Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I feel like a sperm.

In competition with the millions of other sperm struggling to get to that big fat publishing egg at the center of it all.   Agents, of course, are the diaphragms that filter the weak from the strong.

It’s a terrible race and of the tens of thousands of manuscripts being written, very few actually make it through all the steps to publishment (yes, I know that’s not a real word).  Even fewer succeed in selling substantial copies.

When I think about it-

We’re competing for an agent’s attention- not only amongst fellow writers in the slush pile, but also already published writers, the agent’s established clients, time- because most agents have little of it to devote to our cause unfortunately,

AND we’re taught that we basically have to write the first two pages of our manuscript as if the agents suffer from rampant attention deficit disorder.  If every word we use does not grab an agent’s attention and hold on to it, we’re screwed.

So yes.  After careful reflection on all of this, I totally feel like a big sperm.

Swimming upstream in the fallopian tube,

the equivalent distance of the earth to the moon.

But, throughout it all I keep in mind that-despite the odds,  babies are born every day.


  "Just Keep Swimming!"

53 comments:

Piedmont Writer said...

Bravo! Perfect post. Just keep swimming!!! It's all we can do. Either that or lay down the pen, shut the computer off, curl up in the corner and die.

I'm sorry about the rejections. They suck.

Jen said...

Only you could get away with this post not seeming as creepy as it could normally be taken :)

Though sometimes terrified at the realization that I might not be as great as some of the writers I spend hours reading, I do know that if I continue to swim the pay off will be given to me!

Good luck!

Anne said...

Eeeee okay. It's true but eeeee. :)

Justine Dell said...

OMG! LOL! What a wonderfully true post! I would've never thought of it like that, and now it gives me the willies. ;-)

~JD

Lola Sharp said...

Well, you had me with the post title...and it just kept getting better from there. :)What a perfect comparison. Love it.

And I always use that quote from Dory...just keep swimming...for lots of things in life. But, it sure works well with this post. ;)

Happy humpday!
~Lola

Tessa Conte said...

*uncontrollable giggles*

Oh dear. SPERM. AHAHAHA.

Ahem. Sorry.

That's a very brilliant post and it's also SO TRUE IT'S SCARY!!!

You could go on to say stuff about how unlikely twins/tripplets/quadruplets are... good thing you didn't... ; P

Have a nice swim but don't stop to admire the scenery,

Tessa.xx

salarsenッ said...

Um...feeling like sperm. You should call a doctor for that. *grins*

Nice post.

Susan Fields said...

I love your analogy! Even if it is a bit disheartening. But you're right - babies keep being born and books keep getting published. :)

Izzy G. said...

Babies get born every two seconds, in fact! Or something like that. But then again, not all babies have all the advantages that others do. Some are born somewhere where they can't get food, some will die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, some will be stillborn -

Well, this is a delightful way for me to start the morning. xD

Old Kitty said...

Sorry but I keep visualising your gorgeous blondeness on a sperm tail!! LOL!!

Oh I KNOW you can swim faster and better and beat all those other spermettes to the big fat egg!!

And I bet your baby will be the most beautiful too!

take care
x

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Love the analogy.

Here is to all of us writer/sperm getting to the damn egg. :)

Steena Holmes said...

THAT just made my day!

April said...

Oh my gosh, I never thought of it like that before, but that is the perfect simile for unpublished authors! We are all sperm!

Eeeew...

haha

Crimey said...

Love the Finding Nemo reference at the end. :) We're all sperm together, hurrah :)

Jaydee Morgan said...

I would have never thought of this analogy - but it works perfectly ;)

Natalie said...

That is one of the best analogies I've ever read. Mostly because it's hilarious... but true.

Weens said...

What a great analogy. Sorry you've had a rejection. Keep at it though Katie, it's a terrific book and it only needs one other person to think so and bob's your uncle.

Renae said...

This was too funny and so true!

Nicole L Rivera said...

Haha. That is hilarious. On that note I feel like a great big sperm as well :)

Stephanie said...

Ha! Bet you came up with some interesting picts when you googled to find that one! : )

Eric W. Trant said...

That's freaking hilarious! I love this post.

Honest and true, ain't it.

- Eric

Elliot Grace said...

...I've overheard many personal downgrades throughout my 30-something years on this planet, but never have I experienced anyone comparing themselves to a sperm.

A sperm. Only the mind of a writer could manage that:)

Solvang Sherrie said...

Great analogy! And of course you'd be the one to think of it :)

Anne R. Allen said...

Brilliant!

Kelly Dexter said...

Congrats on the post title with the quickest read to click time so far this week.

Hilarious and excellent analogy.

Kathryn said...

What a fantastic analogy, Katie! I loved it! "Just keep swimming" is right!

Candyland said...

I couldn't have said it better:)

Hart Johnson said...

THIS is the most perfect metaphor I've ever seen! You are BRILLIANT Katie! Keep in mind (apt here, I think) the male sperm swim faster, but the female sperm live longer... our persistence and resilience is our victory.

miss ali said...

great post as always! loved it! you are so right- we all just have to keep swimming! :)

LTM said...

NICELY DONE! Most excellent extended metaphor. Sigh. Love that Dorie~ :o)

B. Miller said...

Hahaha I love this. Great post!!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

OMG! That is by far the most original publishing analogy I have EVER heard!! Ha ha ha ha ha. :-)

Shelley Sly said...

Haha! What a hilarious -- but true -- metaphor. Love it.

DL Hammons said...

At this point...I'm just hoping I don't wind up on the ceiling! :)

Ricky Bush said...

Been there, been there, been there, been there...am there.

Laura Pauling said...

Yes, and the great thing is that even though not all sperm (our stories) make it - all it takes is one to forever change the direction of our life. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Never thought of myself as sperm - that's a first!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

What a hilarious comparison! LOVE it!

Here's to the strong swimmer in all of us!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

This is absolutely fantastic!

Creepy Query Girl said...

I knew you guys would 'get' this! Thanks to all who commented and I'm sorry if I grossed anyone out:)
DL Hammons- You had to go there didn't you? lol.

Teresa Stenson said...

Love it.

Sandy said...

Keep swimming...I Believe in You...

Talli Roland said...

HA! Love the title of this and the analogy. It made me giggle. And yes, keep swimming!

Dawn said...

BRILLIANT. Another of your posts printed off for the bulletin board in my writing cave :-D

Vatche said...

An interesting and creative analogy/metaphor to us and the publishing world. You're right that we are competing with a bunch of other writers, good and bad.

We are competing to get our work published, our stories out there. There is hope that one day we will all get published and burst through those egg walls. We will burst through and our stories will be born.

Awesome piece and write on!

Tamara Narayan said...

Excellent post; so true. Sorry to hear about the rejection. Sometimes I try to tell myself to just relax and enjoy the journey. Being my own boss with self-imposed deadlines does have its advantages. Even if you do find your fairy godagent, then there's worrying about finding a publisher, worrying about finding an audience, worrying about getting a good second book out there, and so on . . . BUT I STILL WANT AN AGENT!

Lenny said...

hi miss katie! i know about just keep on swimming. but i had to ask one of my brothers about how spermy stuff connects up with writing. he read what you said and laughed a lot. i saw you got a reject. i bet that hurts for sure. now you just gotta do what you said and keep on swimming.
...hugs from lenny

Jen said...

Giving you some love over at my blog!!!

The Empress said...

oh my gosh, you are exactly right. I never thought about it like that, but they all want the big fat publishgin egg. Must swim harder.faster.

Thanks, sister...

Tracy said...

This was seriously the best post EVER!! Scary to think of myself as a writer sperm, but strangely very appropriate analogy.

Tara Maya said...

Perfect analogy... great visual too. Conveyed the point at once! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

LOL!

Samantha Vérant said...

Bahaha! Makes sense. Now. : )

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