Tuesday, September 24, 2013

There are perks to being a wallflower?

For the longest time, I balked any time someone would call me shy. I still don't think I'm shy. I'm an introvert. Unfortunately, I'm an introvert to the point where it's sometimes socially crippling. Good-meaning people tell me I must practice being social, that the more I socialize with people the better at it I will become. It hasn't happened yet, so I'm beginning to wonder in my over-think-everything way if it's me.

Some things about me:

1.) During social engagements, I usually go to the bathroom for the sole purpose of locking myself behind a door long enough to feel human again. If it's longer, it's usually because I can't breathe. After I leave a party, I need a solid hour alone, preferably in a turn-into-boiled-lobster shower. If I don't, I generally fold into myself. If I'm at a party too long, by the time I get home I'll cry.

2.) People misinterpret my comments as overly educated or snobby. Okay, so maybe I'm a little educated. So maybe I try to speak properly and that comes across as educated or snobby. I don't know. The truth is, I'm so afraid that what I say will be misinterpreted (few understand my jokes) or that what I say will be boring, that I don't say anything. I don't want people to think I think I'm something special. I'm not. I'm just one of billions of people out there. My thoughts aren't unique. Unfortunately, I guess that's snobbery.

3.) By the time I think of something to add to the conversation, the conversation has usually moved on. I have to internalize everything first. If I don't think through my words, I have this horrible tendency to stumble over my words because I can't find the right ones to articulate my thoughts when the pressure's on. Then everyone's staring at me and I can't handle it, and then I get embarrassed and can't remember what words I was looking for until all eyes are off me again.

Sometimes I wish things were a little more like (some) fiction--where the introverted wallflower finds a friend who picks her up and introduces her into the world of fast-moving friendliness, where the conflict comes quickly and is gone overnight.  Not the one where she builds her walls higher and higher, hoping someone will see the mountain and choose to climb.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rejection and Fantasy

Update on rejection: I received a very nice tweet informing me I should not post about rejection in any form. I understand the concept behind it. Someone might mistakenly believe I don't got the goods ;) if she reads my manuscript has already been rejected. I can't say I like it--writing is a lonely place, and I find solace in blogging about my triumphs and struggles--but I understand it. No more posts about rejection. Cross my heart. :)

On a completely different note, I recently noticed I spend a lot of time dreaming up opening lines to books I'll never write. I don't intend to write them. I just want to write their first lines. It happens in those in-between moments when I'm drifting into sleep or driving to work, times when I'm free to think about nothing. In my "nothing" times, I fantasize about writing. How about that?

Monday, September 2, 2013

On Rejection

I've finally begun querying, and like everyone else who's in this stage, I received my first rejection letter. I thought I'd be more upset about it. But I'm not. Actually, I'm not upset about the rejection at all. Actually, I'm shocked with myself that I'm not bothered by it. Seriously.  When that letter came in my inbox a few nights ago, I had to dig through my mental file cabinets just to make sure I wasn't lying to myself. I'm not. It doesn't bother me. Wow.

I don't know why it doesn't bother me.  Maybe I've done a sufficient job convincing myself that rejection is part of the job, which it is. Maybe it's because I've been turned down through so many writing and pitch contests that I'm beginning to become desensitized to rejection. Maybe it's because it wasn't a form rejection. I'm searching through those file cabinets and I can't pinpoint the reason. Huh.  Go figure.

It's like I almost want to be upset, and I'm trying to find a reason to be upset but can't. This isn't me. I worry. I overthink. I get upset. Except not this time. Who are you, and what have you done to April?

So that was my first response--or lack of response. My second response was: YAY! I mean, how cool is that? I've joined the same club all my favorite authors have joined. And yeah, I'm kind of official now. I'm not just playing around at being a writer anymore. I'm out there, making the make, doing the do.

And so, along with this YAY! was a, how cool is it that, out of all the rejection letters for me to first receive, it wasn't a form rejection? This agent took time out of her busy life to reply to me! Kudos to awesome agent Suzie Townsend. So, you won't be my agent, but that's okay. You rock. You didn't tell me my query letter was crummy. You didn't even tell me that you didn't think my novel wasn't a good fit for you. You told me you didn't think LitD would sell given the current market. And that's cool. You've got to make a living. That is something I can totally respect. So a great big huge sincere thanks. You're awesome. :)

So yeah. I'm overly pleased with this whole thing. It doesn't make sense, but I am.

I'm actually floating on some sort of weird distorted cloud. The cloud should be cliche, because everyone floats on clouds, but it's not because I shouldn't feel this way about rejection.

So yeah. That's all I've got right now.