One of the thing’s that’s the strangest about being an author and being involved in various contract negotiations is that there are a lot of things I just can’t share with most (or any) of my friends. I get a steady trickle of rejection notices, and that’s not exactly something you want to shout from the rooftops, on the off chance someone reads it who’s considering making an offer on one of my projects and then reconsiders that offer based on something I wrote. (Not entirely out of the question, though I acknowledge the odds are slim.) Even setting that remote possibility aside, there’s still something to be said for remaining positive. To use an easy (if slightly distasteful) example, Trump didn’t become President by telling people things how it was. If I wanted to follow his trajectory, I suppose I could just start saying I’m a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author who sells millions of books, and repeat that alternate fact louder whenever people try to question it.
But since I am not Trump, I choose to compromise and just not tell everyone every time I get an email from an editor saying my book was good, but just not good enough. (Those emails are much better than the form rejections.)
Though of course, when I’ve just received a bundle of rejections, and an innocent bystander of an acquaintance asks me the favorite question (“So, are you still writing?), it can take some effort to remind myself that they don’t quite understand what goes in to writing. The nearest comparison I can make is if you know of a couple who are trying to have a large family. They’ve talked about their dream to you. But after years of trying, they still just have one child. Do you go up to them a few years down the line and ask, “So, are you still trying to have children?” It’s a sensitive subject.
On the flip side of this, I don’t get to write about the good or great news until it becomes public, and that’s often months after I found out the good news in the first place. Why? Because it’s one thing to agree to publishing something in principle, but it’s another to have it all in writing, with the precise details ironed out. Those details are important, so you don’t say anything until they’re all set in place. There’s also the very real possibility that the deal falls through, and that feels somehow almost worse than never having the deal in the first place. (MEMORY THIEF comes to mind. Thank goodness that had a happy ending.)
I have several items of good news that I’m sitting on. I’ve been sitting on some of them for months. I hope to be able to share them with you at some point, but a couple of the bits of news ended up vanishing into the ether, and some might be headed that way as well. But if and when I get to tell you, it’ll all be old news to me, though new news to you. I kind of wish I could celebrate news with all of you, right when I found it out, as opposed to dribbling it out bit by bit over a long period of time, but that’s the nature of the beast, I suppose.
So . . . yay for good news that might or might not turn out to be actual good news several months from now? Stay tuned.
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