They’re coming to take me away…

Do you ever get the feeling you’re being judged? 

My geriatric lab got all snippety with me yesterday when I laughed out loud.  Granted it was just the two of us in the house, but still, she acted like I had been pushed off the Cliffs of Insanity and she wanted nothing more to do with me.

She scrambled to her feet, gave me a backward glance with ears down and pity in her eyes and sauntered off to the laundry room.  Pretty good for a dog with bad shoulders.  Pretty clear message, as well.

The dark, hot, noisy, smelly room was preferable to my laughter and the fact that I was one statistic away from being that writer.   A lunatic.  The poet who pens horrible stanzas whenever they loosen the restraints or flings herself off the Cliffs.

I can promise you, I’m not that kind of writer.  Though I can see how it happens.  A few questionable threads on writer’s boards of late and a few down in the dumps blog posts in the blogosphere make the leap not so wild.

Sometimes when we get rejections from agents or editors we feel as if we are being judged personally.  We get defensive.  Yell an invective or two.  Laugh maniacally while making promises to stalk agents in bathroom stalls at conferences. 

We often feel this same sense of judgement when we receive our manuscripts back from our critters, or when we enter an online contest and don’t get picked.  Even if the contest was The Crappiest 250 Words to Start a Novel in the History of Writing.

Our writer’s egos can be so fragile.

So what keeps us going?  In the face of horrible odds (and I paraphrase: being in the 99th percent isn’t good enough…), shoe boxes filled with rejections and scrawled red pen on our precious manuscripts, we continue to put ourselves out there.

I often wonder if it is writing that makes us crazy or if crazy people are drawn to writing.

Really, I feel perfectly sane.  On most days.  Not at all inclined to hear voices in my head.  Or celebrate invisible muses.  Pray for plot bunnies.  Break down and throw the computer out the window if I get one more e-jection.  None of that stuff.

I’m perfectly normal.

Just like you.

Oh wait, you’re a writer too!

Have a great day : )

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16 responses to “They’re coming to take me away…

  1. The rejections aren’t what drive me insane. It’s the silence. The never responders that I sometimes status query to inevitably find out they never received my query, or they forgot it. Is setting up an auto responder THAT hard?

  2. What drives me crazy is my own procrastination. I have been amazingly creative in inventing lots of intriguing obstacles that stop me from writing – sometimes I think, if I devoted even a fraction of the energy I spend on creating reasons why I can’t write right now, into actually writing, I’d have so much work completed!

    • Oh, Belle, I think we could be soul sisters when it comes to procrastination. If they give out awards for it in heaven, I’ll have the biggest halo!

      Somehow, you managed to get your whopper of a manuscript finished. I know, cuz I saw the stack of pages on your blog! How is the editing coming along on it?

  3. I find myself always going back to a quote I heard, “What other people think of you is none of your business.” I truly believe that. However, where my writing is concerned, I remind myself that it’s like building an ice cream sundae. Not everyone likes sprinkles or nuts, etc. I just have to find that agent that likes the ice cream sundae I’ve built. They’re out there…somewhere…I just have to find them. That’s where the stalking part comes in. hahaha j/k

    • Lisa,

      I love this quote. Well, not the one you actually quoted, but the one about the ice cream sundae. It’s the perfect example of how we have to view our writing.

      Maybe if you stalked the agent while profering the icecream sundae…? I wouldn’t recommend mailing it. : )

  4. I think we all know we’re crazy. Some days, I’m surprised I’m not crouched in the living room using the couch for a campfire, dressed in skins and gnawing on a bone.

  5. That’s an awesome quote, Lisa! I may have to post that somewhere. LOL

  6. Yeah, I agree with Barbara — I’m pretty sure I’m crazy. It’s kinda fun though.

  7. Oh, I forgot — thanks for that kind comment at my blog. I love the thought of being a warm fuzzy with pompoms. 🙂

  8. My dad used to say, “who has more fun than us crazy people?” Words to live by. 🙂

    Great post. The fear of rejection has definitely held me back. It slows me down and makes me not push myself. I’m getting better but it’s tough!!

    • Jemi,

      For some reason, I picture you as being utterly fearless. It is hard to get rejected, but I think the fear of the letter itself is much worse than the letter itself.

      As I always tell my DH, “If I don’t submit it, they don’t know it’s out there and can’t accept it OR reject it.”

      Of course, I talk big. Though I’m not sure if it’s fear or sheer procrastination that keeps me from submitting like I should.

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