Friday, March 28, 2008

Did you see? Did you see?

There's a real, honest, brave, and valid discussion going on in the comments section of the Thriller/Suspense Honorable Mentions entry.  There was an anonymous comment that a few people took as sour grapes, but I think there's more to it than that, and I don't think it was sour grapes at all. I desperately want to comment, but I fear I'd look stupid or ungrateful, considering.

Maybe I'll share the comment I deleted with you guys, this weekend.

This was a boost at just the right time, and I'm intensely, intensely grateful. I really needed a sign from the universe that I should take the risk and focus on my spy thriller. And I hope this turns into an opportunity, of course.

BUT, did you see, DID YOU SEE? About our friend, Aimless Writer?

"I almost didn't enter the contest after
I read aimless writer's entry about the
man in the elevator. I thought - there's
your winner right there. I thought it was
amazing and it didn't get a mention."

I think that says it all. I had the same feeling about several of the entries. I was THIS CLOSE to not entering, I swear to God, after I read your entries and some of those kick-ass female spies among the entries.

In the end, it doesn't matter if you win a particular contest, or catch the eye of this reader or that editor or this agent. I believe every single writer has readers, maybe undiscovered, who will think there story is one of their picks.

And that finding *your* readers is the one constant in this business, from beginning to end, whether those readers are agents, editors, booksellers, or "plain" readers. There will always be readers who think you suck, and there will, gratefully, be readers who think you're alright.

But, for now, let's all cross our fingers for our friends who entered in the women's fiction contest: Travis Erwin, Lainey Bancroft ... who'd I miss?

14 bonus scribbles:

Liz Wolfe 3/28/2008 07:02:00 PM  

I don't think it was sour grapes. And I totally get where she's coming from. We all have those times when it seems like we'll never make it. When we think that what we are writing is not what anyone wants to read. When we think we aren't good enough and might never be good enough. And that's not limited to unpublished writers. It's something that all writers deal with. And it's hard. But somehow, we have to get past it.

spyscribbler 3/28/2008 08:07:00 PM  

You know, I've been thinking about it all day. I guess it boils down to the fact that I've always been real comfortable with the fact that some people are better than me. So when someone else confirms it, it doesn't bother me so much.

Or maybe I dealt with those feelings in conservatory, and I was so young I forgot. When I entered, I was the second worst pianist. I dealt with it, figured it out, and got better. Conservatory was hard on a lot of people, seriously, it was a traumatic experience for some.

I just sorta kept my head down and focused on being as perfect as I could make myself.

So, writing? It just doesn't seem to bother me. If I am the worst writer out there, then I'll get better. No biggie, I've done it before.

Aimless Writer 3/29/2008 12:09:00 AM  

I think you definately should get this book finished. Bookends! One of the top agents in the biz--LOVED your work. There's a sign if I ever saw one! Get to work!
As for Anon's "I think I'll quit" comment? I think it was just a touch of the depression all writers go through occasionally. As long as Anon keeps writing he'll be okay. Lets just hope he does. (she?)
Thanks!

Travis Erwin 3/29/2008 01:39:00 AM  

Writing for publication takes thick skin and I know mnay writers much more talented than me who have given up because they can't take the roller coaster ride. It's always a shame, but that's how it simply isn't in everyone's blood, and while I didn't read all the entires I did read quite a few and yours deserved to win as much as any and more than most.

You're right you'll never please everyone so take heart that you pleased one of those capable of making a difference in your career.

Congrats again and thanks for the well wishes on the women's fiction category.

Stephen Parrish 3/29/2008 03:26:00 AM  

Congrats, Spy, I thought your entry was SUPERB.

Michelle,  3/29/2008 09:35:00 AM  

Spy, congrats on winning! I was offline for 4 days and Edie told me when I got back on the internet again! I'm going to go over and read your entry now.

I so agree with you. The one constant in this buisness is the subjectivity of it all. And that's the wonderful and frustrating thing about it.

As one of the quotes on the Writeattitude.net site video says (can't remember who said it), The most successful writers aren't the ones who write the best sentences, they are the ones who keep writing.

Edie 3/29/2008 09:38:00 AM  

Spy, I didn't think it was sour grapes. I think it was a great compliment to Aimless.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for Lainey and Travis. :)

lainey bancroft 3/29/2008 09:56:00 AM  

Definitely a compliment to Aimless!

So often when I stop in here I could have written what you post. LOL. As you said, I read the entries already posted and decided not to take up space with mine. Then I thought, what the heck, got all the way over there and had an insane urge to post anonymously. :(

What finally made me hit 'publish' is that dratted old 'subjective' word. In watching these agent blog contests, I've noticed it is not so much quality of writing that is being judged but a certain flavor the agent is looking for. How will you know if you've cooked up the taste du jour if you don't offer samples? *shrug*

p.s good luck Travis! The gal in the nursing home piqued my curiosity. =)

spyscribbler 3/29/2008 11:13:00 AM  

Aimless, I bet you're right. And I wondered if she/he was in the muddle of his current WIP, LOL. That always makes me feel like I suck as a writer. :-)

And, I was so thrilled when I read that! Your entry was FAB.

Travis, I loved your entries. I actually read the entries before I saw your name, and I was surprised it was you. (Aren't you working on a pirate novel?) Very cool setups!

Thanks, Stephen. And, you know, I'm still eagerly waiting for you to deliver on that promised spy post. :-)

spyscribbler 3/29/2008 11:21:00 AM  

Michelle, that's a great quote! You guys have a video up now? I'll have to check that out. Very cool. (And thanks!)

Oh, Edie, oopsy. I wasn't saying that quote was sour grapes. Oopsy, gosh. I meant the first comment in the comment section said he feared it would be interpreted so. NOT the remark about Aimless Writer.

Oh, gosh. Somedays, I'm certain I'm a terrible writer, LOL!

I was thrilled about the compliment to Aimless. So thrilled. It was funny: I've always thought celebrity wasn't one of my things, but when I read that about Aimless, I had this urge to jump up and down and yell, "I know her! I know her!"

Yes, Lainey! That nursing home scene was great. I heard, perfectly, the rolling of the wheels down the hall. I loved that!

I think I ended up entering because I thought, I've respected Jessica for a long time. She loves the same books I do, and the entries she's chosen so far are kinda close to my style. She also craves more Barry Eisler-type thrillers, like me. And she was kind to me at RWA, without knowing me, just in random passing.

So I thought I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't enter, LOL.

Michele 3/29/2008 12:55:00 PM  

That definitely sounds like a compliment to Aimless Writer to me!

Yeah, I know when I read someone's work that blows mine away...I have those thoughts (briefly)...then I straighten my spine and I become determined to hone my craft. Perseverance.

Good luck to Travis!

spyscribbler 3/29/2008 07:23:00 PM  

Michele, I like that. "Straighten my spine." :-) I do the same thing with craft. We can't control the rest of the world, but that's the one thing we can control.

booklady 3/30/2008 10:44:00 AM  

Yay! I just read it over on the Bookends blog and had to stop by to congratulate you. That's terrific. :-)

booklady 3/30/2008 10:49:00 AM  

All right. I stopped for congratulations first, and *then* read your post. I was just so excited for you! As for the comments, I didn't read them, but as they Bookends people themselves said, people have different tastes. Your writing happened to mesh with theirs, and for good reason. And I don't think it's wise for people to get nasty in the comments section; in fact, it's very unprofessional, and it can come back to haunt you. Even if people write anonymously, there are still ways of tracking them through stat-counter programs and the like, so they're not as anonymous as they'd like to think. And I do think some of it really is sour grapes. Anyway, if their writing is so great, there are other contests they can enter where perhaps they will shine.

Good luck with your thriller!