I’m sitting in front of my computer this morning after a kind of terrible weekend.
I worked hard last week to increase my stock of chainmaille jewelry so that I could attend a craft fair in Jamestown with a friend of mine. I sat at the table for six hours, smiling at strangers, despite the fact that public interaction is like being trapped in a shrinking room full of razor blades for me. Unfortunately, the demographic for that fair was way off for my wares. (A lesson to always assess the demographics before putting in the effort.) The only piece I sold was a single chainmaille ring to a teenage girl who’d accompanied her grandmother.
This hasn’t changed my mind in any way about making or selling my chainmaille. I make it because I love to make it, and I offer it because somewhere out there, there might be someone who loves to wear it. I have no interest in pushing my wares on people, only in making them available to those who want them. That said, I think I will stay behind the buffer of technology in the future.
After the disappointment of the craft fair, I was looking forward to a quiet Sunday with my family. That, however, was not to be. True, my family and I didn’t go anywhere or do anything in particular, but the day started falling apart before I’d even had breakfast, and by the time I finished my tea, David and I had both fled the main floor of our house to escape my daughter’s surly attitude.
I know, it sounds silly to hide from your kid, but it’s better than yelling or saying something you’ll regret. If you have kids, I’m sure you understand.
The final blow came when my first choice agent for The Price of Tomorrow, after requesting and reading my full manuscript, finally wrote back with the following response:
You are a strong writer with an engaging voice and I found much here to love. That said, I think this project is on the quiet side and I have a hard time seeing how I would position it in the crowded YA market. As a result, I have regretfully decided to step aside.
Pretty nice as rejections go, but a rejection none the less.
So here I am, sitting in my office, wondering what to do. I’m a writer, an artist, and a mother, and I’ve failed at all three in as many days.
The thing is, just like my chainmaille — which I made for years before deciding to offer it to the world — I write because I like the stories. I don’t write for you, I write for me. And yes, my writing may be quiet. I am a quiet person. I don’t shout from the rooftops or shove pamphlets in faces. I don’t parade myself for the masses or tackle flashy issues. I write fun, simple stories, because those are what I like to read. Perhaps that means my books are destined to be as invisible as I am, but I will write them anyway.
It is important to understand why you do a thing. In the end, that is what will keep you going.