Monday, July 25, 2011

When Insanity Works

I once heard insanity defined as this:

Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over, and expect different results each time.

Which, if you think about it, is a pretty good definition. Most people would agree if you put a piece of bread in a toaster set to 5 and it burned it, you’d get exactly the same results if you put another piece of bread in a toaster set to 5, right? To expect that it wouldn’t burn the second time (or the third or fourth or twentieth) would be.... well, insane.

Based on this, I have come to an undeniable conclusion:

Writers Are Insane.

Now come on. That doesn’t really surprise you, right? I’m sure we’ve all thought “What am I, insane?” more than once. After all, we beg voices in our heads to talk with us! And then we act like they're real people! And then we torture them!

But face it. When it comes to querying, THAT’S when we really fit the definition of insane.

We research yet another agent, decide this agent is our PERFECT MATCH, and send out a query. We fully expect them to read it, email back within minutes saying they can’t live another second without seeing pages, that they must have the full to find out what happens next before they die, and that they must be our agent.

And when we get a no to our query or our pages or our manuscript, we start all over again. We research again, find the agent that is THE PERFECT MATCH...  and once again, we expect different results.
Insane, right?

Except it’s not. In fact, as writers we don’t even refer to it as insanity, we refer to it as PERSISTENCE.

And that little thing that makes us believe that THIS TIME it’ll be different? That’s called hope. Ironically, it’s also what keeps us SANE.

So anyone outside of the writing world? Go ahead and call us insane! We just happen to be masters at internal editing, and we’ll automatically replace the word with persistent. Because we’re cool like that.


Kelley Lynn said...

Great post Peggy!

I like the 'internal editing' part. We call it persistence.

But then we also take any feedback we might get from our rejections, tweak a few things and try again.

So it may not be EXACTLY the same thing... so we're only slightly insane ;)

Jessie Humphries said...

That's cool! Call me certifiably insane. I knew that about myself long before I started writing:)

Lani Wendt Young said...

I agree. We are insane. But my insanity is exceeded by the insanity of the X-number of agents/publishers who are reading my query letter AND THEN SAYING NO! Hello, do they not know my book is the next bestest thing since Potter took on Deatheaters? The most sparkliest thing since Edward? *big despairing sigh at insanity of agents and publishers* (wild maniacal LOL)
Im always happy to stumble across another writer willing to rock the insanity boat and embrace the principles of HOPE and PERSISTENCE. Love this blog.
"What do you call a writer who never gives up? Published." JKonrath

CherylAnne Ham said...

Hi Peggy. Yes, we are cool like that! I love this post so much. You have a really great blog and I can't wait to read more of your posts. :D

Unknown said...

It really is insane what we as writers put ourselves through. I guess it's for the millions of dollars we make! ;)

E.D. said...

Great post! Persistence it is - and, I agree with Clarissa. It is definitely for the millions we make :-) totally worth staying up endless hours a night.

Jennifer McFadden said...

Great post, Kelly! Persistent is a perfect description; it's a large part of our character traits.

BECKY said...

Hi Peggy! I love your blog! I'm becoming your newest follower, too. I have a in the world did you stumble across MY blog? I love to find out how that happens! Have a great insane woman, you!

Nichole Giles said...

Exactly. Persistent is just what we are. Keep at it Peggy!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Kelley-- True. We're only slightly. :)
Jessie-- Hahaha! You hide it well.
Lani-- WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?! Here's to persistence, and finding the agent that knows just how awesome your ms is. And Thanks! I'm so glad you stopped by!
CherylAnne-- You are SO SWEET! I love you!
Clarissa-- I may or may not have spit out the drink I had JUST TAKEN A DRINK OF when I read your comment! Yep. We're totally going to be millionaires. When it happens, we should all get together and have a millionaires party!
E.D.-- Thanks! And TOTALLY worth it. I mean who needs sleep?
Jennifer-- Thanks! I dare say persistence is a trait we all share. If we didn't, we wouldn't still be on this crazy journey of ours!
Becky-- Yay! Thank you! And welcome to my blog! And I'm going to have to go with I sensed your awesomeness from afar. I hope you have a great week, too!
Nichole-- Thanks! I think I might just. Thank you for stopping by!

Josh J said...

I love the pictures you use! Burnt toast reminds me on when I was a kid, my sister, who still cannot cook, use to burn toast every morning! That smell in the morning always brings be back.

Unknown said...

Ahhhhhh, I have actually done the toast thing!

Just found you on my list of followers. Great! I am always amazed when a new person shows up.
Actually, I am not a writer, I am a story teller. I have always been the one at family events or even others social activities to come up with a story to share. Finally, my daughter, who has always told me I should write my stories down, got me started on a blog about a year ago.

I am having great fun, but having a hard time coming up with time to blog and read the blogs of those bloggers who helped me get started. You see, I take care of my father, his house and property 24/7/365 (and have for the past 5 years). Each year it gets more difficult as he just turned 100 and I just turned 70.

Right now this is my only link to the outside world beyond the grocery store clerks et al... And, as I am finding it to be great therapy.

I appreciate each and every comment, so please jump in there and become a part of my therapy team.............kt

PS....Mannnnn, Josh is a doll!
(I said I was 70, not dead)