Sunday, June 13, 2010
Writing Struggles by Susan Reinhardt
My writing career slammed agent-first into a brick wall.
It started when I gave up my long-time agent, thinking like a car, I should trade before the accelerator locks up, thus deals freeze.
My hot new agent, like a little red sports car, was young enough for me to have given birth. She up and fired me when she couldn’t sell “Chimes From a Cracked Southern Belle,” my new unpublished, lingering-in-limbo novel.
I have all but given up finding an agent to champion this Billie Letts type Southern fiction.
This leaves me with a writing career that isn’t tethered to the world of editors, agents and publishers. I’m floating free and out of control.
I gave a half-hearted attempt at finding a new agent, but life got in the way.
I can’t write. I don’t have time. I’m too stressed out. Has anyone ever felt this way?
My son is 17 and this past year has been in trouble at school, with the law (think Mr. Misdemeanor) and hooked up with the wrong crowd, the ones who think a bag of dope is better than the honor roll or even a new car.
I’ve been so out-of-control with the stress of finding him counseling and services, being turned down even though I’m insured, that writing has been swept into the corners of my creativity.
Do I even have any creativity? Where is my Muse? Is she sleeping off a bad hangover?
As for my son, I’ve been acting like Mrs. Kravitz from “Bewitched,” and following him here and there can get fairly creative. And rather exhausting not to mention time-consuming.
My church is tired of me jumping to altar call, then next, asking for the prayer team to anoint me and put some Jesus back into my boy.
Used to be I had time to write. But I’m entering the great anxiety den and find my muse somewhere in the bottom of a clogged drain. All my energies are focused on getting my son back on track.
When I do manage to send out a batch of queries, I hear the same thing. “You’re a talented writer, but I didn’t connect with the story.”
Please, someone, connect.
I mean, I consider myself a great mom but I guess I’m not connecting to my son’s life, either.
There has to be a point – both with home, work and getting my boy on the right path - – where there’s connection.
There has to be a phrase agents can use besides, “I needed to connect on a DEEPER level.” If I hear it again, I may throw my laptop over the deck. It sucks, anyway. Not the deck, the laptop.
I’m hearing a lot from editors and agents that it’s hard to sell women’s fiction. And I’m wondering if this is true, or just an easy way to let a gal down.
This is my dry spell. The desert of what was a promising career.
Maybe God’s trying to tell me that the kids come first and need me more than the anonymous reader in Kentucky.
My husband told me to return to writing humorous non-fiction, which I had no trouble selling. It’s just that I believe in this novel. My goal is to query 30 more agents, and then regroup.
Meanwhile, I’ll be in various therapies with my son, knowing he takes priority over publication.
Better times are sure to come. We writers must believe this.