I’ve not written for a long time. Not that I didn’t want to, just I couldn’t.
Why? You ask. Simple.
I’ve been crushed.
And let me tell you how, so it won’t happen to you.
In September, I went, all hopeful and with stars in my eyes, to the writers workshop in York. I met lovely people, with whom I’m still in touch, the workshops were great.
What I was not prepared was the brutality of the one to one sessions.
Not that the agents I met were purposely mean. They had ten minutes to say what they thought about your first three chapters. And they went straight to the point with no gloves.
And to summarize my sessions: No voice, no style, not unique, no market for it.
There. Take that in your teeth and swallow hard.
And I had my two meetings on the very first day. I went and cried in my room, then cried a bit more. Then I decided I was not going to feel sorry for myself. I went out there and met people, asked questions about my work, my ideas and understood in some ways what they agents had said.
So I thought in the end it was a positive week-end.
What I didn’t know, was that in my soul, the worm of doubt and self-depreciation had settled in.
Every time I sat at my desk, ideas just refused to come. I only had this one thought. “You can’t write. Your ideas are bad and boring. You’ll never become a writer.”
And see, it has lasted that long. Five months.
So could we do without those conferences and those meetings with professionals? I don’t think so. As brutal as they are, they show us the reality of the market.
But chose the person you meet wisely. Really do your research on what they like. Come with your best work, not a work in progress like mine. Or if you do, chose a book doctor or someone who will critic your book in a more constructive way. Take in the agent’s advice, but try to not take it personally. I failed on that point and that’s why five months later, I’m just getting back on my feet.
But I’ll get out there again soon…hopefully with a better sample of what I can do, and I’ll let you know how it went.