Another One of Those Getting Published “Miracle” Stories

It’s kind of neat. Miss Snark posted this Story about Philip Beard, author of DEAR ZOE.

Note to self: think of some quirky, imaginative thing to go about getting youself in print, so you’ll have a neat story to tell after you sell.

Personally, I wouldn’t have the wherewithal to come up with the $ to self-publish. Or even think about ALMOST self-publishing.

Isn’t it interesting,the serendipity of being in the right place at the right time? Growing up, I was fascinated with the stories of movie stars being “discovered” sitting at the counter of a soda fountain in a drugstore selling cosmetics at a department store, or tending bar. How cool, I thought. And later, the story about John Grisham selling his self-published tome out of the trunk of his car.

It all seems so effortless, though I’m sure the people above would disagree.

Philip Beard says in his backstory article:

” …in the end I was faced with the prospect of starting work on a third novel without any faith that it would find a home. I couldn’t do it. Knowing that others had found success with their third or fourth books didn’t help. I felt lost, directionless, paralyzed by the first real failure of my lifeI spent the spring and summer performing mindless tasks: I worked for my younger brother (the ultimate self-humiliation), finishing the new wood paneling in his basement, getting slightly looped on polyurethane; I went to the gym, got my body in shape, got the yard in shape; I spent too much time watching the war in Iraq on CNN, too much time on the internet; I cleaned and alphabetized all 800 beer cans from the childhood collection that had been rusting in my parents’ attic for 25 years; I wore out two pairs of sneakers walking the dog.”

That section resonated within me more than anything I’d read lately, aside from the Bible passages I’ve read here and there. I mean, there I was, right there in someone else’s story. We’d been raised that we can accomplish anything we set ourselves to. In response, I set my mind to things and they’ve happened for me. But this getting published hurdle is one I haven’t cleared yet. With every rejection letter I feel failure, like a spoiled child who’s never been spanked finally getting a good whack on the behind. In front of a crowd. All my friends and family know of my dream, and believe in me. Even my clients at my day job. And each time someone asks me how the writing’s coming along, and if I’ve had any good news, I have to say that no, I haven’t had any success. And it smarts. Nicks the old pride worse than a dull, rusty razor on legs that haven’t been shaved in a month.

So, what about my writing? Well, let’s see how much I’m willing to admit to… Instead of writing, I immerse myself in blogs. Instead of writing, I scour and re-scour my favorite news sites for any new headlines. Instead of writing, I play a word game on Yahoo. Instead of writing, I *GASP* clean house! That my friends, is how low I’ve sunk. Why couldn’t I at least have gotten my body in shape like Philip Beard?

I read this little tidbit of wisdom that goes something like this: It’s only a failure if we don’t learn something from the experience. Or does it go more like it only failure if we don’t get back out there and try again? Both cliche-like phrases seem to point to the same moral, hold the same truth.

I know it’s time to get out the writing music and shake the crumbs out of my keyboard (How can it hold so many?)

5 Comments on “Another One of Those Getting Published “Miracle” Stories”

  1. April, I also wonder how come I couldn’t have gotten my body into shape like Philip Beard. Instead, I take on stupid organizing projects.

    The worst was organizing my son’s Lego collection. I had them all sorted into plastic shoeboxes, with the tiny, specialized pieces put into the plastic “tidbit” holders you get at Home Depot for screws and nails and things.

  2. Wow, Bonnie! How long dod the Legos stay organized? 😉 I could use a little of that organizing too. But that will come soon enough, we are going to be painting another room and moving our office into it, so there’ll be my chance! Love your blog!

  3. I say eat chocolate, and keep writing. I feel *EXACTLY* like you but it will happen when the time’s right, Red. I tend to let life interfere and fill up any free time with trivial stuff. Need to get back to the discipline of writing EVERY day. Hope my new blog will help that.

  4. Me too. I need that discipline.

  5. Bad Credit says:

    Cool blog thanks for posting this information.

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