Thursday, December 4, 2014

Frustrations of an Unknown Writer (Or How to Become Invisible)

Originally published on Yahoo Contributor Network July 25, 2008.

According to, nearly 7 billion people inhabit our planet. I have not made it even to the status of insignificant. You see I have discovered the secret to being invisible. The short answer to the question, "How does one become invisible?" is this: Become a writer.

I should know, because I have the audacity to consider myself a writer. Why? Because I write.

When writers complain that their work is in the slush pile, I'm thinking, you made it to the slush pile? I would celebrate if anything I wrote made it that far. Instead, for several decades, I have been riding a literary merry-go-round.

Here's how the ride works:

# 1 - Spend several hours researching a topic (lets you know you're alive)
# 2 - Spend several more hours writing about your research topic.
# 3 - Revise
# 4-10 - Repeat # 3
# 11 - Mail your manuscript
(Here's where it gets interesting.)
# 12 - Become invisible

Somewhere between #11 and #12, you become invisible. And it is at that point you find yourself spinning endlessly on the aforementioned merry-go-round. You stand in front of the mirror wondering if the reflection you're looking at is actually you or some phantom of your imagination.

Maybe you're not really here.

Maybe you only think you're here.

It's that whole "pinch me" experience, but not because something amazing has happened and you can't believe it's happening to you; it's because you really just want to know if anybody is aware of your presence.

After a while, in exasperation, you start calling people. If they respond, it means at least somebody can hear you - maybe - because maybe you're fantasizing about that too. Your conversations go like this:

To a publisher:

YOU - Hi, I'd like you to publish my manuscript.
THEM - Do you have an agent?
YOU - No.
THEM - Do you belong to the Guild?
YOU - No.
THEM - Sorry.

The conversation is slightly different with agents.

YOU - Hi, I'd like you to represent me.
THEM - Have you had anything published?
YOU - No.
THEM - Do you belong to the Guild?
YOU - No.
THEM - Sorry.

You see a pattern, so you call the Guild.

YOU - Hi, I'd like to belong to the Guild.
THEM - Do you have an agent?
YOU - No.
THEM - Have you ever had anything published?
YOU - No.
THEM - Sorry.

Even if you get beyond the point of invisibility, you then have to concern yourself with rejection. How many rejections should you accept before you realize you're not the caliber of writer you thought you were - 10, 100, a billion?

Apparently you should accept an infinite number of rejections, because if you consider yourself to be a writer, you never give up writing, even if you, your family members, and your friends are the only ones who read what you've written.

Of course today, we can blog. But again, with so many bloggers, how can I get recognized for my writing?

Poof! Oh! No! It's happening again. I'm becoming invisi...


  1. LOL! You hit the nail on the head! I love this post Theresa, and you are not invisible to me, I enjoy reading what you have written! Don't give up!

  2. The circle of writers.. ;)




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