Picking Up the Pieces

Layne Jameswriting process2 Comments

And best of all, “The only things worth doing are the things that might possibly break your heart.”

– Colum McCann

I hear you, Colum, I hear you. Or as my man C.S. said:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” 

― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

To be honest, I feel a little heartbroken today, and I’ve been feeling this way for a few days (weeks?) now.

And this is why:

Right now I don’t know if our book is any good. When I read it, I go cross-eyed and cringe. In fairness, we’ve read it dozens of times, so we’re really too close to be objective critics, but I keep asking myself again and again “Is it? Does it have what it takes?”

And the honest answer right now is this: I don’t know.

We’ve gotten a lot of formulaic “No Thanks” from different agents, but today we got a big NO when a lovely agent who’d asked to read our whole book told us she’s going to pass.

Inside I can tell myself I know this is part of the process.

I do. But that doesn’t make it any easier. I know success usually comes after a mountain of failures, but right now all I can see are the failings and it sucks. I think, “Maybe all I’ll have for the rest of my life is failure.” That’s how it feels in this exact moment.

And it sucks because I care so much. I love writing. I love writing so much it breaks my heart to think maybe it’s one of those things I can love but shouldn’t do.

I’m clearly being 10(0)% dramatic right now, but I’m also just being honest. For better or for worse, we signed up to bring you guys along on this journey with us, and well, here’s where we are right now.

So here’s what I’m going to do:

I’m going to Facetime with Lindsay and we’re going to cry a little bit. Then I’m going to make a list of all the lessons I’ve learned over the past few months of this process. Things like “Ask beta readers earlier in the process” and “Keep writing every day, no matter what” will be on this list.

And then I’m going to book club and having a beer.

I’ll wake up tomorrow and write again.

Chat soon.


2 Comments on “Picking Up the Pieces”

  1. I want to say something, but don’t know what I can say to help. So just know I am here. Feeling your pain with you. And I love you.

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