What is your biggest challenge or obstacle to overcome in your writing?
This is a common question and a tricky one because there are multiple answers. I don’t think there is one major, looming obstacle that overshadows everything and weighs down on me to the point where I want to give up, or scream, “Enough!!!” (Which I would never scream, because that’s an action, not a tag line and I would never use that many exclamation points)
Okay, there is one obstacle slightly bigger than the other. Well, a bit larger. The question could be reworded to ask: What is your biggest obstacle to getting published? Writing? Editing? Yes, to both questions, but the biggest obstacle to getting published is finding a publisher. The publishers are the problem. Queries, synopses, bios, and the dreaded rejection letter or the more often no-response. And there are the two instances when the responses came a year after I’m published and it’s still a no-thank-you.
I recently read an article about rejection letters and though interesting, it didn’t tell me much more than I already knew and didn’t provide much of a solution to them. They are what they are. I’ve complained about them; how unfair I think they are. The agent/publisher wants X and my story fits their requirements. They’re looking for my type of story. Days/weeks/months later, I receive the “This isn’t the story for me.” letter and I cannot believe it. “This is what you said you wanted! What’s the deal?” I don’t understand it, but can’t change it.
I may be spitting in the wind, but there is a point where I think I’m right about the unfairness. The prime example is the publisher who claimed to read through the material with thoroughness and give it considerable thought. I sent a query letter to that person at 9:45 one evening. At 10:15 I opened my email software and there was a rejection letter from that publisher. Really? Less than 30 minutes and you’re telling me no? How much ‘consideration’ did you really give my story? I think we all know the answer.
So, I’m throwing out queries to publishers and agents who may answer too quickly, or may not answer at all. I understand the slush pile. I understand how many submissions these people receive. I wish there was a more efficient way of dealing with them.
Next week, I’ll dive into some other challenges.