Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Welcome to the Club!

posted by Aunty Cindy aka Loucinda McGary

Long ago in those dark and endless days when I was still AYU (As Yet Unpublished) I spent waaay too much time deep in the Pit of Despair plagued by Doubt Demons.

I agonized over every submission. Second guessed myself. Fretted and stressed out about a lot of stuff over which I had no control whatsoever!

Was my query letter too long? Too short? Catchy enough? Too cutesy to be professional?

Would I ever find an editor who would actually READ my proposal, much less love it enough to make that all important OFFER? Should I send an email after three months? Six?

Why couldn't I find an agent willing to take me on as a client? (Okay, still working on that one!) Or even REPLY to my queries?

Why did that contest judge give me an 8.5 instead of a 9.0? And what did she mean about my hero's character arc? How much could he have in the first chapter?

Shoulda... Woulda... Coulda...

Ah yes, my lovelies, yer olde Aunty was a founding member of the Quivering, Insecure Worry Warts club! QIWW for short. Almost every AYU writer I knew was a card carrying member of the same club.

But SOMEDAY! Yes, someday when we were no longer AYU and had reached the exhaulted status of Published Authors, everything would be different!

IF ONLY!

The sad fact is, that being published has merely replaced all those worries with a whole load of new ones.

Will readers love my book?

Will reviewers?

Will I get a decent cover? Will anyone give me a cover quote? Will I sell enough copies to cover my advance?

Will my editor love my next book enough to buy it?

Will readers? Reviewers?

And so it goes... The fretting, the stress, the doubt demons are all still there! I'm still a card carrying member of the QIWW Club and looks like I will be for quite a long time!

What about you? Do you worry about things, even if you have no control over them? You can share them with yer olde Aunty.

'Fess up! Are you a member of the QIWW Club?

106 comments:

Donna MacMeans said...

No - Can it be? I even read the whole post before I checked comments.

Elyssa Papa said...

Is he mine?

Elyssa Papa said...

Damn, missed him by a beak! LOL.

Donna MacMeans said...

OMG - I must confess - I've coveted winning the Golden Rooster for some time now, but I've always felt it was more important to read the full post before commenting.

The GR will be putting on a green eyeshade and helping me with tax returns today. Surely those claws of his can handle a ten-key calculator (grin).

Yes AC - I am a card carrying member of the club - although I don't obsess so much over formatting issues, or worry about contests. I do worry about reviews & whether I promote enough & whether my current book will live up to the promise of the previous, etc. Thank heaven for hair dye and extra-strength wrinkle remover (grins).

Donna MacMeans said...

Nan-nanny-boo-boo, Elyssa (Very Big Grin).

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOW, Ely and Donna you were neck n neck! Only a nano-second betwixt ya!

Yes, I'm sure the GR can master that 10 key in no time Donna! :-)

Elyssa Papa said...

Congrats, Donna!!! I read the whole blog before commenting, too, but the GR wanted to spend the day with you. He knew he'd only be working here. LOL.

Oh, Aunt Cindy, I'm a card-carrying member, too. I worry I’m not good enough, and that I’ll never become published. I know a whole new of insecurities are brought forth when one gets an agent and/or publisher. But it’s a constant test of faith and belief in oneself to continue writing when you only meet with rejection, or you come so close that you can actually taste the sweet smell of success to only have it yanked away at the last minute.

I think the fact that we continue to move past these brick walls, to climb these craggy mountains, to keep the hope alive, is what makes all of us so unique as writers. We could give up and call it a day. But we chose not to. So, yes, I know I’m a card-carrying member but am so grateful to my CPs and Bandits for always reminding me to never give up.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Donna,
Gave up on the hair dye ;-) and one of the joys of being pudgy is a decided LACK of wrinkles. At least, that's my story and I'm STICKING WITH IT!

But boy oh boy do I hear ya on the promotion worries! Should I do more? What else can I do? Did the things I do actually WORK?

ARGH!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Elyssa said: "...you come so close that you can actually taste the sweet smell of success to only have it yanked away at the last minute."

Oh man, Ely, I have SO been there & DONE THAT! I think all us Banditas and quite a few of you BBs have!

But as we've heard and said so many times before, "The only way to truly fail is to stop trying."

It will happen for you! Trust your CPs and yer olde Aunty. Keep trying and eventually it WILL HAPPEN!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I think some of the very things that make us card carrying members of the QIWW Club are also what makes us romance writers. Constantly wondering "What if..." or always seeking the HEA in whatever form.

Helen said...

Congrats Donna sorry Elyssa next time

Aunty Cindy what a great post although I don't worry about getting a book sold or published I do worry about things my family mainly. My grandmother once told me that from the time you have children you never stop worrying then come the grandchilden and then the great grandchildren so it never stops.

As for your first book The Wild Sight it really is a fantastic book to read loved it from start to finish and of course the cover has placed in a great contest.
WELL DONE AUNTY CINDY

At the moment I am worrying over whether I have packed enough for the conference I have everything packed just need to put a few things in the bag in the morning after breakfast and we are off to Melbourne I do love road trips and am so looking forward to the ARRC09I know I won't sleep tonight.

I probably won't be able to pop into the lair for a few days have lots of fun everyone look after the GR and don't miss me too much LOL.
It is going to be strange without the net.

Have Fun
Helen

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Helen,
Thanx sooo much for your praise of TWS!

HAVE A GREAT TIME at the ARRC09! But then I KNOW you will! Don't let our Fo and Madame D-W get you into any skullduggery! Or at least not any you don't WANT to get into! LOL!

We'll miss your smiling face around the Lair for the next few days, but expect a FULL REPORT when you return.

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Oh, and Helen,
Your grandmother was SO RIGHT!

My son is *mumble mumble* years old and I still worry about him! So yes, it never ends.

I WISH I had some adorable grandchildren like yours to fret over.:-)
AC

Helen said...

Aunty Cindy
You are more than welcome to be their Nana as well I have just put some more photos on facebook my four grandchildren and one of my sisters two grandchildren as well.

Have Fun
Helen

Tawny said...

*waving my QIWW Club card in the air* Me me me!! I'm a long term member. Man, I want to quit this club, though. But I can't. I tell myself I will. I lecture myself on how much better off I'd be if I'd just stop obsessing, quit worrying and accept things. But I can't. I can't stop freaking over numbers and reviews and worrying that nobody will read my book or worse-that they will and hate it and... and... and...

*sigh* Thanks, AC. Now I'll hyperventilating again and need to go find a paper bag. You do know my book will be on the shelves in a month, right? One month. 4 weeks. Holy crap... bag. Paper bag!!!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

MUAHAHAHA! Tawny, didn't you know that a lovely decorated paper bag comes with your membership to QIWW?

I've tried to quit the club too. So many times, I've lost count. Haven't figured out how to do it. :-(

If YOU do, please SHARE your methods!

And don't worry, we are ALL looking forward to your new release COMING ON STRONG! Besides being the fun and sassy read we've come to expect and LURVE, we need another Launch Party here in the Lair! The Cabana Boys and Gladiators are nicely recovered from Kate's Murder Mystery Launch party and EAGER for another.

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx for the offer of sharing the grandkidlets with me, Helen!

Between you and my BFF (who just welcomed her 3rd grandchild in Jan.) I should be very busy with Nana duties!

AC

Tawny said...

Maybe thats why I can't quit. The paper bag is so purty?

*g* and thanks, Cindy. I'm loving the idea of a wild party. Methinks we'd need some handcuffs, though.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

OOOO! Tawny-Depp!
I LURVE that devious mind of yours!

We can probably get a good deal on fuzzy pink handcuffs in the after-Valentine's Day sales! SHHH! Don't tell P226. He might just draw the line at pink handcuffs. ;-)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Time for Leno!

Catch you all tomorrow after I pry myself outta bed. Here's hoping the rain has stopped by then!

nitey nite and play nice til I get back,
AC

Jane said...

Hi Aunty Cindy,
I know I'm not the only one who loved the cover "The Wild Sight." I am a member of the QIWW Club. I am able to tell myself that many things are out of my control, but I still stress over them. There are times where I don't bother worrying about things and tell myself that whatever will be will be. I wish I had more of these moments.

Congrats on the GR, Donna.

Carol said...

Congrats Donna , wonderful that you have captured the coverted birdy!

Yes I am a card carrying member of the Worry Warts...though I belong to the sub-group of...mothers!
We all know that sick in the tummy feeling when our kids are having a tough time ...so I'm sure it's the same feeling for our talented writer friends.
The only advice I could give to get us all through tough times is...after lending support!

Don't think about it!!
Be active and do other stuff!

Cheers Carol

Anna Sugden said...

I have one of those membership cards ... and the matching shoes *g*.

I like to think I'm very close to making that big leap to the published section of the QIWW club. Somehow, that makes the worries seem extra troublesome as the line between carrying on (and maybe never making it) and giving up (and definitely never making it!) is a very thin one.

Like Elyssa, I couldn't carry on without the support of my friends, the bully girls (you know who you are!) and the Banditas. And my hubby - who has endless faith in me.

This is another place where his quote 'you can't fight gravity' comes in. Because I can only do my best and the rest is out of my hands. Sometimes that even works to calm me down! LOL.

Anna Sugden said...

Donna - congrats on the GR. Can he do our taxes too?

Houston A.W. Knight said...

I so hear you on this one and my heart goes out to you, sweetie...

Hugs
Hawk

sherrinda said...

I figure I need to have a few more manuscripts under my belt before I ever get to the worry stage and get brave enough to put my work out there. Still learning and growing as I am close to the end of my first WIP. :)

Margay said...

A member? I just resigned as president of the club! I used to literally worry myself sick over things I couldn't control, but now that I am dealing with the symptoms of M.S., I am allowing myself to let go of them and spare myself the stress, which will only compound matters. Fortunately, I have a very wise mother who is helping me to reconcile with the fact that there are just some things you can't control, so you shouldn't worry yourself sick over them.
Margay

Caren Crane said...

Donna, I can't believe you nabbed the bird! Enjoy him and please double-check his math. He isn't the greatest mathematician around. *g*

Aunty, had I known you were the Pres. of the QIWW Club, I would have thrown you the secret sign long before now! (performs complicated series of hand motions, culminating in nail biting)

Yes, I'm a member. I've gotten pretty good at just taking my best shot, shoving things in an envelope and forgetting about them. Except, I sometimes write dates in my calendar to remind me, say, that a certain editor has had my requested full for 16 weeks (yes, I had one of those landmarks this week!). I am always loathe to follow up. It could rush the rejection. Or it could be that the editor is sending the ms up the food chain...and it will be shot down by Marketing. (yes, that happened to me)

Overall, I think I'm better off in the dark. The funniest thing ever was that I sent a requested full to an Executive Editor one time and, naturally, heard nothing back, despite follow-ups. More than four years later, on Christmas Eve, I got a rejection. Um...I could have waited another 4 years for that. *g*

Kirsten said...

Oh AC, I am SUCH a member!! Of both your QIWW, and Carol's subgroup for mothers. Come to think of it, I guess I'm just a worrier period! It's horrible! I do wish I could learn to be more at peace with things and just let life happen. Deep breathing, yoga, zen, all that good stuff. Breathe in, breathe out. I'm working on it.

I'm actually a member of the AP -- the Almost Published club, and this club also has particular challenges. You sold a book, they actually paid you an advance, but you can't quite believe, in your heart of hearts, that your book will appear on the shelf someday. Especially when your pub date is measured in YEARS from the sold date. So you not only worry about all the things the pubs worry about, you also STILL worry about all the things the AYUs worry about. Because what if they DON'T publish it? What then? What if no one ever picks up anything else? What if if if if if?

It's my own special hell. LOL.

speaking of yoga, I'm off for my early morning session before the kiddos wake up. maybe that will help my case of the what if's. :-)

Deb Marlowe said...

I think that being a writer and being a lead member in the QIWW go hand in hand. Worrying is one of our earliest outlets for our overactive imaginations!

As Chione, the half Egyptian novelist in my An Improper Aristocrat says:
"It's one of the drawbacks of being a storyteller. It seems I am always imagining the worst possible outcome of any given situation."

Luckily for her, her adventurer hero Trey answers:
"We'll make a good match, then, because I am forever imagining a way *out* of the worst possible outcome."

Now if only I could get my dh to think that way instead of rolling his eyes at me! :-)

Anna Sugden said...

Sherrinda - how awesome that you are working on your first ms! Best of luck. Be sure to let us know when you're done so we can celebrate!

Keira Soleore said...

Donna, w00t! Ely, oops. A fraction of a second there.

AC, I'm an honorary member of the QIWW club, and not just the writers chapter, the entire club.

Susan Sey said...

Hey, AC! What a great topic, as I was just wondering if I was alone in my chronic worrying. :-) Looks like I'm in gooooooood company.

Like Kirsten, I'm also in the special hell of 'contracted but not on the shelves.' And she's right--it does come with its own particular demons.

For example, I couldn't write a thing for about six months after I sold my GH winner to Berkley. I was so afraid of writing crap & disappointing my brand new agent (not to mention editor). It was absolutely paralyzing.

I managed to push through it & finish the draft I'd been working on before I sold but have no idea if that one will ever sell. Especially since the book that did sell won't hit the shelves til next summer. Who's going to take a chance on me NOW? Everybody's going to wait & see how the first one flies, right? So what do I do in the meantime?

Same thing I've always done. Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing. The only way to fail is to quit. Keep writing. Keep writing.

Louisa Cornell said...

YAY Donna!! Maybe the GR needed to have his taxes done. He has to claim all those Tim Tams and frequent flyer miles somehow!!

You'll get him next time, Elyssa!

Member of the QIWW ? Are you kidding! I am a FOUNDING member of the club!! I was a member as a singer and let me tell you, once I started writing I acquired a four star black belt in it!! I mean do you know anyone else who titles her documents "This is crap!" "This is more crap!" "This is a big ole PILE of crap?" And this was my Golden Heart manuscript!!

I never had gray hair before I started seriously pursuing a writing career. And now the economy has tanked and they say all the publishing companies are going to stop buy, stop publishing, stop something. WHY am I always a day late and a dollar short. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA !!

Okay, I feel better now. I think anything you do that basically throws your heart and soul out there naked for the world to see makes you a permanent member of the QIWW Club. Its when you stop feeling that way, when you think you've got this business licked - THEN you are in trouble!

terrio said...

I'm a silent member of the club. Mostly because I'm too busy being the president of the procrastinators club. :)

Right now I fret more about getting these last two major school papers done between now and June. I can't imagine the stress that goes into throwing your baby out into the world and hoping people like it. Makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

Christie Kelley said...

Yes, AC, I'm definitely a member of QIWW. I'm currently worried that this ms is not "big" enough and that there must be something wrong with it. Next on my worry list is reviews coming in for Every Time We Kiss. The first three I've see have been very good, but what about the others!

Then I'll be moving on to worrying about my paranormal that my agent is circulating. Will the editors hate it?

It just doesn't stop. And that's only my writing worries. Don't get me started on all the other stuff.

Joan said...

I've got you all beat. I worry if I'm NOT worrying.

Actually, not as bad as I used to. The relief that comes with "letting it goooooo" is healing.

But it is hard when you are on the cusp of attaining your publication goal.

Sherrinda! Woohoo!!! You go girl! Get that puppy finished! Um, are there puppies IN it? :-)

Joan said...

Oh, forgot to say Donna...Woohoo on the GR!

And taxes? Um, go ahead and have him flap on down here to KY and take care of that pesky mutual fund sale on my taxes :-)

jo robertson said...

Yay, Donna!! It's been forEVah, right? Oooooh, sorry, Elyssa. Next time, right?

Great post, Cindy. What a common trait doubt is. We all seem to want to second guess ourselves when things don't go as we'd hoped or planned.

Even worse is comparing your journey to whatever path of success you're on to someone else's. What a waste that is!

Beth said...

I'm a member, AC, but I don't make many meetings *g*

I don't worry too much about things I can't control like reviews but of course I worry about selling another book and hoping readers like it :-)

Unfortunately, I don't think those fears will ever go away *g*

Deb, Trey sounds like my kind of hero!

Nancy said...

Donna, congrats on grabbing the bird. On the one hand, putting him to work will keep him out of trouble. Or should. On the other, do we really want him to learn more math?

Elyssa, better luck next time!

Nancy said...

AC, I'm a life member of this club. *sigh* I don't worry so much about contests, but I do worry about whether I should change my approach. I changed my voice (tried out a new, radically different one) and ended up with a love it/loathe it ms. Still not sure whether that's a good thing in terms of marketing, but it was loads of fun to write.

One of the tough things, imho, about not having an agent is not being able to determine as well which editors would be best for a particular submission. There might be something small but significant about the project one editor would hate while another would love, and there's no way to really know that.

And then there's the whole "no unagented subs" problem, but let's don't go there.

I try to anticipate what could go wrong (per Murphy) and prepare for it, which gives me some confidence even though I realize what goes wrong often comes out of the Andromeda galaxy at lightspeed and therefore cannot be anticipated by someone who knows only the hazards posed by the Milky Way galaxy.

Nancy said...

Elyssa, I think you put it well when you said this process is a constant test of faith and belief in yourself. Which is why contests can be good (when you final) or bad (when you don't and get a scathing critique that may or may not contain helpful comments). I'm so tired of "close" that I'm certain that it has, despite appearances to the contrary, only 4 letters!

However, I was at a chapter meeting not long ago in which the president said what she hears from editors and agents is that people quit too soon. This is, of course, directly contra to the editor and agent advice to hide it if you have "a long learning curve."

I just look at Anna Campbell and remind myself the length of the road doesn't matter nearly as much as the place you end up (to paraphrase an extremely well worn phrase).

Nancy said...

AC, there's actually a shop here in town that gives beautifully hand-decorated paper bags with every purchase. So handy for calming hyperventilating.

I don't do the hair dye thing either (with my hair color, I'd eventually have to stop and then be shocked; going lighter is not an option with my complexion), but the upside is that my hair is developing natural curl as it grays. On balance, I'll take the tradeoff. *g*

Nancy said...

Sherrinda, congratulations on your progress on that WIP. The first trip to "the end" was the hardest for me. And it's one not everyone who types "chapter 1" ultimately finishes.

Virginia said...

Congrats Donna on getting the rooster! Elyssa you were so close.

Yes Aunty Cindy I am a card carrying member too! I worry over everything. I am a classic worrier, a lot of things I worry over is really stupid, something you souldn't worry over at all, but thats just me.

Nancy said...

Deb Marlowe wrote: As Chione, the half Egyptian novelist in my An Improper Aristocrat says:
"It's one of the drawbacks of being a storyteller. It seems I am always imagining the worst possible outcome of any given situation."

Luckily for her, her adventurer hero Trey answers:
"We'll make a good match, then, because I am forever imagining a way *out* of the worst possible outcome.
"

I had to laugh at this, Deb, now and when I originally read it in the book. I'm always looking at the worst-case scenario while the dh is certain everything will all work out for the best. We usually meet somewhere in the middle.

Did I mention I LOVED this book?

Treethyme said...

I bought The Wild Sight as soon as it came out, and you didn't even have to twist my arm! I loved it, and judging by the reviews I've seen, so did everyone else. And I loved the cover, too.

I read your post with trepidation, because I'd had a horrible feeling this might be the case. I'm still a long way from being published, and my critique partners and I routinely sink into funks of what we call Imposter Syndrome.

We've all had plenty of rejections, but we keep writing, revising and submitting. What makes us go through this, knowing that every stage of progress will just open us up to the possibility of more rejection and angst?

Most of you have achieved success my critique partners and I only dream of, and yet you still have worries. I guess that's part of the process, because it seems that a lot of writers who get too cocky seem to lose their touch.

I think it boils down to one simple fact: we write because we have to write, whether we get published or not, whether we're successful or not. It's just something we have to do.

And, Donna, congrats on nabbing the GR!

Treethyme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Treethyme said...

Sorry, Blogger is doing strange things.

Deb and Nancy -- just wanted you to know, after reading Nancy's post I ordered An Improper Aristocrat based on that quote alone.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Morning everyone!

Glad to see the QIWW membership out in force! And obviously, I belong to the procrastinators club too. ;-)

Jane, thanx for the compliments on TWS cover. I wish I had a few more of those "Que Sera Sera" moments too. I LURVE when I do have them, maybe because they're so rare...

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

"Don't think about it!!
Be active and do other stuff!"


GREAT advice, Carol! Whether we are in that Mothers Subgroup of QIWW or not.

Having kids really is FOREVER! Just like the whole worry in the creativity arena, worry about the kids (then the grandkids, great-grands, etc.) NEVER stops. Sometimes you just gotta grit your teeth and keep going!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

VA,
Your hubby's quote is really handy because it is multi-purpose, and not half so rude as some of my versions (like SH*T Happens!). ;-)

We're expecting you to make that leap to the pubbed side ANY DAY now. Then you too can join the nailbiting over deadlines, reviews, and that host of other stuff. Oh joy! Just what you wanted to hear, right? :-P

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Oh and VA (and all the AYUs here) that thin live between carrying on and quitting is VERY troublesome. Speaking from personal experience here, it seems like the closer you are to crossing (getting THE Call) the worse it gets.

Don't worry, between your bully-girls, the Banditas and BBs, there's NO WAY we are letting you and your cute shoes quit!!!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hawk,
Thanx for the support! Hey, you're a BB now. We in the Lair stand up for our own and do NOT allow the QIWW to keep you from your dreams!

Same goes for ALL Y'ALL (so glad Suz, Joanie, Cassondra, Caren and Nancy taught me to speak Southern)! When your QIWW membership is getting you down, there's always a cabana boy with an umbrella drink waiting for you here in the Lair!

AC
Who isn't even from Southern Cal!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

YAY Sherrinda!

There's nothing quite like the first time you type those magic words at the end of a manuscript! Even if it IS just the first draft.

BE SURE to report back to us when you reach THE END. We'll have the cabana boys mix us a big batch of Kate's Killer Margaritas and PAR-TAY!!!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Margay,
EVERYONE (even Sven) agrees, Listen To Your Mother!!! Esp. when she is as wise as yours sounds.

Glad you let some of that stress go in order to take care of yourself! We all need to follow your example a little more.

Nancy said...

Louisa, I have also had this reaction to mss. that did really well on the contest circuit. It's called the learning curve, if it makes you feel any better. Remember, the contest is only the opening bit. Writing the whole book, sustaining that opening and staying on the flight plan, not deviating to fly over some interesting mountain or lake, is tough. I think. I can't tell you how many of my darlings I've murdered in the last year or two. They exist now only in "cut scenes" files in the folders for the various books.

If it makes you feel any better, I used to say my tombstone was going to read "Her timing was perpetually wrong, not that it matters now." :-/

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Wow Posh!
You've got the Secret Hand Signs DOWN! I swear it is a wonder that any of us have any fingernails at all... thank goodness for acrylics. ;-)

Yes, 4 YEARS of waiting to hear on a submission only to receive the rejection on Xmas Eve has got to be some sort of record in CRUELTY! Honestly, don't ya wonder sometimes if editors and agents have a clandestine competition going?

Kinda like the people who take your picture for your driver's license... "I took a reaaly AWFUL one today, made this woman look 90 and her hair like a dust mop!"

I SWEAR this stuff is NOT a coincidence!

Nancy said...

Treethyme, I hope you enjoy Deb's book as much as I did. :-)

Nancy said...

Kirsten and Susan, I would find your position harder than the one I'm currently occupying. You got over The Big Hurdle. Made it across No-Man's Land (I just finished a WWI unit in class and so am thinking along those lines) to the forward set of trenches, but you have no control over when you advance further.

We control freaks hate that kind of thing. Yeah, the next hurdle has its own set of problems, but that beats just waiting around, at least for me.

However, think of all the anticipation we will have built up when your books appear! :-)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Kristen, ENJOY that yoga session!

That period of time between THE CALL and actually having the book ON THE SHELF really does have its own special circle in hell (are you listening Dante?)!

It was 13 months for me, and I couldn't stop thinking that SOMETHING would go wrong. Either the book would somehow be cancelled, or *I* would! I know, I know, MORBID, but that's why I write romantic suspense. :-P

You and Smoov need to TRUST ME, it WILL HAPPEN! You will both have your books out there and we will be having a HUGE PAR-TAY here in the Lair! Just ask Kate! She waited even longer than I did. But it was WELL WORTH THE WAIT!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Deb, great to have another founding member of QIWW sounding off! ;-)

I'm a lot like your heroine (must add An Improper Aristocrat to the TBR mountain of doom), always expecting the worst. Of course, when the worst doesn't happen, I can be pleasantly surprised. But it is WAAAAY easier to imagine the worst! LOL!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Keira, you are FAR from merely honorary here in the Lair!

But whatever kind of membership in QIWW suits you is A-OK with Aunty.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nancy said: "I used to say my tombstone was going to read "Her timing was perpetually wrong, not that it matters now." :-/"

BEVERAGE ALERT, Missy!!!! You need to give us some warning! Diet Pepsi on the new wireless keyboard is NOT what I needed to do this morning... (can't stop SNORKING!)

Oh, and MY gray hair came in curly too! Isn't that STRANGE?!?! You and I are the only 2 people I ever heard that happening to. But I ALWAYS wanted curly hair, and now I FINALLY have it!

Still chortling into the remains of my soda,
AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Darlin' Smoov,
You are NEVER alone here in the Lair!

I suffered the same paralyzing fear after I sold. Couldn't write anything for months! Luckily, I had revisions to keep me going. But like you said, just have to keep plugging away. Eventually, I did get two more books accepted!

Now... whether or not they are "as good as" the first one. Whether or not readers/reviewers will LURVE them as much? More? Ah, that's what the QIWW Club is all about!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

"I mean do you know anyone else who titles her documents "This is crap!" "This is more crap!" "This is a big ole PILE of crap?"

ROFLOL, Louisa! I title ALL my synopses POSS (piece of sh*t synopsis and then the initials of the title). Just be sure you change the title of the file before you send it to... oh say, YOUR EDITOR!

Yup, I emailed her a file called POSSJOTM (piece o sh*t synopsis Jewels of the Madonna). Good thing she couldn't see my very red face through the email when I explained what it was! Though I'm SURE she guessed.;-)

Cassondra said...

Hmmmm.

I think I fall somewhere in the middle. Sometimes I do pretty well at letting stuff go. I have firsthand experience with worry making me sick, so I've learned that it's powerful and really is fairly negative. If I'm putting energy into worry, that's energy I'm NOT putting into moving forward toward my goal. It's brain cells and gray matter all tied up with something that isn't making my book any better.

Nevertheless, instead of direct worry, I take the "indirect worry" route. I avoid. I avoid calling the agent to check in. I avoid submitting, or checking with the editor if I do submit. I put off the worry by putting off the action that would cause it.

It's just as lame. *sigh* It means I haven't done a good job dealing with my "worry" issues and letting go. *heavier sigh*

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Louisa said: "I think anything you do that basically throws your heart and soul out there naked for the world to see makes you a permanent member of the QIWW Club."

I think you TOTALLY NAILED it, m'dear!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Terrio,
I'm going to join the procrastinators club too, when I get that famous Round Tuit.LOL!

WTG on being close to finishing your degree! That is a major accomplishment and we're all very proud of you! Also, as soon as you do finish school, we'll all be nagging you about the manuscript. ;-) You know how it is here in the Lair...

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Christie,
You're right, it never stops! Shame on you, but I do the same thing. No matter how many good reviews, I still remember the BAD ones. Or I still worry that I'll GET a bad one!

We are all confident that Every Time We Kiss will be just as fabulous as Every Night I'm Yours, and can't WAIT for your launch party in a couple of weeks!

Meanwhile, hang in there on writing The Next One. You're almost there, and we KNOW you won't let us down. It will be another GREAT READ!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

DARN! I have to run out and do a couple of errands. At least the sun is out today, unlike the past few days. :-P

Try not to worry about me while I'm gone. I WILL be back! Meanwhile keep the cabana boys busy and the cyber-bubbly flowing.

AC

Deb Marlowe said...

Thanks, Nancy for saying such nice things about AIA! And Treethyme for wanting to read it! You guys are so sweet!

And Nancy, my dh is right with yours. I swear, he never grew out of that adolescent thing: Nothing bad is going to happen to *me* So I do the worrying for him. :-) I'm the one yelling "Wash your hands. Tie your shoes. Shred those credit card advertisements!"

Hee hee.

Christine Wells said...

Oh, wow, Donna got the bird! Congrats, Donna!!!

AC, my sympathies on the new set of worries. Steve Axelrod and Julie Ann Long did a great session last year at National about the Tao of publishing and although it didn't make all my cares vanish, at least it put the business into perspective. Taught me the cliche that you can't control anything but the quality of the writing really is true. I still get anxious but I've learned a certain amount of fatalism as well.

Christine Wells said...

Btw, AC, I think you can rest on your laurels a leetle, having won a starred review in Publisher's Weekly, m'dear!

Nancy and Treethyme, Ohhh, I LOVED An Improper Aristocrat!! Isn't that a fantastic exchange, Nancy? Can't wait for Deb's next book.

Nancy said...

Cassondra wrote: Nevertheless, instead of direct worry, I take the "indirect worry" route. I avoid. I avoid calling the agent to check in. I avoid submitting, or checking with the editor if I do submit. I put off the worry by putting off the action that would cause it.

Tactical error here, bandita. Now that you've fessed up, you don't really think we're going to let you keep getting away with it, do you?

Seriously.

I think this is a powerful temptation. And all the myriad events of life play into it so beautifully. *sigh* For example, there's always a shower to be cleaned.

Karin said...

Oh, I am most definitely a member of QIWW. In fact, I've been a member since about 9 years old, sadly. I worry about tons of things I have no control over, but I'm learning to control it, I hope.

Nancy said...

AC, I'm so flattered! I've only ever caused spewage once before.

My hair had natural curl when I was much, much younger, and then it kind of went straight. Well, straight with frizzies. Oh, joy. The present bit is so much better!

Christine, I do love that exchange from Deb's book. As for the Tao of publishing, I wish I could get there. Still workin' on that.

Janga said...

I'm a card-carrying member of QIWW too. My bff has been reminding me for most of my life that (1)nearly all the things I worry about I can't control and (2) most of my worst case scenarios never happen anyway.

Intellectually I concede the point to her, but emotionally, I still twist in the winds of worry and doubt. And now, thanks to the Net, I have all these AYU friends that I nailbite and pull hair for too.

Vicki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicki said...

A card-carrying member? Oh yes. In fact, I do believe I'm heading up my own little chapter down here in Sunny Florida.

Shhh...don't tell anyone, but sometimes I think I've kicked the habit. I'll feel really good about everything for days, even a few weeks in a row.

And then it happens. The chill of the air glides along my neck, doubts prickly fingers massage my temples. It feels so good, so normal, and just as I succumb, the blood rushes through me and fear paralyzes my mind and once I again, I think, "Oh my god, will it ever happen."


Donna, have fun with him!!

Margay said...

Yeah, now all I have to do is get my children to follow that rule!

Joan said...

I'm still a long way from being published, and my critique partners and I routinely sink into funks of what we call Imposter Syndrome.

See Becke, the thing is to wallow for a moment but then look the publishing world in the eye and say "Oh, Yeah!"

Roman historicals have been traditionally a hard sell. I knew that going in but these are the stories and that was the time they needed to be told.

I'll admit to sometimes thinking "try something else" but my boys would not let me go until THEY were done with me.

I'd become so innured to "Rome is a hard sell" that when both an agent and an editor in SF said "We love Rome, send me a submission" I fell into a dead stare. (Actually, I ended up saying to the agent "If it were not considered totally inappropriate I'd jump over that table and kiss you") :-)

Wonder why she's never called???

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I'm baaack! Hope nobody worried about me. HAHAHAHA!

Joanie, anyone who worries about NOT worrying needs to head up the research & development dept. of the QIWW. I'm just sayin...

And PLEASE, don't mention taxes. I haven't even started mine yet. If Donna does impart any taxing skills to the GR, then I need him to pay me a visit VERY SOON!

AC

Treethyme said...

Joan - I've never understood that "hard sell" kind of thinking. Paranormals were a hard sell awhile back, and look at them now! It only takes one or two authors to get it right and then everybody is jumping on the bandwagon.

I've read Egyptian mysteries, and I'd definitely read a Roman mystery. I recently enjoyed a historical set in the early 1900s after reading that anything after 1890 was a hard sell.

As to why that agent didn't call back, I have no answer. I was actually pretty excited when I got a rejection that was more than one sentence long, and I haven't come close to finding an agent.

But we live in hope, right??

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Jo-Mama said: "Even worse is comparing your journey to whatever path of success you're on to someone else's. What a waste that is!"

Well said, oh wise one! Just like our fingerprints, our writing journey is never going to be like someone else's.

Fortunately, this is very far down on my Things to Fret Over List. Maybe I'll get to it one of these days, but right now there are sooo many other things higher up that list! :-P

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Yay Beth on letting go of those worries about bad reviews! Though I don't think NWHF ever GOT one. ;-) It was truly a WONDERFUL read, and I'm really looking forward to your next release. Wait til all y'all see Beth's new cover! YUMMY!

So tell us, WonderBeth, did the mantra: "It is only ONE PERSON'S subjective opinion" help overcome the review fear? I'm been repeating that one to myself a LOT lately, with mixed results.

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nancy said: "...I realize what goes wrong often comes out of the Andromeda galaxy at lightspeed and therefore cannot be anticipated by someone who knows only the hazards posed by the Milky Way galaxy."

That explains SOOO MUCH, Nancy! All that stuff from Andromeda is messing with my little Milky Way frame of reference! :-)

And I hear ya on the agent thing. I still don't have one. NOT that I haven't tried, mind you. But apparently I need to search beyond the Milky Way.

AC
who has the sudden urge for a candy bar...

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Virginia, WELCOME to the QIWW Club!

We ALL seem to worry over stupid stuff. I know I do, but does that make it any easier to stop? Not for me, I'm afraid!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

TreeThyme/Becke,
Thanx again for your compliments and support of The Wild Sight. Oh trust me, not everyone liked it. I got some really NASTY reviews, and like I said, for whatever CRAZY reason, those are the ones I remember most. :-(

I think I can speak for all the other Banditas when I say, we are TOO FAMILIAR with the Impostor Syndrome. "I'm not a REAL writer." "I'll never be good enough." "My writing sucks ditchwater."

Been there, said all of that and more, don't have nearly enough cute shoes to compensate! (must get advice from Tawny and VA)

You are SOOO CORRECT! We do write because it's something we have to do. All that other stuff is just icing...

AC
still craving that candy bar, or a slice of cake...

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Cassondra,
Ah yes, Aunty knows ALL ABOUT Ye Olde Avoidance Routine. The ex was an all time expert at avoidance! His motto was always: "Ignore something long enough and it will go away." Hmmmm, must say, it did work with me. He ignored me long enough and I WENT AWAY! Notice however, I did not say I went QUIETLY away. :-P

Worry is such a pointless energy drain! If we could just figure out how to bottle all that wasted energy, we'd solve the energy crisis once and for all!!! LOL!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Mme,
Please pass me a large dose of that Fatalism!

See what I mean about remembering only the BAD reviews? I had dinner with several members of the San Francisco RWA last weekend and one of them who is multi-published, looked at my cover and said, "You got a STAR from Publishers Weekly? My goal in life is to get a star from them! Then I can die happy."

No, Aunty has no intentions of kicking ye olde bucket any time soon! But just goes to show how easy it is to focus on the negative instead of the positive!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOW Karin!
You were a young recruit to QIWW!

If you have any tips on NOT fretting over those things you can't control, PLEASE PASS 'EM ON! We seem to have a real need for them here in the Lair.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Janga,
Everyone here in the Lair deeply appreciates your nailbiting and hair pulling on our behalf! :-)

Of course all those AWFUL worst possible case situations never happen, but that doesn't stop up creative types from imagining 'em! One of the techniques I heard once in a workshop on overcoming phobias was to take the worst case to its EXTREME! And then give it a time limit. For example: I'm going to be hit by a semi. It will crash right through my office window (even though said window doesn't face the street). It will be loaded with nitro which will set off a gigantic and horrifying explosion, and it will happen in the next two minutes!

Then when it doesn't happen, you can relax.

AC squinting through the window and listening for the sound of squealing brakes

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Okay, two minutes are up and NO SEMI!
(Aunty wipes sweat from her brow)

Vicky, just as I suspected! The Doubt Demons thrive just as well in the Florida sunshine as they do in the cold and damp!

I'm SURE "Will it ever happen?" has been on every writer's lips at some point. NEVER FEAR, m'dear! We won't let you quit! IT WILL HAPPEN!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Joanie,
Your Roman Boys will hit and HIT BIG! That agent just wasn't The One, and she'll be sorry one of these days in the not too distant future.

AC
who pictured Joanie's Boys while visiting all those ruins in Turkey.

Lisa Marie Wilkinson said...

Yes, I belong to the club! With my debut novel about to come out in one week, I've crossed the street from General Insecurity to Outright Neuroses. LOL. You name it? I'm worried about it!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Becke,
Trying to keep up with the "trends" in this business is enough to drive ya right round the bend!

The very first conference I attended was (I think) Oct. 2004 and EVERYBODY was writing chick lit! I sat in a group pitch session and 4 of the 6 writers pitched a chick lit book (only me and one YA author didn't and we both got requests!). By July '05 when I went to RWA National in Reno, chick lit was "dead!" NO publishers were buying it. VAMPIRES were all the rage! Then in July '06 RWA National, EROTICA was the buzz word on everyone's lips.

ARGH! I am not a fast writer, so if I'd abandoned what I was writing and tried to jump on any of those trends, I'd still not have a finished manuscript!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Lisa Marie,
CONGRATS on your debut release! And welcome to the published author side of QIWW!

Cabana boy! Get this woman an industrial sized margarita! It might not permanently erase doubt demons, but it will be a nice temporary reprieve!

AC

Nancy said...

AC wrote: That explains SOOO MUCH, Nancy! All that stuff from Andromeda is messing with my little Milky Way frame of reference! :-)
(snip)

AC
who has the sudden urge for a candy bar...


AC, The secret is in picking the right candy bar. I'm sending Sven over with a Three Musketeers . It'll help reorient you to Planet Earth after all that galactic rummaging.

Think Oliver Reed, Michael York, and Richard Chamberlain with rapiers. :-)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

THANX Nancy!
I LURVE 3 Musketeers! That and Milky Way Dark are my fave candy bars.

OOO and Michael York in his heyday, playing D'Artagnon... YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Well, it's almost dinner time here on the West Coast, so Aunty will sign off for now.

THANX a BUNCH to everyone who commented and 'fessed up to their memberships in the QIWW Club!

Cabana boys! One more round of cyber-bubbly for everyone!

AC

Genella deGrey said...

I've whipped out my QIWW card so many times it's frayed 'round the edges.

:D
G.

Joan said...

Demetrius is offering free shield sledding to take your mind off your worries, Lisa...Hop on!

And congrats on your debut release!Woohoo!!!!

limecello said...

Congrats Donna - and yes, I'm part of the club >.< Blech.

And super late! Whoops!

Marie Force said...

Great post, Aunty! As you well know, I too was a charter member of that club of yours. Recently, however, I've become tuned into my Zen Marie side and have simply let go of a lot of the crazy worries over stuff I can't control. I've gotta say I'm a much happier writer and mom since I let it all go. What's gonna happen is gonna happen whether or not I obsess about it. It's very freeing to let it go!