Thursday, April 24, 2014

Deep Thoughts and Lone Turkeys

Riffing off Silver James once again (that woman says so many things that make me think... damn her).  This  morning she had a post about fear, which prompted this comment from me...

I don’t know if I’d exactly call it fear of rejection that keeps me from querying at this point. It’s more like fear of the same ol’ crap. Send the query out, get rejected, revise the query, send it out, more rejection, revise the book, revise the query, sent it out… and so on so on so forth until I say ‘screw this’ and work on another book. Except I’ve gotten to the point of wondering ‘why write another book that’s going to just dance the same dance’. Ya know what I mean, jellybean? It’s like a sick writerly version of Groundhog Day. :endrant:

I don't know exactly what set me off, but there it is.

Lemme tell ya a short story to help shed some light on the subject...

We have a boatload of turkeys hanging out nearby.  Sometimes they come in huge rafters (what a group of turkeys is called) and sometimes just a few at a time.  But there's always this one hen who comes by herself.  We've been calling her the Lone Turkey.

And then I saw a FAQ on some wildlife website that actually referenced the Lone Turkey.  Seems every once in a while a hen separates from the rafter - and not just to sit her nest.  This can happen for one of two reasons: 1) either she's a young hen who's been driven out by the older birds OR 2) she's an older turkey who leaves for her own reasons.  I think our Lone Turkey (LT) is the latter.  And I think her reasons are she's just sick and tired of the flock.  She's got plenty of food, she's fully capable of defending herself, and if defending isn't a good idea, she can fly or run away. 

I think LT is tired of the same ol' day in day out, peck here, peck there, follow the flock and be duly impressed by the gobbling of Hans and Franz - so she quit the flock and now she does her own thing.  LT is her own hen.

Or to wrap this all together, she's pretty much said 'why bother with all this rafter crap when it's not getting me anywhere'.

Okay, so not a great analogy... but the turkey story amuses me.  Needless to say, this bears some deep thinking.  Am I not querying or writing because I'm sick of it all, or am I not working because I'm afraid (and bone-tired of rejection) and using the whole 'sick of the BS' thing as an excuse?  Only time and thought will tell.


  1. Brilliant analogy - and relevant turkey story!! See, that's where I was - the turkey who was tired of the same old. And tired of the rejections/revisions/rejections cycle. It plays havoc on the mind - on the confidence - and on the trust I have for my friends and family because they keep telling me I have talent! That's why I went rogue and am 'publishing' my shit on Sym's Stories! Let me tell you - being out of the Turkey Race is liberating. And refreshing. And confidence building. And has done wonders for my creativity - and happiness!

    Good luck with the 'deep thinking', B.E. - I'm here for you, whatever you decide to do (stick with the turkeys or go out on your own - which could mean self-publishing, keep that in mind)! Just don't give up writing - find a way to do it that makes you happy and content - because you do have talent and you do tell great stories :)

  2. Each has to find their own path, and if that means going LT? That's what it takes. Deep down, I think all of us write because it makes us happy on some level. After a series of rejections early in my "career", I stopped submitting. I didn't stop writing, I just wrote what I wanted to write, told the stories I wanted to tell, in the style and voice I felt comfortable with. Then one day, or one month, or one year, I just sort of slid over into the other camp and decided I might work on my craft again, might renew old ties to the writing community. Lo and behold, I was published within that year. Of course, with two short deadlines hanging over my head, I'm thinking I should have been more careful of what I wished for--or maybe shouldn't have overestimated my ability to write fast. LOL

    A message to both you and Janet, B.E.: Do what makes you happy. It's that simple and that complicated. I'll be here cheering you on no matter what. And as long as I get to read your stuff!

  3. Oh, and sure...blame it on me. It's always my fault! *bwahahaha*

  4. I adore Ms. LT! Sometimes we just need to live at our own pace, and cut all the crap.

    I gave up on the whole query thing a while back, and it killed my writing. But now I'm writing again, and I plan to indie publish next month - I'm finalizing my artwork and getting ready for a Goodreads giveaway.

    I *loved* the Djinn excerpt you posted years ago. I wish you'd consider ignoring the query route and self publish. Then no outside force would control your writing. You don't need to listen to Hans and Franz's gobbling.

  5. I've been seeing this sentiment a lot on blogs lately, even mirroring my own feelings on a certain level.

    I'm just not interested in following the status quo. If it means blazing my own trail, so be it.