April 14, 2011

Sometimes You Just Have to Jump

Filed under: Backstory,The Writing Life — jenny @ 8:41 pm

11 years, 3 agents, 14 almost offers.

I used to feel pathetic writing those numbers out. Now I just feel matter-of-fact. Or maybe it’s numb.

No, it’s matter of fact. This is me. This is my path. For whatever it turns out to be worth.

In some ways it was easy. It took me 8 months to get my first agent, and I naively thought that was a long time. I got two offers, and I got to choose whom to sign with. The next time I signed I got to choose, too. And the time after that.

I haven’t gotten anywhere near as many rejections as some writers have. I know some who have racked up triple, even quadruple digits before finally breaking through.

My hats are off to many of my friends who have kept going and going in the face of being told their work wasn’t good enough.

Obviously, as the end result shows, it was.

My situation, as many of you know, is a little bit different.

And it is unique in one way: I don’t know of one single writer who has been this close for this long, stuck at this exact same point.

I’ve been lucky enough that agents, authors, and editors have recognized something good in my work for over a decade. Good enough to publish.

But for some reason that recognition hasn’t translated into an offer.

I don’t know why.

Because the perfect offer is still out there, about to be made?

Because I’m meant to go another way, take an alternate route?

Or because there’s no real reason and this just happens to be the way things are going?

Either way, in the words of the great head banging song by The Dream Team

I can’t take this, anymore
I guess I’m not the only one that’s keeping score
I can’t change this hangin’ around,
I’m sick and tired of always being
Fed up with this crowd

So what to do now?

I don’t exactly know.

But I think it will happen soon.


  1. Wonderful post. Maybe an alternative route? That’s where I went and so far it’s been good. Keep us posted.

    Comment by Tess Hardwick — April 14, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

  2. I have great hopes for a wonderful outcome for you!

    Comment by Judy — April 14, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  3. Jenny, thanks for reaching out to me. I know for sure that whatever route you choose, it is going to work for you. Don’t give up. Never give in.

    Comment by Tess Hardwick — April 14, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  4. No matter what you do, my dear, you and your talent will make it the very best thing. But I keep holding out for the gilded dream….

    Comment by Savvy — April 15, 2011 @ 9:44 am

  5. …for you, I meant. But, truth be told, for me, too.

    Comment by Savvy — April 15, 2011 @ 9:52 am

  6. Gilding chips off, though, Savvy, you know? Maybe the alternate path is the solid gold…?

    Comment by jenny — April 15, 2011 @ 10:04 am

  7. Sorry I didn’t see this sooner. I am struck by your courageous “asking of the question.” WHY HAS THIS HAPPENED TO YOU?

    I think there is an answer.

    Admit something to yourself. I don’t know what it is, honestly, but there’s something worrying you, making you anxious? I don’t mean that you don’t want it. Of course you want it! Your extraordinary hard work, diligence, brilliance shine through. You’re doing everything right, but….WHAT?

    It’s like I sense this little nugget of truth, deep inside, a truth that makes you afraid, uncomfortable, worry about extreme pain?

    I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I sense it. And you asked the question, which means, YOU SENSE IT, TOO.

    Love ya, Jody

    Comment by Jody — April 23, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

  8. I agree with you, Jody…there’s a fear–and an answer. I think that answer has to do with how certain big turning points in my life go–not the “traditional publishing” route way. I think that way may not be right for me–and I have been resisting that.

    Why has this happened? To make me turn in another direction maybe?

    Comment by jenny — April 24, 2011 @ 8:51 am

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