I’m going to be honest with you, Modern Philosophers: Writing can be a frustrating, soul crushing, self-confidence destroying business.
Lately, I’ve been letting the weight of my query letter rejections get me down. I’m starting to question whether I’m meant to be a writer and it’s caused the dark clouds to roll back in for a prolonged stay.
It’s not that writing has never been a challenge, but this whole “trying to get a novel published” thing is an entirely different kind of struggle. All of the rejections have been form letters, so I have no idea if I’m totally wasting my time, or if I’m so close to making a breakthrough and just need to hang in there.
I was feeling pretty low last night when I headed out for the latest taping of The Nite Show.
You’re probably shaking your head a little after reading that last sentence. Maybe you’re thinking something along the lines of, Stop being such a mopey whiner, Austin. The novel writing thing might not be going well, but you have a job writing for a TV show!
You’d be correct, but you know how it is when the dark clouds hover. They obscure your view, allowing you to only see a few few ahead of you. Unfortunately, the only thing within my line of sight under those conditions was the growing stack of rejection letters from literary agents.
Luckily, the bright television lights changed my perspective. As always, nothing boosts my confidence as a writer more than sitting in the audience and listening to the crowd laugh at a joke I wrote.
Last night, I was on a roll with monologue jokes. Danny used several of mine in the first two shows, and they went over well. Without even realizing it, I was no longer sulking in my seat, trying to figure out how to move forward with my writing career.
Instead, I was happily reminded that my writing makes people laugh. I started to feel so confident that I imagined even a theater populated by the literary agents who have rejected my novel would be filled with loud laughter.
Come on, Austin, let’s not get too carried away! Those agents are hard asses who probably never crack a smile, let alone emit a belly laugh!
But that’s the magic of television. All the self-doubt was gone. I no longer cared what those agents thought about my book. I knew I was a good writer. I had the laughter to prove it!
The above photo is one I snapped during the monologue for the second show. Danny came out doing some silly dance and I was able to capture it with my phone camera. Right after this, he told three jokes that I’d written
I sent Danny the pic this morning and wrote that for some reason, it amused me very much. He replied that it amused him, too.
Yes, Modern Philosophers, writing is still a very difficult business. However, The Nite Show once again reminded me that I need to be confident in my abilities because I can have my funny moments.
And I can always fall back on my photography skills if times get tough.
Thanks again to Danny for inviting me to be a part of The Nite Show family. I really needed that positive family energy last night, and it was there for me big time!
Maybe I need to start including an invite to a Nite Show taping with all my query letters…
there’s always something around the corner as you saw last night
This is true…
I can’t remember the author now, James Patterson, maybe… Anyway, he said that he received hundreds of rejections before he received that one acceptance. That’s all you need. I can imagine it can be extremely defeating, but anything worth dreaming is worth going after!
I am glad your spirits were lifted. You are a brilliant writer, and anyone who judges your writing based on a query letter does not know what they are missing.
I just received an email from an agent asking for the first 50 pages of the manuscript! Finally, the losing streak has ended.
Thank you for your faith!
Hurray!! That’s great news, Austin!
I will always believe in you. See you at your book signing!!
Thanks, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves! 🙂
Counting the smiles you provide with your writing here and for Danny’s monologues, Austin, your successes will forever far outnumber any number of rejection letters. And when that first novel does gets published, I’ll be able to say, hey, I had faith in him when he was writing that book!
Guess what? A couple of hours after I wrote this post, an agent requested to read the first 50 pages of my novel!
I hope that new relationship continues to roll, Austin!
We shall see…