Friday, February 28, 2014

Who Couldn't Love That Face?



Getting pregnant is easy.

Imagine you have a beautiful baby, one that you love with all of your heart, and everyone you show your baby to finds him less than perfect, even if it is just a vague reference. "I prefer girl babies." "Shouldn't he be walking by now?" "I think he is only supposed to have two eyes." It wears on you, and at some point, even the most loving mother becomes reluctant to show baby pictures. Not because she doesn't love that child, but because she is tired of defending his perfection to those that don't see it.

Of course, no-one else HAS to love your child, unless your goal for that child is to one day share his gifts with the world. That's when things get tough. And if that baby is actually a book, that's when the tough are quickly humbled.

I'm certain those that have never pursued this path have no idea how hard it is to get a publishing contract for a book, and I won't even go into the process, because it's enough to make the average, sane, person say, 'why would you do that?' For me, writing the book was easy; it's the 'what comes next' that is difficult. Why? There are no real 'rules' for this part of the game and for most, it does involve a lot of rejections.  Almost everyone has to deal with them---J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, the list goes on of the hundreds of rejections that many famous authors received before they actually sold a book. As writers, we use these examples to keep us going, but it doesn't really make it any easier.
  
That brings me to my book, They Call Me Crazy. I love the little three-eyed devil, and he'll walk when he's damn well ready. But at some point, someone needs to love him like I do or he'll never move out of the house.

My sweet little boy has made it through rounds of acquisition editors, only to be killed in committee like a bad Schoolhouse Rock video. He's been called a few bad names, but usually just a reference to 'somethin' ain't quite right about that kid'. My favorite rejection, ever, being the editor that said, "I will buy the book when you get it published, but we don't have room for it on our list."

Patience. Rejections. More patience. More rejections.

So what do we do? Keep showing the baby pictures, keep entering our little guys in baby contests and never lose sight of the fact that our babies are the most wonderful creatures they can be.  And one day, someone will say, "My, what a unique little guy he is!"

And it only takes one.

7 comments:

Susan E. Kennedy said...

Great post, Kelly! I think the same is true for other works of writing, such as short stories. For me, it's hard not to pull the "baby" back into the house and put him (or her) through another revision, put him in a new outfit, wash his face again, re-comb his hair, thinking that maybe if I just try something else the response will be different. Hasn't worked yet, but as you say, "it only takes one."

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

"...put him in a new outfit, wash his face again, re-comb his hair.."---Love it!

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Beth G said...

Your baby's going to rock the world.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

I'll be happy to just get him enrolled in a good school.

Rob Greene said...

I think I like your baby metaphor even better than David Foster Wallace's. Must be because he never had one ....

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

He probably didn't have as much anguish, either. lol