - glad I could help :)

Emily - so so true! Man, it makes it all worth it to know someone enjoyed your work :)

Lisa - Hahaha yeah, I thought having all this unpacking to do would distract me from submissions. Nope. Instead, I hang out on the computer all day and the house goes unpacked :D

Wendy (aka quillfeather). said...

Great post! I simply love your tenacity.

Most inspiring, indeed :)

Amanda J. said...

Yea!! Fantastic! I think I'll link to it, because it was just what I needed and I'd like to share.

Thanks for posting!

Michelle McLean said...

Thanks Wendy and Amanda!

Patti said...

Well said. I think everyone who tries to be creative is just a little bit crazy.

Michelle McLean said...

Patti - so true! Goes with the territory I think :)

Michelle Gregory said...

yes, but mine consists of just continuing to write when sometimes it's the thing i hate to do.

Elana Johnson said...

Yes. My barcode is I-N-S-A-N-E I-N T-H-E M-E-M-B-R-A-N-E.


L.T. Elliot said...

I'm totally a card carrying member. ;) And that was before I even knew I was a writer!

Paul Greci said...

I've got the card. Lifetime member.

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

So proud, I've convinced myself that a yes is on its way. I'm only time away from fame and fortune really. Have a lovely weekend Michelle.
Warme regards,

Nisa said...

lol! Love this. We'll see what kind of mettle I'm made of when I actually start querying. Revising, revising, revising...

Suzyhayze said...

Oh speak my language some more sister!

Still Hunting Sargon said...

You've inspired me to continue pressing on. I think