Monday, September 17, 2012

Putting the Pieces Together


Rejection is on my mind this morning. What writer doesn’t think about it from time to time? I also have some recent acceptances dwelling there but it is those rejections that weigh heaviest.

Early on I recognized that if I was to write, I would have to accept that what I wrote wouldn’t please every agent or every publishing house. That understanding goes hand and hand.

Getting a rejection on a Monday morning still isn’t easy. My biggest reason why I have been rejected in fiction? I don’t follow the formula.

It’s my own fault. If I choose to write romance—I must follow a formula.

The trouble with that request is I don’t like formula books.

Which brings me to my second biggest thought about writing lately—I need to decide what I’m going to write and stick to it. Will it be romance or women’s fiction and when I decide, if I want to be published, I have to follow the rules.

I think I’ve finally gotten on the right road for my life, at least. It’s taken twelve years. Living back in PA won’t be easy by any means but it fits me well. All the missing pieces are coming together.

Now to find that in my writing too.

What part of writing are you finding the most difficult to overcome now?

27 comments:

Shirley said...

I think my biggest writing problem right now is the fear of "what if". What if I can't come up with any more ideas for the story. I don't seem to know what is next. But, then, some days I sit down without a clue and perhaps only two or three words or maybe a sentence, and then it will take off from there.

Jessica Nelson said...

Finishing my rough draft!!!! Grrrr....

If you're having trouble sticking to the formula of romance, then it might be time to start labeling it as womens fiction with romantic elements. *hugs*

Loree Huebner said...


You and I are two peas in a pod! I had to learn the hard way too...and still learning.

Joanne Sher said...

Soooo much to learn. And EVER so not ready in EVER so many ways! But I'm pushing forward, one tiny step at a time.

Nancy said...

Congratulations on the good things you have received. I don't like formula books and I dislike very much writing formula books. You can just see people drawing away from each other for silly reasons so they can get their 3 separations in before the big finale. Something like that. I'm off fiction for awhile. I hope when I return to it I can enjoy it more.

Carol J. Garvin said...

My condolences on the rejection. Even when we know some are inevitable, receiving them is always a disappointment.

I waffle between two genres, too... romantic suspense, with and without the Christian element. Apparently the version of Christian fiction I prefer to read and write also doesn't follow the accepted formula. What I'm doing is first writing from the heart, and then revising with market needs in mind. It's a compromise, and difficult, but it may be the only way I'll ever get my novels published.

Julie Gillies said...

I'm with you, Terri. I loathe formulas. I'm just not a formula person, never have been, never will be. I guess that's what you have to decide. Can you write within the constraints of a formula-based genre and feel contented?

I have a feeling that since you're on the right road for your life, your writing is going to follow suit. Pray. And dream big, girl!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I didn't know you were back blogging! Yikes!!!

The hardest part for me right now is finding the time. I'm swamped with the details of my life, and I barely have time to think.

So glad you're finding your place in PA. Love you dearly.

peace~elaine

Susan said...

Hi Terri, just like you, the most difficult thing in writing to overcomme is rejection. Susan

Lynn said...

Knowing you want to write fiction is an accomplishment too! Concentrating on the small steps, the progress helps me keep my faith in the choices I have made. I have not been writing for 8 months now. Recently I wrote a book review, and loved how my words began to flow again. I take that as a beginnning to overcome the obstacles I have placed on my own path. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. It is time to be my own best-friend again. I am happy to hear your missing pieces are being found again.

Sally said...

I'm happy to hear you're back to writing. Keep at it for your own satisfaction.

Lynda R Young said...

I think we all have to find that delicate balance between following the 'rules' and following our hearts.

Susan Roux said...

Terri, you're a survivor. You've been through so much in all aspects of your life and you still come out with a good spirit and a happy heart. Like everything else, I'm sure you'll figure it all out. After all you never give up and that's really the key!

Margo Berendsen said...

I wrote a Christian women's fiction that broke all sorts of rules, too. Someday I plan to revisit it, but I wasn't ready to force it to fit a formula either (though I think women's fiction has less rules to follow than inspirational romance).

I know God leads me to write certain things, for his own purposes and not necessarily for publication. But I hope publication is in His long-term plans, too!

Pearl said...

I just can't bring myself to submit anything -- thereby saving myself rejection!
:-)

Clever, huh?

Greetings from Minneapolis,

Pearl

Lin Floyd said...

marketing my books is my hangup at the moment!

Anonymous said...

Mel Martinez can market anything.
Just ask Kerr.

Retired English Teacher said...

I'm sorry about the rejection, but you are much ahead of me. I haven't even sent anything in to be rejected. I don't blame you for not wanting to follow a formula. I hate to read formula writing. Why is it so insisted upon?

I am happy to hear that pieces of the puzzle are coming together.

Keep on keeping on.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Hmm...sounds like you might have romance in your books but that it might not be defined as "romance".

Right now, I'm dealing with an editorial letter and trying not to freak out. I need to take it one step at a time.

Karen Lange said...

Queries are a challenge for me. I just don't care for them! But they are good practice, I suppose...:)

Have a great weekend!

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Terri, I haven't been to visit in a while, so it was lovely to catch up.

Glad you are finding out what the 'rejection' is really about... it's not about you, it's about their desire for the formula to be followed. How freeing that must be. It's not you.

But of course how does one's expansive soul find enough space to be creative in 'her' way in that box called The Formula?

Maybe you have to make a really BIG box so lots of your own creativity still fits in The Formula'. (LOL)

And of course I know you're a praying woman... no doubt He has some ideas the world hasn't yet seen on how you can satisfy both your own creative bent and their need for The Formula.

You ask about the thing to overcome for me? Well, I've been struggling with a blogging article for our writers' fellowship newsletter the last couple of weeks (SEO -- something I've had little grasp to date). I've been trying to be 'suave and really knowledgeable' about it all, but just yesterday I had an AHA moment, in which I realized that I'm most comfortable and at ease when I write for beginning bloggers. I like explaining things...sharing something new to eager readers.

(Carrie Wilkerson once said about Grade 1 vs Grade 3 students. The Grade 1-ers look up in awe at the Grade 3-ers (wow they can read and they know all that math, I can't wait to be a Grade 3-er).


I think I would have made a great elementary school teacher (although my path ended up else where)...

Maybe the writing for
people at the beginning stages of a new learning curve/topic is where I do fit. At least for now.

Still pondering that one out.

Now, here's wishing you the BEST kind of day... and lots of glimpses of 'heaven' in those unexpected places.

Brenda

Carol Riggs said...

Maybe you shouldn't market it as a "romance"? If it's not formulaic, then maybe you can add another twist or slant to it, and market is as...adventure, or contemporary, or women's fiction, or whatever. :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

I'm sorry to hear about the rejection. I know firsthand the pain of that experience.

My biggest problem is my genre (issues-related fiction) is not popular right now. Everyone wants romance and Amish.

Hugs,
Susan

Jeanette Levellie said...

You are not alone, Terri. Many writers don't like formulas--it stifles their creative flow. I somehow can't imagine Jesus writing a formula book. HA!

My biggest frustration is everyone telling me what I should do and must do to market my book and myself. I'm trying to follow the leading of the Lord, and all those musts and shoulds muddy the waters. Just sayin'.

Rhonda Schrock said...

I'm glad to hear you're getting there, Terri. It's been a long, winding road, hasn't it? But what a story...

Georgiana Daniels said...

Rejection on a Monday is so hard! At least you've identified the problem. The hardest part for me is all the uncertainty, and really that could be why God made me a writer. I need to hold His hand through the process.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Rejection is just part of a writer's life. I've had plenty of them. I think you can write in several genres. I do and find that it helps to keep my writing fresh. Best of luck to you!