Category Archives: The Flash Moment

Keep Moving Forward

Austin Madison, a Pixar animator, recently wrote, about the creation of art and content, “…slog diligently through this quagmire of discouragement and despair.” How crushingly depressing. Excuse me while I hide in my flannel pajamas eating a half-gallon of Ben & Jerry’s and pretending Madison didn’t just hit the slush-pile nail on the head.

But, ignoring the truth never helped anybody. Ignoring the fact that most of what I read is not publishable material would mean the end of my career. For you, authors, ignoring that what you’ve written has this problem or that weakness would mean the end of yours.

So, an optimist at heart, I can’t help but point out (with one finger raised and light-bulb over my head) that all things are necessarily defined by their opposites. If you’ve received 87 rejection letters from agents and suddenly you get The Call—an agent’s offer-of-representation—that glowing pride and joy will be 87 times better than it would have been had you received only one rejection that you chalked up to some fault of the agent. Save your rejection letters (Stephen King’s were on a railroad spike nailed into the wall). Wave hello to them even as they mock you. Perhaps one day, you can mock right back.

As for me, slogging through all of the material that is (generously) not so good enhances my excitement when something special comes along and the Flash Moment unexpectedly pops up.

Ironically, Walt Disney (a man whose company now works closely with the above-mentioned animator) had something different to say about the creation of art and content: “Keep moving forward.”

So, I don’t know about you, but I happily “keep moving forward,” because I know the more diligently I “slog,” the closer I’ll get to the next Flash Moment.

>The Flash Moment

>To my great delight, I’ve been completely inundated with queries and proposals since I officially opened to submissions on Monday. Occasionally, I look away from my computer screen and I’m reminded that there’s a world happening beyond it–one that isn’t composed of letters in a row.

There are queries I know I’ll reject after the first sentence. But I read them through anyway–just in case. There are queries that have nothing technically wrong with them that I reject anyway because I can’t get excited about them. I’ve heard from writers all over the globe with stories spanning age groups and genres and oceans. I’ve been entertained, annoyed, excited, abused, uplifted and bored. I’ve requested tons of proposals. I’ve rejected more.

But just now, a proposal stopped me in my tracks. This author was so talented that I heard her voice in the very first short sentence. How inspiring. In everything I read, there is a specific moment when I get a flash of certainty that I’m in good hands, that I’ll come away from this just the tiniest bit different–or not. In this proposal, that moment happened in the first sentence. And I just had to smile.

What about you? Have you ever had The Flash Moment?

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