This post, Chugging through the Stages of a Writing Career, on EMU’s Debuts is so wonderful and helpful for beginning through PAL authors that I thought I’d post the link here and let you enjoy L. B. Schulman‘s words today.
I will add that there is a mental piece that I’ve found very important that is not addressed in her post. Here’s how it worked for me. After eight years of being active in SCBWI, and following the industry, and researching agents and writing and getting a first agent, and asking questions at workshops, and conferences, and retreats… I felt my writing knowledge had plateaued. I entered Vermont College of Fine Arts in July of 2009 because I no longer knew what questions to ask. Diving deep into craft, forgetting about the industry and rediscovering my love for writing and my love for the craft of writing made me realize that I would be– will always be a writer. I think this happened to me somewhere between my fourth semester at VCFA and my graduate residency.
Do I want to my book published? Yes, and I’m working at it every day, but if it never happens I will still be a writer. My dear friend Lita Judge calls it “finding your calm.”
Currently, I am finishing my fourth week calmly waiting to hear from agents.
*checks clock, pops cork, drinks wine*
Where are you on L.B. Schulman’s list of stages and how does SCBWI meet or not meet your needs?
Well friends, at this point the conference is pretty much on auto pilot. Saturday is sold out and I’m so excited to see it all come together. What isn’t on autopilot is my creative work. For some wacko reason I signed up for the poster showcase and a portfolio review. HA! Ha-Ha. This is me laughing at my insane overestimation of my own ability to create on deadline. I’ve got the next three days to paint a couple of new images that are all sketched out and get copies of them. The poster needs to be printed out too. I figure if worse, comes to worse, I can just bring my laptop and show it to the art director. (I’m joking! Don’t do this.)
In other news, Scholastic said "no" to my novel. This was a big disappointment as I met the editor at the conference last year and she had asked for my full manuscript. I was so hopeful. I wasn’t even expecting a "yes, we’ll take it," I was hoping for an editorial letter. Basically she told my agent that there was some nice writing but it was a little didactic and heavy handed. (My words not hers.) I’m looking forward to the time to revise it with this in mind. I’ve applied to the Lesley MFA program. If I get in, it will be the perfect environment to break my work down and build it up better than before. And so, this quote:
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
30th president of US (1872 – 1933)
I’m sad to say that another rejection came yesterday. This one from Highlights. Usually, I wouldn’t expect much. Usually, I expect Spam, and if I get steak, I’m thrilled. However, the last two rejections have come with possible steak build up from editors so I let myself think steak. Wrong. Spam.
Spam, spam. Rejection, rejection. The manuscript for Highlights was a requested revision on a fiction contest entry. “Could you cut 100 words and send it to us again?” “You bet,” I say. Unfortunately, they thought it wasn’t developmentally appropriate, even though it was shorter. With the Sylvan rejection it was great to be told I’d made the “cut” and to be asked for marketing info, but ultimately hard to hear “no.”
I would have been happy to try again on the Highlights piece but they didn’t ask for any more revisions.
What do we do friends? Pick up, brush off, send it out again! Spamalicious.
Still waiting on the SCBWI nonfiction grant, and an agent.
Agent rejection this time. A great rejection too, one of those, “I like this, this , and this but… no.” Perhaps the agent will like something else of mine. Still it stinks a big one.
The worst part is that I end up taking out on everyone else in my family. “This house is a mess. How come I have to do everything in order for anything to get done. Stop arguing, keep your hands to yourself, don’t do this don’t do that… ” what a witch! Perhaps I will try to tackle laundry mountain.
Wonder no longer. Thanks to Kristy Dempsey I googled the number and found a bunch of sites talking about this number. (See below.) I guess caller ID is a little like the horoscopes. You believe what you want to believe.
Calls from 203-797-3222, I found through the area code and prefix that it is in fact Scholastic Library Publishing located in Danbury Connecticut. Automated call line is what doing the calls.
The Solution: Call Customer Service @ 1-800-SCHOLASTIC (1-800-724-6527) Press “0” when menu comes up to speak with a representative ask for your number to be removed it takes just a few minutes. If you can’t do this then you can send them a written request to: Scholastic Library Publishing,90 Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816