It's been quiet round here just recently, mainly because I have been focussing on edits on my latest wip so that my agent can begin submitting [Wow! lots of passive voice] to publishers. The first three magical chapters which make or break an introduction have been polished to a fine shine, or until the gilt has started to come off, I'm not sure which!
Submitting queries and receiving rejections, or even a response at all, is a stressful time for any writer. Several authors on my critique group are in the throes of submissions, and they have reported back recently that rejections from agencies and publishers are being accompanied by glowing tributes to the storyline and style, finishing with, 'Your writing is eminently publishable, but in this current climate we are unable at this time to offer you etc etc.' or words to that effect.
Is that an encouraging response, or not?
It used to be accepted that a rejection meant your work needed more work, and if you received a few tips on how to improve, so much the better. You could then apply what was necessary and try again. It appears that in these precarious times you can be every bit good enough to be published, but there's no place for you right now on the world's bookshelves.
So where does that leave new authors? Are established writers receiving these comments too? If so what do they do with them? If an agent or publishers says your work is good, do you shelve it until the trends change, or continue to improve? And where do you stop? There is such a thing as over editing - well I think so anyway.
I cannot 'not' write though, so my next wip is taking shape as the bubble beneath the skin has stared to erupt as new ideas emerge. Perhaps that one will interest a publisher enough to produce it - what am I saying, negative attitude or what, my agent hasn't even submitted the novel yet!