The Cliff of “Oh god, I’m not good enough”


picture by deegolden on morguefile


I’d not realised until last night how close I’d been to stepping off the writerly cliff of “but I can’t”.

I have a confession to make: the novel that I finished, While I Slept, the one that I am trying to get an editor to bid on currently, has had a literary outing of sorts. I submitted it to two different agents back in June. Neither of them were mean. One I’d even met beforehand. She quite politely declined the book but it just puts a downer on the whole thing. It makes you think: but if they don’t like it, maybe no one will?


I was very quiet about these submissions because I didn’t want people checking back every few weeks and offering me dreaded pity. I wanted to deal with any rejection on my own and without others keeping tabs on response times and helping me get revved up about something which might not work out. Perhaps that was a bad idea, I don’t know.


Then last night I read this article. It made me remember what I’ve known all along; writers don’t get lucky overnight. We have to slog and send out dozens if not hundreds of submissions until we find an agent or publisher that wants to take our project on as their own. Professional and even best-selling authors have faced the same problem and had just as many pitfalls as me, if not more. I knew that, but almost forgot it when faced with rejection.


I suppose it’s a normal reaction but I realised I need to buck up. I’m going to get this novel edited and get my book sent out to more than two agents. I’ve got a list of eight at the moment that have said they like my genre and I have a similar number of publishers that don’t need an agent to be submitted to.


I’m still looking into self-pub options as well – especially into cover artists I really like the look of – but that’s a little ways off for action-ability yet, especially as I’m going to pay out for some objective editing from a stranger who will truly bring fresh, unbiased eyes on my work.



Here’s hoping it all works out!

Feel free to share your own stories with me on here or on twitter.


Holly Ice

  1. Hi Holly, I find it hard to keep going without throwing it all in the bin and giving up sometimes! I did find editing the hardest part though… don’t give up!


    • Hi there 🙂

      Yeah, it’s all one hard slog – particularly the slightly less creative editing stage – and thanks for the encouragement!

      What kind of things do you write?

  2. The novel I’m also in the process of editing at the moment is young adult fiction about lucid dreaming. However, I find myself getting bored and I keep starting new projects! I have looked into self publishing as you also mentioned. I think it is a good way to get your novel published and in the hands of the reader much faster! Definitely something I will look into once I have completed the editing stage. Good luck with your novel, I’ll follow your blog for your progress! 🙂

    • I always found I got bored of one topic if I overplanned the idea but that’s just my method 🙂

      Thanks! I’ll keep an eye on your stuff too. 😀

      What are your favourite writing topics/genres?

  3. It’s true, over planning can suck the life out of your novel! I have focused on sci-fi and fantasy in the past, but now I’m trying my hand at writing psychological thrillers for older teens. I find that writing for young adults gives you a lot of freedom as a writer, you can be a bit more daring and adventurous! What genre and age group do you enjoy writing for the most?

    • Really? I tend to find myself restricted by YA because it has to be age appropriate in language and “out there” rating in some respects.

      Maybe we’re just into different areas that push the boundaries 🙂

      I prefer writing for age 14/15 up until as old as would want to read my stuff! (Though I guess realistically this would be up to 30s/40s max).

      I guess the age of my characters would put my work in the “New Adult” category.

      Fantasy is my favourite genre but I also delve into romance, sci-fi and horror. Magical realism once, too.
      Strangely, I have more sci-fi short stories published than anything else at the moment, though.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

crime writing solutions

Offering guidance and advice to writers of crime fiction.

Sally Bosco

Author of Dark Fiction

Simple Pleasures

Visual Poetry, Photography and Quotes

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience

Lightning Droplets

Little flecks of inspiration and creativity


Read our Mission. Find out how you can help us adopt James.

%d bloggers like this: