Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Reality Check

Ah, I dream of the day when my book sells, I go on tour, and am interviewed by the Today Show...yes, I know that is a dream. But, hey, a girl's got a right to dream. Right? For instance, the other night I had a dream that Donald Trump gave me a condo on his golf course and a whole closet full of canned spaghetti. (Not that I even like that stuff!)

No, seriously, after you sell, the work you do is just as stressful as trying to sell, and if you're serious about your writing career, you know this, you've done your research. (And often, becoming a published author can be extremely stressful, more so than all those years of pounding on doors and rejections. It all depends on who you talk to). But I'm prepared. I want it -- a career as an author. A career means work. I'm not doing this as a hobby. I consider all the things I've gone through so far to be like training camp, preparation for the 'after the sale' workload. I'm not disillusioned by what it means to become published. I have many friends who are published. I hear their stories. I've been there to offer support when editors leave, and they don't know what will happen with a line or where their next contract will come from. I've been around the block. I have an agent (two agents, one for film, one for fiction). I've optioned my screenplays, and I've dealt with some pretty harsh personalities in the biz, and still came out with my confidence in tact. I've attended conferences, pitched my butt off, finaled and won contests, etc., etc.

I promise, there is a point to all this....which is, don't let discouraging people get you down. You know the types I mean. The ones who dismiss your commitment to become published, tell you you can't, or you won't make it. Or, something that happened to me -- a person in the industry who (after knowing my background and responding to my desire to be published) telling me with a sarcastic snort, "you don't know what you're getting into". She rolled her eyes as she said it, and then turned back to her friends with a sarcastic chuckle. Therefore, dismmissing me completely. As though I'm walking around with bon-bons floating around in my head and a starstruck look in my eyes. I think those words, put that way, are so discouraging, meant to put you in your place or to let you know you'll never measure up. I've had people say this before, but not in a dismissive and negative manner (and the statement itself is somewhat true -- there are things I won't know about when I get published, but on the other hand, I'm aware that it won't be all champagne and roses, so I do know what I'm getting into, just not all the specifics.) Will this discourage me? Of course not. But it's one of those little things that bugs the hell out of me.

So, if any of you have dealt with the discouragement or the negatives folks out there. Chin up, young person! Persistence, courage, belief, and you will get there.

5 comments:

Shawn said...

Persistence, courage, belief, and you will get there.

Last night I was writing in my journal about my sudden/recent lack of confidence and I couldn’t remember when the self doubt slowly started creeping in. I've always believed we are given certain gifts and my gift was my love of words. Last night I promised I wasn't going to let self doubt and fear destroy something so precious to me.

Thanks Kelly for your encouragement. And the person who thought she dismissed you, really dismissed herself. She had an excellent opportunity to share the joy of her gift but yet chose to keep it hidden. It was definitely her lost.

When your first book is published, send her an autograph copy so she knows that what she thought of as a dismissal was just the motivation you needed to keep going.

Your fellow Minion, Shawn

Y said...

Kelly,

Shawn's right! Thanks for the motivaton and inspiration. Negative people have no business making comments like that.

Let's toast to KEEP ON WRITING and pursuing that writing dream!

*raising glass of water*

;)

Kelly Gay said...

Thanks, guys. Creating goals and pursuing them means we're half way there. And the fact that we're able to deal with rejections and still continue to write makes us strong!

JC Penny once said, "Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk."

Trish Milburn said...

Poo on the negative author. I just don't get it when authors do something that reflects badly on them. Don't they realize it hurts them more in the long run? Thankfully, I've met very few authors who have done something that made me think less of them, but those few -- I'll never buy their books.

You, however, I'll buy your books in a heartbeat. :)

Kelly Gay said...

Ditto, Trish! :)

I, too, have met very few authors like that. In fact, now that I'm thinking about it -- that's the only one. And I'm continually amazed by how supportive and encouraging other authors are, whether it be personally or simply an online article to enlighten the masses. There's a wonderful 'pay it forward-ness' to it all.