Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Backward Glance

The task seems insurmountable at times. Agent research, queries, slush piles and the big "R". It's been almost nine months since I felt the sting of rejection. I'd almost forgotten there would be those out there who'd see my manuscript more fitting as bath tissue.

And then, as if on cue, I read this yesterday: "Don't look at how far you have to go. Look at how far you've already come."

Maybe it's the sunrise emerging behind me or the foreign, non-caffeinated electricity zinging through me at an ungodly hour, but this mantra worked for me. It stilled the worries, the restlessness over things beyond my control and encouraged me to breathe in the scope of the road traveled.

Here, I hope you'll offer up what you see at a backward glance. I'll go last...


Charles Gramlich said...

That's one reason I keep records of my accomplishments. It really helps in drought periods to look and see what I have accomplished. Makes me think I can do it again.

Kim Lenox said...

"Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers." Okay, I've never been a huge Garth Brooks fan, but that song strikes a chord because it's been so true in my life. How's that for a somewhat cryptic answer?

Barbara Martin said...

I, like Charles, keep the good comments from other writers about my writing on a pin-up board. Not every agent or publisher is going to like my work, but there is someone out there who will.

That little saying you have is perfect for writers, and apt.

Marilyn Brant said...

I've been known to remind myself of the wise words of Elizabeth Gilbert, who said she didn't promise the universe that she'd write brilliantly, just that she'd WRITE. Sometimes I have to force myself to remember this, esp. when I feel the anxiety brought on by lack of control (a frequent occurrence in this profession).

Melanie Atkins said...

What a revelation. You have come so far...and every step you take is another step toward your goal. All you have to do is keep moving forward! : )

Rick said...

This posting was so poetic, L.A., that I know you will soon enough have success that will drive away bad memories.

L.A. Mitchell said...

Charles-It's never occurred to me to keep a list of accomplishments, only goals. I guess I'm guilty of always looking forward.

Kim-not cryptic at all. So very true.

Barbara-I have a folder next to my email inbox called Rah Rah. I save all the emails people send me about my writing that turn me to mush. It helps, when things aren't going so well.

Marilyn-I love the idea of promising the universe to write, not laying out a guarantee it'll be brilliant. I'm so happy you shared it.

Melanie-You are such a huge part of how far I've come.

Rick-thank you :)

L.A. Mitchell said...

So, here's my road traveled:

Ten years accumulating friends who understand me because they're writers and they resonate on the same level of awareness, creativity and dreams.

The kiss,kiss-dahhhling of industry professionals telling me I was brilliant, if only for a season.

My first royalty dollar earned.

Seeing my words bound, smelling of fresh ink and the heady aroma of I-finally-did-it.

Realizing that each story has been better than the last. Infinite hope.

My first fan email from someone not a brother's cousin from his first wife in blah, blah...

That covers most of it. Anyone else?