This latest rejection was really hard on me.
REALLY, hard on me.
Since the end of my time trying out for MAE I haven't really written a thing. Ohh, I have put a few words down, a hundred here, another hundred there, but my heart hasn't really been in it. I even spent a few days thinking, this might not be for me, you ran the race. Now it is time to throw in the towel.
Yes, quite writing, drop it, give it up forever. I know that if I decided to do that, then it really would end. I might scribble a bit here and there, perhaps store up some ideas. But my heart would no longer be in it. I am still waffling with that even now. This is not a letter to say either yay, or nay, it is just my thoughts coming out onto your screen.
I love writing, but just loving something isn't enough. You have to work on it, practice it, grow in it. I am not sure I can accomplish this. The problems I have with English are not going to go away so easy, they have been burned into my mind since the first day I learned to write and they will not release their grasp so easily.
For inspiration I go back to a few emails from MAE and look at some of the nice things they say about me. (Yes, there were some in there, mixed in with the ones telling me to get better and try harder.) Here are a few quotes that I had to ask for permission to use.
You have a gift of creating stories in your mind. And that is exactly what it is...a gift. No one can teach that. You were born with that gift, and it is that gift that sets storytellers apart from the rest of us. It is something that is precious and priceless.
Got to admit that is pretty strong stuff there. Unfortunately a gift not used is useless, am I using mine?
The next quote is about how close I really came to being an actual author, a real life one, not an, as seen on TV fake one with really tiny words underneath...
I looked for any way at all that I could take you on board. I want you to be one of our authors, Jamie, because you have the gift. Frankly, most authors don't have it as much as you do. Most authors have to struggle for their next story. I can tell that is not the case for you. They just come to you, effortlessly, and they just keep coming. That's rare. Very rare. Of the more than 750 authors we represent, I could count on one hand the number who are like you. And, to be blunt, I am envious of them and you.
Yep, you like that one right? Me too, but the words that are hard to see are still in there. They want me, but I am not good enough. I know what you are saying, well I know what one person is saying, enough with the pity party. Get on with it, fix it, get writing. Well there is more to it than that, but I will get back to that later.
I went to my direct boss and asked him about just signing you despite all the numbers screaming at me not to do so. David (he's the son of Melodee's original agent and business partner) raised his eyebrow and asked me, "You know that the Board will shit down both legs when we lose that kind of money on just one author for the next 2 years, right?" I told him I did. He then asked, "And you understand that they will probably fire both of us, right?" Again I said yes. David looked at things and finally shrugged. "I know this is going to piss you off, and it's either the best or the worst decision I have ever made, but no."
Even though I am not the best, I am good at making stories. Good enough for someone to go to that length for me. To try and get me through, even though my own skills weren't good enough. That is the part that hurts the most. I came that close, it is much like coming in second in the Olympics...yes you were number two, but no one remembers number two. The conversation goes into detail of what I need to fix and what I can expect if and when I can fix those things. The odds are against me though. Why is this? How can I be so sure?
Well here is a bit from the very first letter I sent when I applied for this possibility. It is from my "Query" to MAE.
I currently am employed in the field of sales and while it pays my bills it offers nothing in the area of growth or satisfaction. I know that I can write and write well; I just need the chance to show it to others so that they too will fall in love with my work.
I started this whole process for the chance to take the reigns of my own future into my hands and change the direction my life was headed. The brief time I did write these assignments, even though very frustrating at times, was wonderful. I was in control. The mistakes were mine and the consequences had to be paid from my own skin. I had some control...then I lost it.
The one thing that is still tripping me up is I went into this all to free up my time. I thought I could get away with being an author 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. Now I am told that IF I can fix my issues, and I get a contract. That is not going to be possible. I would be writing more than 10 hours a day 7 days a week for an unknown amount of time. What free time I did have, would be now spent writing. The whole desire to become a writer so I can spend more time with my family would force me to spend less time with my family. That dog doesn't walk. ( I stole that, only 1 person will truly get it) Then there is the problem of my own health. I am on a down state right now, up will come soon, but the downs force me to remember that at some point in my future I may not be able to work. My memory is bad enough now that I have just started explaining to every customer why I can't remember there name. It is much easier than them looking at me like I am an idiot. My brain just doesn't retain things anymore. On the up side to that, I can re-read my own stories and find them interesting all over again!
So I am trapped, I had hoped writing out my thoughts like this would assist me in making a decision...yet it hasn't. I can't post this online without permission. (Legal issues) so I must only save it as a draft. Should anyone ever be able to read it, you can know that I did not miss quote anything.
In a nutshell, this last quote summarizes my problem...
(1) You have good stories.
(2) I want to sell those stories for you.
(3) Your mechanical skills are such that it takes too long to fix them to make a profit.
(4) Only you can fix #3.
Can I fix number three? Do I even want to? If I can, is now the right time for it? So many questions...