Almost Tuesday, Now Let’s Pull the Trigger!

August 10, 2009 | Karin's Blog | 18 comments


Warning:  This blog involves Tough Love.  If you can’t handle it, read no further.


So, where, oh, where did Monday go??  I’ve been working so hard on perfecting my proposal, I forgot it was Monday and to blog!  I bet you all have been waiting anxiously for me to post, huh?


Snerk, ok maybe not.


So, here’s what’s on my mind:  Why haven’t you pulled the trigger?  Why have you failed to launch?  What are you waiting for?????  Do you think if you wish really hard you’ll sell a book? Or maybe the publishing fairies will flutter in while you’re sleeping and slide that ms off your hard drive and magically deliver it to your dream editor who will wake up shouting with joy that she found her next best selling author?


I mean what is the point of writing, of honing your craft, of joining RWA and a local chapter and yahoo writing loops if you’re just going to talk about it?  Companionship?  I think this may very well be the key to why many who say they want to sell don’t.  They are looking for companionship and if they don’t have something in common then they can’t be part of the group.  I get that.  So, go ahead and keep working on the same story you’ve been working on for the last ten years.  I mean if you’ve rewritten it twelve times, why not thirteen?


No, seriously, I get the companionship part, so consider yourself excused from this blog conversation but feel free to hang out.  I’m not targeting you. I’m targeting those of you out there who really do want to sell, and who really work on your story, and not the same one for ten years, but new stories and for some unknown reason fail to pull the trigger and submit.


What are you waiting for?  A sign?  Here you go: 




If it’s not a sign you’re waiting for, what are you afraid of?  What exactly is it, mentally, emotionally or physically that is keeping you from actually querying an agent or god forbid send in work that has been requested???


I talk to so many women who write but do not submit, hell they won’t even let anyone read their work. Sigh.  Fear is paralyzing. But please, work through it.  Find a way.  Just do it, damn it!  Don’t make excuses.  And if you keep making them?  You need to have a heart-to-heart with yourself and find out if you really are serious about the writing gig.  It’s freaking hard work.  Once you sell, it’s a whole different ball game.  Crazy scary and nerve wracking as hell.  But wonderful.  Yep, batshit crazy but glorious.  I can hear the angels singing now.


Everything I have, I’ve worked for.  Everything I have I’ve wanted and was willing to do the work to get it.  I know myself well enough that if I don’t achieve a specific goal it’s because I didn’t want it bad enough.  And with that realization, I find it hard to justify whining about it.  So, I don’t.  Well, not too much.  I’m not saying anyone here is whining about anything, I was just saying I can’t whine if I’m not willing to put in the work.


So, really think about why you aren’t submitting.  Feel free to share here, I promise we won’t pile on.  J


Now speaking on another hard at work subject:  So the title contest thing last week?  You ladies rocked it.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciated you help and hubby and Jake’s humor.  I sent the list of everyone’s suggestions to my editor, but alas she did not pick one of them.  We talked and I really loved one of her suggestions, which for now I’m keeping quiet until I know for sure we’re going to use it.  BUT!  I’m going to break the prezzies up into three separate ones and pick three numbers from the commenters who suggested titles and announce the winners here Wednesday!  Thank you, thank you, thank you again for your help.





  1. J. Carson Black

    Karin, I am this close to finishing YHE SHOP. I’m at the point where I’m waiting for my new “technical adviser,” a man who commanded Navy SEALS, to help me choreograph the ending. Talking about driving me batshit. I have to wait for him to do his thing, so I’m going back to the beginning and making sure the first few chapters rock.

    This book has taken me a really long time. I knew I had to raise my game. I figured I’d have to improve by 50 to 70 percent to sell this book the way I want to. I’ll say it here, because it’s the first step on the path. Big hardcover thriller, what I like to call airport fiction.

    That’s a tall order in this shrinking economy.

    To do this, I had to take the time to raise my game. There were so many things I needed to teach myself to get to the next level, and I have nailed it. I LOVE this book!

    Now I’m champing at the bit to start the next one–I already have the idea and want to get to it. I even have the title: THE CHOSEN (Unless Hubby has a better idea!).

    I just want to git her done and start submitting, and I’m getting impatient because it will take time for an agent to read it and I’m worried that November will come before I know it and the big slow-down comes.

    But I can’t waste precious time worrying about slowdowns, or agents who are clamoring for romance and vampires and little else. It’s important to think your work is exceptional, that it will find its path. That’s hard for insecure creative types to do, but like shooting pool, you have to picture the shot before you make it.

    Trepidation? Always. Am I the Emperor with no Clothes? I’m pretty sure not, but you can’t win the race until you run it. (Mixed sports metaphors are my specialty.)

    If you don’t try, you’ll never know.

  2. J. Carson Black

    THE SHOP, not YHE SHOP. Although if we sell foreign rights to Lithuania, it might well by YHE SHOP! 😉

  3. Margaret

    I’ve been submitting my stuff for YEARS–even before I should have been subbing.

    The process is totally streamlined now. 🙂

    Rejection happens, but rejection gets easier. The pain never goes away, but you learn when to let it roll off like water on a duck’s feathers–uhm, this is virtually 99% of the time, people. Rejection toughens you for real time.

    Set deadlines and stick to them. Time doesn’t move quickly in publishing. Queries, partials and fulls languish unread in every busy agent’s and editor’s office. Why worry about something that is out of your control?

    What is in your control? Improving your craft, honing your voice, writing the next story, and sending it on its way.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

  4. B.E. Sanderson

    I go through periods of not submitting, and I use the excuse that I’m writing new words or editing other words – like those activities are taking up all of my time and energy.

    If I’m honest with myself, though, I have to admit I stop submitting when I reach the limit of how much rejection I can take on any given manuscript. Then I finish another book and start all over again. (But my other finished books are still languishing after their own half-assed attempts to get published.)

    I see the problem. I’ve seen it before and I’ve avoided dealing with it because addressing the fears is harder than ignoring them. And so I write the next book and the next and the next…

  5. Edie

    I’m with Margaret. I admit to sometimes submitting too early, but not with my last book. Even though it was a sucky time to send out, right around the RWA National conference, I sent it out anyway. I wasn’t waiting for the perfect time (if there is such a thing).

    Good luck to Jake! Your book sounds awesome!

  6. Bonnie H

    *ouch* LOL well Karin, you know I needed that 😀 Truly, though, your encouragement is what has me very motivated right now. I’ve just been hearing the same thing from a lot of different places so I suppose I should “just do it” HAHAHA

  7. HollyD

    The few queries I’ve sent out all but two were rejected and the other two I’m due to hear for another couple of weeks. Oh well, back to writing.

  8. Jody

    Honestly, if being published is ‘crazy scary and nervewracking as hell,’ I think I’ll pass……I try to keep anything of that definition completely out of my life!

    Actually, I’ve been published….not books, though, I haven’t written a book….just humorous essays, articles, etc,. That’s not nerve wracking or scary at all. Much more my style 🙂

  9. Joy

    You never know what will happen if you just take that step. I met a reader who became a reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed. She had written a book, I asked to read it, loved it, told her to submit it. What the hell would be the worst that could happen? Constructive critism? Hello! that is priceless. Well that reader became a well known author and I am so proud of how far she has come. She was terrified, but she pushed past her comfortability factor to follow her dream.

  10. Natalie Murphy

    First, I’d like to say thank you for posting this. Sometimes all you need is a swift kick, even if it is cyber =D

    I’m not at the point of submitting… yet. No it’s not because I’m procrastinating. I’m just finishing up my first manuscript, but come October I will start querying agents. I’ve actually surprised myself with how focused I’ve become. I’ve always been writing, but I only started this story in the beginning of May. Since then I’ve had over a month and a half of vacation (where NOTHING got done) and then I was in Washington for the conference. So all in all, especially considering I’m still in college, I’m quite proud of what I’ve accomplished. Here’s hoping I can keep it together after the first rejection letter.

    Again, thank you for the boot. It’s exactly what I needed to hear today.

  11. Michelle Diener

    I’ve sent out everything I ever finished. I sent it to the list of agents I wanted, and while I was sending, I was writing something else, and when I went through all those agents and had collected every form R, every partial R and every full request R there was to be had from my list, I started sending out another book. Rinse and repeat. LOL. I learned so much about specific agents, about what type of query works, and the nuances of querying. Now I have an agent, and it wasn’t all about the book. Some of it was about the eye-catching query upfront, some of it was because I knew enough about this agent that I knew we’d be a good fit, and all of that I learned from years of submitting my work.

  12. Karin Tabke

    I’m not ignoring you ladies! Been busy with proposal which is now gone! and had no power for 14+ hours today! Just now getting on the internet. I’ll be back to chat tomorrow!

  13. LaDonna

    Hey Karin, loved your blog girl! And I’m glad that I’m always moving forward on my stories, not stuck in the past. It’s all a part of learning, and getting better in my view. I do plan to send my last baby out into the world, when I’m happy with the revisions. I want to have my second, follow-up book, done at least in first draft when that happens. It has a lot to do with not sending too early, I think.

  14. Karin Tabke

    Jake, I know you have been working hard on this story!!! You’ve been so quiet! Let me know when you’re ready to go out with it. I know people. 😉

    Margaret you are so brave! I love your tenacity. Keep subbing. It. Will. Happen.

    Beth there is a time when after you’ve exhausted the round of submissions on one ms you get back to writing the next one. Always go forward. But give each story it’s fair shake before moving on.

  15. Karin Tabke

    Edie, i submitted too early for years! I mean *really* early. i knot this last story of yours has generated lot’s of interest. Crossing everything for you!!!

    Bonnie, did you feel that? I know you needed that! Now submit!

    Holly, send out more than a few!! Spread the love, baby!

    Jodi , it *is* crazy scary and nerve wracking! Like a roller coaster! It’s great.

  16. Karin Tabke

    Joy to the world! I heart you.

    Natalie, you are very welcome. You sound like you are totally on track. Stick to your time table. Good luck!

    Michelle you’re so committed. Not committable, hmm well maybe, aren’t we all?

    LaD, when do you think you’ll be subbing that puppy?

  17. Mary Marvella

    I’ve submitted. I’ve had rejections. I’m gun shy and have to write new things and rebuild my courage. Ready to start again!

  18. kh

    good luck
    great tiltes evyoone

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