Life is Full of Misconceptions

the yellow brick road

the yellow brick road

Misconception #1: My parents are perfect and life is fair.

Misconception #2: My parents don’t know anything and life is way unfair.

Misconception #3: I will be a perfect parent.

Misconception #4: (After having a child) Misconception #2 was way off. Life is indeed unfair but perhaps my parents knew a great deal more than I was willing to give them credit for during the throws of teenage hormonal imbalance.

Misconception #5: Having a literary agent guarantees publication.

I have taken a sort of unannounced sabbatical from blogging over the past few weeks. Granted, there has been a great deal of change in our lives recently but the lack of posts has had more to do with my confrontation of misconception #5.

Perhaps I should be embarrassed to admit such ignorance. But seeing as this isn’t the worst of my naiveté, it seems safe to share. Deep down inside, I honestly believed that once I secured an agent, I would become a published author. And I thought I was being reasonable. I waited for months. It seems to me that if another human can take shape and form in the void in ten months, an editor can pick my book for publication in less time.

Oh wait, I think I just discovered Misconception #6: The editing process is timely.

Anyway, I received another rejection yesterday. “We like your writing, blah, blah, blah, but the story is too dark.” The story happens to be about PTSD. And yes, it’s dark. I lived it. I remember.

In the face of yet another rejection I had to finally confront misconception #5. And let me just say that this blog is in no way a slight against my agent. She didn’t write the dark story that no one wants. She’s just doing her job. (nothing but love, K)

So my first book may not make it down the golden road of publication. (Misconception #7: The road to publication is paved in gold.) But maybe there’s another story in me.

I wonder if I have confused my misconceptions as failure. If I believed that I would be published and then I wasn’t, isn’t that a reflection of my ability? Yeah, it has felt like failure. They don’t like my story, they don’t like me, I’m not really a writer…spiral, spiral, spiral.

“Pilot to co-pilot, I smell smoke.”

And so I stopped writing. Or blogging. (Which is kind of like fast food writing.)

But just as I learned to overcome the misconceptions I had regarding parenting, maybe it’s time I grew up in the writing world too. Having an agent doesn’t mean I’m necessarily closer to publication. I think maybe it means that God knows I wouldn’t or couldn’t do this without a cheerleader. Which annihilates another misconception.

Misconception # who’s keeping track: I am super woman and can do anything and I don’t need anyone’s help.

How about you? Do you suffer under the delusions of misconceptions?


8 Responses to “Life is Full of Misconceptions”

  • Susan Basham Says:

    I get every single word on the page, and feel the same, same, same! At least we are travelling the journey together, and I cannot think of a better person to be by my side. Love you, friend, who is amazingly talented and fabulous in all ways!!!!

  • janetchanson Says:

    Oh, just all of the above and then some! Thank you for this, like a cold splash of water in the face, my favorite love language. (Seriously)! Keep writing, Rebecca. We need you.

    • Rebecca Qualls Says:

      I’ll remember that Janet. Cold water to the face. Is that the hidden sixth love language? Like a sixth sense? 🙂

  • Tammy Vanella Says:

    Oh my dear and talented friend. This must have stung so deeply. What I admire most about you is your perseverance. Remember our long talks about what a great accomplishment it is to proclaim you have written a book…an entire book! Now that’s something most cannot say. Publication will come. But as we have learned, writing is seldom about the art of writing and much more about the art of self. Love you and I agree with Janet…keep writing…the world needs to know you as we do. <3

  • Teddi Deppner Says:

    Rebecca, while I generally appreciate when you shatter my misconceptions, there’s just one thing in this post I find utterly unacceptable. How could you say you’re not superwoman?!? Surely you jest! You don’t need no stinkin’ nobody. You fly solo. You’re a self-contained universe in total control of your life. When you snap your fingers, the world sits up straight and says, “Yes, Ma’am? What can I do for you, your worship?”

    *grin*

    Okay, okay, I’ll be serious now. I really enjoyed this line: “It seems to me that if another human can take shape and form in the void in ten months, an editor can pick my book for publication in less time.” Ha ha! Indeed!

    Look, I’ve seen your writing. I’ve seen your “dark story”. I love it. I’m certain that it’s not the fault of your story that it’s not yet published. It’s the fault of all the misconceptions that the Christian publishing industry labors under. “Stories ought not be too dark.” “Stories should make readers feel happy and have hope in God, so the characters in the story should be happy and have hope in God.” Or whatever.

    There’s a place for your story out there. If you’re committed to letting your agent find your place of publication and submitting to the rules and biases of the Christian publishing industry, the ebbs and flows of what’s “acceptable” and what they have room to take risk on each year — fine. If that’s the road you’ve chosen, then let that book GO and get focused on what you’re writing now. Pretend it doesn’t exist, and be pleasantly surprised one day when you get the call that says, “Your book is being published!”

    (I know, easier said than done. Still had to put it out there.)

    You have so much more in you. And you might even find that your next story belongs somewhere OTHER than a typical Christian publisher. But how will you know, unless you write it?

    Your readers are waiting. Trust me, they are out there.

    And I believe that one day you’ll find the right vehicle for getting your stories into their hands with as little fuss and muss and WAITING as possible.

    • Rebecca Qualls Says:

      “Your worship?” Teddi, you crack me up!! If anyone has super powers that would be you! I’m just happy to be a sidekick! 🙂 Thank you for your encouraging words. This sidekick is moving on!

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