It all boils down to reading/thinking about, and obsessing too much over, How to Get Published.
See, there are so many helpful blogs and tweeters with advice about How to Succeed at Publishing.
But then, with every rejection, comes the repetition of the word "subjective" and fellow writers' suggestions to revise the pitch, query, or MS according to feedback.
Except...I don't have any feedback. I know that one reason for this is that no agent has time to give me any. And I get that, I really do. (Although, Saints Alive, it does happen - check out my CP Gina's post from today if you're looking for inspiration in that regard.) So I kind of flounder trying to figure out where the weaknesses in my writing are, what I can do to make a book Marketable.
(And when I do get feedback from every lovely person on things like my query, it seems to vary widely, even to conflict fundamentally. Because it's all...you guessed it....SUBJECTIVE.)
See, when you move from being a writer to a writer with a goal of Getting Published, it's easy to start the planning, and the far-thinking, and the "research" that'll help you get there. And, at least for me, there's the sense that we're doing something wrong or right. We get the sense that there are rules to follow, things we can do to get our foot in the door or make the door slam in our faces.
But, after a certain point, (the point at which you're a decent writer and act relatively professionally) I don't really believe in those things anymore.
- Never write a query letter in character voice? Tell that to Miranda Kenneally.
- Think you have to write in first person to get a really relatable character voice? Tell that to Kristin Cashore.
- Vampire novels are dead? Tell that to Gina Maxwell.
And how do you know if you're the exception to the rule?
Well, you don't. You can't.
So, as my CPs keep bucking up and reminding me on my endless whining email chains, I might as well keep trying. Keep writing each new book, without worrying about whether the concept is saleable or whether first or third person is more Marketable For YA or the word count is too high for the genre, or the trillions of other things that have been getting under my skin lately. And query my little heart out, the best I can, but don't take it too much to heart. Do my best, of course, but don't let it destroy my love of writing.
Besides, what else am I going to do? Watch TV? Knit? Cook? Clean?!?!?!
No effing way.