Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
On this last day of the year, I’ll share the inspirational quote that has gotten me through the last few months. It’s from author Russell Banks, who is talking here about mountain climbing – an apt metaphor for the writing life if ever I saw one:
I had not failed; I was disappointed. I’d learned, certainly, that I was more capable of doing this extremely difficult thing, but I had not been able to do it. A strange mix of melancholy and elation, then, accompanied me as I made my slow way back down …
You all know I’ve been querying agents this year – ever since June – and I’ve hit over 115 of them, with negligible results. Only two have requested the full manuscript of Three for a Girl (one of them has it in hand right now), and one other has a 50-page sample. Given my experience so far, I can’t invest much optimism in the outcome, but you know how it is: you keep on keepin’ on.
Banks’s quote, in which he describes not getting to the top of an Andean mountain because of a broken collarbone he sustained on the climb, goes a long way for me. When you’ve been doing this as long as I have, you start to realize that the journey to heaven is heaven and the “mix of melancholy and elation” is the essence of human experience. Quitters gonna quit, and I never have even though I’m yet to get a glimpse of the peak. Getting Parts Unknown published in 2003 was like making base camp and getting acclimated, but I stumbled, like Banks, somewhere on the trail above.
Early in 2018, I’ll either get good news about Three for a Girl or I’ll move on to querying for another book I have in the vault.
One last attempt to reach that summit.
Wish me luck. And good luck to all of you in your journeys to heaven.