The Stink of Failure

I have just sent—for the last time—to the interested agent Train Trip: Lucinda Mae’s Quest for Love, Honor, and the Chickens. After three (count ’em, three) prior attempts, I have either successfully managed to revise the manuscript into a “market ready” product or I have not.

I am telling y’all this because I need to share. I’m not sharing my success. I’m sharing my possible failure.

See, I often don’t tell y’all what I’m attempting to do. Contests I’ve entered, submissions I’ve made. If I don’t disclose what I’m trying to do, you won’t ask, Hey, what happened to the ABNA submission (FYI, I didn’t make it into the third round.) I won’t have to face the questions and admit I’ve failed. This is good, because of course I don’t want to look like a failure.

Yeah, I can talk a good game—”I advise from failure” is one of my standard lines—but that’s admitting failure IN THE PAST . . . after I’ve demonstrated success. This position is similar to what I’ve observed about being poor: everyone’s proud of growing up poor, but no one brags about it while they’re still in it.

So here I am—in the midst of becoming a success or on the verge of failing again. I don’t know which way the weather vane will spin. If it’s not good, I’ll try something else. Ultimately, I have faith that it will all be good. I just want to admit, right now, while the jury is still out, that I may be about to fail. Again. And again. For the fourth time again.

And I’m okay with that.

here’s to creative synthesis . . .

admitting failure, agent rejection, agent submission, failure, novel revision, query, revision, rewrite, writing failure

Comments (10)

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      That makes me think that, if I don’t share, I’m contributing to this unreal narrative that everything comes easy when it really, really doesn’t. Here’s to your soon-to-be-success!

  • That book is GOOD and so help me, it is marketable. If I win the lottery before you do, I will buy myself an agency and prove it. Chin up!! No guts, no glory. No patience, no prize. (Not that you haven’t been gutsy or patient…I’m aiming that at the agent!)

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      The opinion of a former bookseller means a lot to me (and I’m buying you a lottery ticket . . . )

  • Ellen Morris Prewitt

    I have a line in this novel, Luanne, where the really unpleasant ex-husband is sitting in his chair in the basement telling himself, “I am a GOOD writer.” Sometimes I have to give myself the same pep talk. Thanks for giving it for me!

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