Panic at the finish line approaches

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airball
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Panic at the finish line approaches

Post by airball » May 4th, 2011, 12:13 pm

Hey, topic #1000!

Anyway, I'm within shouting distance of wrapping up my final (for now) revision and polish of my WIP. (I know it will likely need more work, but I'm this close to sending out queries.

As I sit here, I feel panic welling up inside and I'm on the verge of tears. I don't know if I'm afraid of the coming rejection, suddenly having doubts about the quality of my work, or both...

Has anyone else felt this way? How did you deal with it?

Thanks,

Airball
Sam Thomas
Author of The Midwife's Story: A Mystery due out from St. Martin's Press in 2013
Website: http://www.samthomasbooks.com
Team Blog= http://bloodygoodread.blogspot.com

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Falls Apart
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Re: Panic at the finish line approaches

Post by Falls Apart » May 4th, 2011, 3:20 pm

I haven't been through the publication process, so I haven't felt exactly the same, but I think I know the feeling. Just remember--you're an artist, and the fact that you've completed a book that you like is something to be proud of. Also remember--this is a business, and whatever rejections you recieve (everybody gets some, no matter how amazing the book is) are probably due less to the quality of the book and due more to the agent not looking for this particular thing at a particular time or being overloaded already. It's like if a qualified applicant doesn't get the job: there were other applicants, and one may have been a better fit for this particular position, but there are other jobs, too. Put it in God's hands if you believe in Him/Her, fate if that's your thing, or, if none of those apply, just remember: there will always be chocolate. :) Good luck!

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Re: Panic at the finish line approaches

Post by sierramcconnell » May 4th, 2011, 5:38 pm

I was once told at a job interview:

"You know, we would really like to hire you. But...you're just...you're too sweet."

I was qualified. They said that. I was way more than educated enough and had the right umph for it. But he had this terrible, halting look on his face like he was doing something horribly wrong as he said:

"I'm sorry, you're just too sweet."

So sometimes, it doesn't matter what you do in that book. Doesn't matter of your accolaides. Doesn't matter how good the query is. Sometimes, that agent and you? You're just not going to click.

Don't sweat it. You're just too sweet.

Find another one and fire away.
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Down the well
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Re: Panic at the finish line approaches

Post by Down the well » May 4th, 2011, 9:20 pm

airball wrote:As I sit here, I feel panic welling up inside and I'm on the verge of tears. I don't know if I'm afraid of the coming rejection, suddenly having doubts about the quality of my work, or both...

Has anyone else felt this way?
I can relate one hundred percent. I got a full request from a recent pitch and suddenly the manuscript looks like crap again. What I thought was polished and ready to go now needs a complete overhaul in my mind, and I can't bring myself to hit the send button yet. It's just nerves and self-doubt, I know that, but it still tortures me. I don't know if it ever goes away. :(

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airball
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Re: Panic at the finish line approaches

Post by airball » May 4th, 2011, 11:03 pm

Down the well wrote:
airball wrote:As I sit here, I feel panic welling up inside and I'm on the verge of tears. I don't know if I'm afraid of the coming rejection, suddenly having doubts about the quality of my work, or both...

Has anyone else felt this way?
I can relate one hundred percent. I got a full request from a recent pitch and suddenly the manuscript looks like crap again. What I thought was polished and ready to go now needs a complete overhaul in my mind, and I can't bring myself to hit the send button yet. It's just nerves and self-doubt, I know that, but it still tortures me. I don't know if it ever goes away. :(
Okay, that's what I needed to hear. I may be f'ed up, but at least I'm not alone.

Onward. Final chapter NOW!

airball
Sam Thomas
Author of The Midwife's Story: A Mystery due out from St. Martin's Press in 2013
Website: http://www.samthomasbooks.com
Team Blog= http://bloodygoodread.blogspot.com

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chvyg80
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Re: Panic at the finish line approaches

Post by chvyg80 » May 5th, 2011, 1:41 am

I personally understand how you are feeling. I can't count how many times I've updated my fb to say "It's done" only to realize that it still isn't good enough for me. I've revised...revised again...and revised even more, to the point that I'm scared I'll kill my script with revisions. I've made myself one promise; If I can't write a query that is really striking and eye catching, then my book must not be done (I think I should not have scared myself into believing that one). Although as of right now, I think my MS is finished, I still find things wrong with it (not big problems, more or less flow issues in certain scenes). I'm trying to read it through with out any revisions except for grammatical and spelling.

Good luck on everything, and know that you'll know when it's done and you will write a killer query.

For Sierra, I was recently turned down for a promotion for being too nice. I thought how is that possible, LOL. I thought about it and came to the conclusion that I'd prefer be too nice and treat everyone the way I want to be treated!
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Re: Panic at the finish line approaches

Post by Sommer Leigh » May 5th, 2011, 11:30 am

I think this is pretty natural. There is a great deal of comfort in working - it means we always have room to perfect the imperfect and to deal with the flaws. It is still YOURS and YOURS alone. No one else, unless we say so, can give any kind of feedback or criticize our choices. This is so comforting.

When we reach the end, we know it will no longer be ours. Others are going to get to have their two cents. And being successful, getting an agent, an editor, living the dream? Means other people get to have real power over it to make changes you had never anticipated. It is no longer yours. That isn't comforting. That's full of change and uncertainty and someone else will read your work and say things that maybe you didn't want to hear. And I'm not just talking about criticism - praise can be just as hard to take, even when we want it so badly.

So yeah, that thing you are feeling? Natural, normal, and inescapable. I suspect no author, whether they are on their first book or their fifteenth ever stops feeling it.

I do wish you the best of luck though. Don't let your fear of saying "The End" stop you from doing it. It can be a very tempting thing to keep going long after you had everything right. You're going to be just fine :-)
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hektorkarl
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Re: Panic at the finish line approaches

Post by hektorkarl » May 5th, 2011, 5:47 pm

Just push forward.

You might also find it helpful to read Steven Pressfield on this. He calls it "The Resistance" and details how it hits almost everyone. (http://www.stevenpressfield.com/)

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Re: Panic at the finish line approaches

Post by PatG » May 6th, 2011, 8:02 am

Hi,
I don't normally join in, I just like to read the posts, but I wanted to comment on this subject. I've been around for over half a century on this earth and I've panicked plenty, been rejected for jobs plenty and I've received many rejection letters. With regards to the fear of rejection that I believe most of us experience as the finish line approaches, I treat this fear the same way as I treat the loss of a job. I just tell myself that it's the agent's, publisher's, or, employer's loss, not mine, if I'm rejected; I find this keeps me in a positive frame of mind. So Sierra it was the employer's loss when they didn't give you the job, and Airball, if you do receive a rejection letter, deal with it and move on. Congratulate yourself on a job well done, on finishing your ms and tell yourself that it will be the agent's loss when you're at the top of the bestseller list. Onwards and upwards, no looking back at negativity.

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Re: Panic at the finish line approaches

Post by Louise Curtis » May 6th, 2011, 8:15 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote: So yeah, that thing you are feeling? Natural, normal, and inescapable. I suspect no author, whether they are on their first book or their fifteenth ever stops feeling it.
Heh. I read the beginning of this discussion a few days ago and thought, "How silly." Then I finished the fourth draft of my WIP. . . the point in the editing where it's basically done and I'm not going to let myself look at it for a little while. . . and I've been panicking ever since.

This is my thirteenth book.

On the up side, our mutual fear and trembling won't show in the paper/email that we send out, so it won't do us any harm. All we need to do is get it posted, and wait to find out what happens. And if the worst happens - rejection - we'll just do another edit and send it out again.

I love watching "So you think you can dance" because those dancers are trying to break into a market just as over-crowded as the writing market - but they only have a few years of youth to do it in. What's worse, a single bad day (or minor injury at the wrong moment) can ruin their careers. As writers, we can have a bad YEAR and then just pick up where we left off the following year. We literally have all our lives to get good.

So at least OUR fear is harmless.
Louise Curtis
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Re: Panic at the finish line approaches

Post by Watcher55 » May 17th, 2011, 9:51 am

George Lucas said that a filmmaker never completes a project; he just has to abandon it at some point (not a direct quote). The point is that you, like me and most everybody else, will never be satisfied with the “final” (read that “most recent”) revision.

I was within five pages of finishing when I got so scared and uptight that a part of me refused to write the ending (despite the fact that I knew what it was) until I went back and did a paragraph by paragraph revision of the whole manuscript.

I paced around my perch. I shouted at the unsympathetic walls. I even blamed the dogs. I’m not sure how I did it, but I finished the book late last week. I still wasn’t ready to submit. I think I’m just as afraid of success as I am of failure, but facts is facts. The fact is that I was excited during the writing process because the arc of the story felt so right, and the ending is seamless. The fact is that this is one of those moments I’ve dreamed of for months. The fact is it’s time to kick my baby out of the house – gulp. I made up my mind that, ready or not, I would submit it this morning – and I was gonna, but I had one more t to dot.

I went back and checked the agent’s submission guidelines (I’m going to query this particular agent exclusively before I start sending batches), and found she had added one. She wants a frikken synopsis! Crap Sh#@ %*&@# *@&$^#% “Ohm-ohm-ohm.” Guess what I’m doing today.

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