Am I Doing This Wrong?


Sometimes it’s good not to be young

One of the advantages of being older is the ability to think before you type. This comes in handy with a crazy thing called social media.

I cringe at the thought of the things I would have said if Facebook and Twitter would have existed during my teens. I would still be apologizing. Trust me.

Last week I wasn’t careful. I allowed a rejection letter to get the better of me. I should have known better but sometimes things happen for a reason and this was one of those times.

The Perfect Agent

It was a situation I am sure many of you can relate to. The agent was perfect. Everything they wanted I had. The kind of book I wrote was on their wish list.

I wrote the perfect lead in the opening sentence of my query. My synopsis was strong. The first 25 pages solid.

It was a match made in heaven.

When I sent it off that wonderful rush of excitement lifted me to the ceiling. For those of you who are smiling you know exactly how I felt.

It was sunshine on a rainy day. The perfect birthday gift from a good friend and today’s top star begging for a role in my books movie.

Fast forward two hours later a rejected form letter arrived in my mailbox.

Form Letter

What not to say

The smart side of my brain would have replied with a thank you and moved on. Unfortunately it was taking a nap which allowing the dumb side to take command of the controls.

I bounced over to twitter where my wonderful writing friends gather and I wrote the following –

I wrote one novel. I have no publishing credits and somehow I convinced myself it would make sense to send it off to top rated agents. I’m doing this wrong.

The reply that followed was excellent. The group is the best but it didn’t take away the feeling that what I wrote sounded like a complaint. To be more specific it sounded like I was whining.

Writing a novel is tough

Regardless what it sounded like it got me thinking of some things that I would like the share with you.

When we chose this path we knew the challenge’s we would face. Writing a novel is hard and so is being signed by an agent.

What we do is without a doubt one of the hardest things around. It is not meant for the weak. Knowing all this before we began, complaining should be the last thing on our minds which explains why my comment bothered me so.

So I went back to my question and gave it a good hard look.

It is true, I have one completed novel to my name. I have no publishing credit. Some of my queries are aimed at big agencies in New York City.

Am I doing this wrong?

Asking the tough question

From the moment a writer decides they have a story to tell until the day they finish, the one thing a writer must have above all else is confidence.

You either have it or you don’t. There is no grey area. Whatever it is, a writer will not be able to hide it. Not in the novel they write or the agents they contact.

Your novel will either be strong or weak depending on your confidence. And the agents you contact….good luck trying to fool them and if try you’ll only be fooling yourself.

How do find it

Confidence is found through the struggle, the mistakes, the endless revisions and above all else, listening to others.

Hard question – Harder answer  

So I asked myself a tough question – Is Dempsey’s Grill good enough?

Is my novel good enough to entertain people and is it good enough to attract the attention of an agent?

The answer is yes.


We are a tough bunch willing to take on the impossible and the only way to do that is hard work and believing in ourselves.

Long before I wrote my novel my confidence was rock bottom. But the characters I created and the story they told gave me the confidence I have today.

I will continue to send Dempsey’s Grill to New York City agents. In fact I will send my book to anyone, anywhere who I believe is a great fit.

Will I get rejected? Of course. Will I go to Twitter and write something I’ll later regret? No.

Someday I will find the right match which will allow my story to brighten the day of a person I’ll never meet.

I hope they’ll love the characters as much as I do. I hope they laugh and cry and remember them long after the book is read.

Now it’s your turn to ask the tough question. Is your novel good enough?  

Writers and Rain 2

Thanks for stopping by!!!


13 thoughts on “Am I Doing This Wrong?

  1. Nice – succinct and encouraging piece in response to your experience. I’ll remember this perspective as I climb whatever mountain awaits. 🙂


      1. Oh man, well I don’t know about the top for me, but THANK YOU!! It’s nice to commune with other writers for sure!!!!!!


  2. A great post, and encouraging! Thanks, Bryan! 🙂 I quite disagree with you on the confidence front, though. To me, confidence is like a river: some years, it runs strong and steady, some years it is barely a trickle. Some years it floods. But, with careful management (and some flood walls!) it can run steadily for a long time. I wish you the best of luck and tons of perseverance with Dempsey’s Grill! Keep working! 🙂


    1. Thank you, Alice. I came close to not writing this piece. Defining confidence is impossible. It comes to all of us in different ways. So I decided to define it the way I saw it. I’m happy you shared your view. It would fun if all of us wrote a piece on it. Thanks again. Always fun to hear your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you in the context of finding confidence. It’s found within any kind of situation of life. The more conscious you become the more confident you are, isn’t it?


  4. ‘We deeply regret’. Every rejection letter starts with that. They are already rejecting someome, no need be disingenuous, hah! I believe your response was well warranted and demands no explanation. There are not that many people to complain (express) to whom would understand, and at the very least your tweeters are writer too, no?

    Mine is good enough…half of it…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Is my book good enough” is such a hard question and I enjoyed reading your experiences with it, and how you found your answer. As a writer, I think that question is something we all face and having confidence in what we write is essential to finding the determination to keep searching for the perfect agent to represent what we believe in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jaya. Thank you. Confidence is key. It’s something we all struggle with. Once we can put the fear or doubt aside that’s when the floodgates open and everything is possible.

      Liked by 1 person

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