When Disappointment and Shame Meet Desire
Why another website?
I recently turned my entire manuscript into a very prestigious literary agency in the hopes that they would be interested in taking me on as a client. I had spent a lot of time pick, pick, picking at the book, and quite frankly, was exhausted by it and tired of looking at it. Friends who are published YA authors had read the book, given me their critiques, and urged me to turn it in. They liked the book, they liked the characters, and they felt it was ready.
So, I jumped - and I splatted right on my face. I failed. (And yes, I'm a winner for trying, blah, blah, blah and other inspirational stuff)
I won't get into all the feedback I got, but basically, my book is paced too slowly for modern teenagers. Teens now are accustomed to fast-paced, almost movie-like plots that fit with their go-go-go lifestyles. Everything is high-speed now and my book is just too damn slow. The upside is that the agency would like me to resubmit the book if I rewrite it, and are also interested in seeing other writing from me. The door isn't closed and there may be an opportunity to work with them in the future.
I am trying to be optimistic, but I would be lying if I said that I'm not heartbroken.
I took a few days to feel sad and mope around, and then I started to examine my feelings to see if there was anything I could do to feel better now.
I discovered that my biggest issue is I don't feel connected to people through my writing. I write for a living, but most of the time I am writing about someone else's vision or writing on a subject that is important to someone else but isn't particularly important to me. Also, 9.5 times out of 10 I am ghostwriting, which means that someone else gets credit for my work.
I have a strong desire to connect with people through writing - and I want my name on the work.
I also realized that I am distressed about having my manuscript rejected because now it might be years (or maybe never - ugh) before my words are in front of people in book form. So, enter this website. I'm removing the gatekeepers (agents, editors, publishers, etc.) and creating a space where I can write about anything that strikes my fancy. I hope a few people will read and respond in some way and that this site will feed the part of me that needs to connect with people through words. When I've created websites in the past, I've limited myself by making the website about one thing. I've purposely not made The She Shed Share about anything in particular; it's just a place for me to share my thoughts.
I'm not kidding myself that writing on this website is the same thing as being a published author and having my work sold in bookstores, but I think it will be a way to appease this lonesome part of me. Writing can be such a solitary way of being creative.
The other thing that's really been coming up is shame. I've been beating myself up for sharing my dream of becoming a published YA author, because if it doesn't happen then people will know that I couldn't make it happen, that I'm not good enough, etc. And what the hell is that about? Why do I care if other people know that I've failed? Why is it so important for me to appear to be successful? Why can't I talk to myself the way I would talk to a friend if she had suffered a similar disappointment? Why is it so scary to be vulnerable? Hint: I have no idea what the answers are. More stuff to write about, work through, and bring to my therapist, I guess.
This website is my little cry out against the darkness - even when the darkness is inside of me. I won't let shame and disappointment stop me from doing something I love to do. I won't allow my fears to grow while I shrink. This is my little corner of the web and I claim it as a place to write, share, and grow.