Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Conf 57 Steeling up for More Rejection

No. of calls from agent: 0
No. of calls from temp agencies: 0
Wordcount: 22,717

Lionel Shriver won the Orange Prize for Fiction last night for We Need To Talk About Kevin.

I love her interview, she sounds so frank and funny ("After 20 years as a struggling writer I'm not used to things going well.") and I will definitely read this book. It's her 7th, rejected by a string of agents and major publishers before being published by Serpent's Tail. It became a word of mouth hit in New York in 2003. I've also heard that last year's winner, Andrea Levy, was one of us before she had her win. Whenever I hear her on the radio I don't see the now-famous author, I see she could be any one of my writing group, determinedly battling on with the rejections and the no publicity nightmares. My 2 novels, incidentally, I see this morning are getting close to an Amazon bingo situation again: Novel 1: 43,358, novel 2: 43,044.

Have put a stop to the Great Surge Forward on the wordcount and have gone right back to C13. Realised at the end of Monday, after a reasonably good day on C13, how important it is to stop writing on a high. I'd been on a downward spiral: days and days of finishing on a low and starting off the next day on a low. No wonder I was miserable. Graham Greene, famously, used to stop writing in the middle of a sentence. There's no point in doing it if you're not getting anything from it. So, slowly but surely is the new way forward. And, so what if I don't finish it in three months. Maybe it'll take me a year. Maybe I'll do other things as well. Suddenly, with new decisions about working afoot, I don't feel so in the noose with it.

Partner more than happy to take on childcare duties & is offering to give me lifts into town as well. So, spent a large chunk of yesterday secsing up my CV. I e-mailed it to the online agency and really did expect the phone to start ringing. I was on a bit of a high after reviewing my long and healthy career I guess. When I used to temp years ago the agencies were always calling. But then I was a young 20something clued-up to the high-tec world of electric typewriters, telex, banda machines and answerphones. Now I have a horrible feeling I'd better prepare myself for more rejection. What's Excel?? Found a tutorial online. Numbers, yuk. Do I spend time on this?

First things first. In a moment I'll shower and get dressed in my dark trousers and fresh blouse. After ten years at home, I'll take me and my CV off to the Big City. Bah, rejection, used to it. Except not face to face?

Wish me luck.

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