What is it about my writing that makes people not want to either represent me or publish me? I've just gotten rejected by two agents and and a publisher for The Beauty Within and Trust Fall respectively. I'm very confused. I know I write IR, which already makes folks nervous, but other than that, I'm genuinely at a loss. Are my stories not fluffy enough? But then there's AJ's Serendipity, and the reviews on Amazon haven't been as positive as they were for Being Plumville, which I'm okay with, but I'm baffled nonetheless. I don't know even if I DID know what was wrong if anything about my writing will change, mainly because I write what the characters tell me to write lol. However, I know publishing is a business, and I would like to bet published on someone else's coin, so I need to know exactly what that golden market is in the eyes of agents/publishers. I'll have to say, I'm further confused because the majority of the people who have read my books are, gratefully, appreciative of my work and want to know when the next book is coming out *waves at the Emma Award nomination*! It's hard to tell them that I don't know, and harder still to explain I really have no control over the matter. The audience I have loves my stuff; the gatekeepers of the industry are (mostly) polite when they close the gates in my face. And then there are those other authors who are published, and I think that I, at the very least, have the same amount of talent as they do. That's the one bad thing about rejections other than the rejection itself--oftentimes it doesn't tell you why--just that it's not fit for publication/representation. That does not help me get better or tweak my product so that it will be. And when someone asks you for the full manuscript and then tells you thanks but no thanks is just really, really hard.
At some point, you just really, really want an answer to go your way. And yes, I'm speaking more than just publishing right now. It's just been an '08 full of "No" both personally and professionally. In my case, writing is both personal and professional, and I'm sure it's like that for other authors as well. But for me, I started writing to deal with some things, and I'm still dealing, but to have my writing rejected and me myself rejected, it's like a double-whammy and I'm still trying to learn how to make sure I bounce back up from each slap down, even if it takes longer to do so. I just need to make sure I get up. And now poor Vietnam Story is starting to languish because I'm not getting up fast enough, and the readers who are kind enough to stick with me on the google group--I could call them out by name lol--I appreciate the patience. It really only takes one really nice e-mail to keep you above the waterline sometimes.
The scary thing is, I have no idea what else I can do. I know this is a hard industry, and very few people make it, but I know of nothing else I can do. Well, editing, but that doesn't fill me with the same drive and passion as writing. I wake up and I think about it, and I go to bed and I think about it. I proofread and I see stories in some of the projects I proof *looks at Vietnam Story* and my office is full of former publishers, screenwriters, nonfiction writers, etc. It's an amazing place, but if I could be at home writing and getting paid for it, that would be fantastic.
This is a dump of a post, I know. I'm trying not to slip into that space of no writing, and it's hard, so I guess it's better to get it out here instead of to let it fester. I know I'm a good writer. I just wish I knew how to convince other people I am, too! lol