Monday, April 23, 2012

"You Can't Handle the Truth!!!" by Linda S. Glaz

Yes, I’ve been in the military, but no, I’m not Jack Nicholson. And do I think you can handle the truth…yes, sometimes. Other times, according to some of the responses I get from authors unhappy with me turning them down, I’d have to say no.

What is she rambling about this time—you ask? It’s time for some very important contest results to be out; it’s time for some tears; it’s time to take stock in ourselves. Each day, as an agent, we are faced with answering queries from folks, many like those who send their submissions to contests, who are anxious to have someone say “Yes! I love it. I want it. How soon can I sign you?” I talk about this each year when many folks—I’ve been one of them—are discouraged when their names don’t make the semi-finalists’ list. We’ve all been there in some form or another.

Contest from 1-100. Three scores: 100, 98, and…57. What???

We all want someone to say, “What a wonderful novel. No-no. You don’t need to change a thing. This is perfect. You’re amazing. Here’s a win, a contract, a great deal.” Whatever you’ve been hoping for, but reality says, You can’t handle the truth. Not many of us can. We want to make the grade right away. We don’t want to work harder, rewrite, or “hone our craft.” But reality teaches us that while a contest or an agent’s response is just one opinion, we might want to take a hard look at our work and decide whether or not their comments have any merit. Some will, some won’t.

CONGRATS to all the Genesis semi-finalists. To all who did not make it this far, take heart. You’ve written a novel. Not everyone can say that. CONGRATS to you as well!


Rick Barry said...

Linda, you remind me of the time a listener gushed to a classical violinist, "I'd give half my life if I could play like that!" To which he replied, "Madam, that is exactly what I did."

Sure, as you said, we would all like immediate affirmation and quick success. Sometimes, though, when climbing a mountain, you simply have to keep plodding, continuously placing one step a little higher than the last one, in order to reach those peaks!

Thanks for a compassionate reality check. :)

Linda Glaz said...

Rick, when you said climbing a mountain, you reminded me of a book I read when I first moved over so Christ could become part of my life, Hind's Feet on High Place, by Hannah Hurnard. For those of you who haven't read it, it's a story of a young girl who climbs a mountain with the help of two friends. The struggle, the two steps forward and one back, and sometimes one forward and two back, all contribute to her growth. And I truly feel, just like in the book, it's those who don't stop climbing who will definitely feel the reward. Thank you, Rick for reminding me of a lovely reading experience full of so much truth. Be blessed!

Davalyn Spencer said...

Taking a hard look, as you say, is definitely the hard part. Most of my important lessons have come from trusted editors and agents. But even then I weigh their comments against other standards. Prayer for a teachable spirit and open eyes helps, as does time. Backing away from the critique for a bit often gives me the right perspective to see the morsel of applicable truth buried in the slice-and-dice.

Jennifer said...

Thanks Linda! Like you said, I had two high scores and a low. Very hard to take. But I've put it aside for now, will pick it up in the near future and look at it objectively...glad you reminded me: I have written a novel, actually two now.