Thursday, March 12, 2009

Good News, Bad News

Much is written in the children's literature blogosphere about how to handle rejection, how to slough off bad news and go on, how to tackle all the negativity that writers get heaped on them year after year. But not much is written about how one handles good news, for obvious reason. Good news, generally, is like Haley's comet - it is ridiculously infrequent and if you blink, you might miss the blaze across the sky.

I actually got good news recently. I signed with an agent, she loves my manuscript, she gave me a few reasonable notes for changes, and she subsequently loved the changes I made. She plans to go out with the book this week. This is all good news, no doubt about it. Of course, I'm happy. But I'm also full of suspicion and disbelief. I've spent lots of time recently crafting the most catastrophic ending to this happy tale. It's kind of embarrassing, to be honest. Why can't I simply enjoy my good fortune? That's where all the bad news comes in. I'm trained to assume the worst at this point, and it's a hard habit to shake. Anybody else out there do the same thing?


  1. Yes!!!! I just signed with an agent but can't shake that I'll be in the same place (not published) five years from now even as friends assure me that it's just a matter of time.

    If you find the secret to staying positive lemme know.

  2. I am not being morose, I'm being honest.

    When I found out BENNO was going to be published, I cried. Not with happiness. I was happy, of course. I was thrilled, ecstatic, and jumping for joy. But the story sold less than two years after my sister died. She'd always supported my writing and would have been thrilled for me. Her death tempered my excitement.

    Yes! Signing with an agent is wonderful. But life is filled with many wonderful and tragic events. Signing with the agent is NOT the only thing in your life to cause joy and pain.

    Keep it in perspective.

  3. First, congrats! REVEL in the present moment. It's all you have. (this is what daily yoga will do for you, lol) One of the most frustrating things about writing and life is there's only so much you can control. Worrying or creating worst case scenarios in our mind is just one way of tricking ourselves into thinking we have control again. Enjoy this success, because IT IS ONE. Then, let it go and as Meg said, keep it in perspective.

  4. He's been quoted on this blog before. Stuart Smalley. "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."

    Now repeat after me...

  5. When your agent sells the book, what will you worry about next? That the sale will fall through? That the publishing company will fold before your book goes to print? That skanky, three-eyed aliens will take over the planet?

    Val, get off that slippery worry slope and party like it's 1999! You have an agent! Boogie down, girlfriend!