Writing through the Blizzards

13 Feb

I found myself a little discouraged last night. It’s been almost four months since I’ve sent my full manuscript to an agent, and in between then I’ve gotten a dozen of rejection letters back from agents who seem to all be telling me the same thing. They liked the sample pages, but they didn’t love them enough to take me on as a client.

I know the marketplace is tough and competitive right now. My major is English and Creative Writing. Of course, I’ve learned this. I’ve studied it. I understand my chances are slim to none. But when you really believe in a specific book you wrote, is there a certain time when you should throw in the towel and give up?

I say- hell no. Not when you really, really, really believe in a novel. I’ve gone to countless websites, looked at publishers who accept unagented submissions. But I won’t submit to them, not until I’ve exhausted all of my options of finding an agent to find the right publisher for me.

There’s a blizzard outside right now. I think there’s a metaphor in here somewhere. I’m going to try to find it beneath the snow and sorrow. The trick is to trudge on, travel on- despite the disastrous conditions. Eventually, you’ll reach your destination.

At least, that’s what I have to believe. Hope is not lost. While publishers are seeking that gem in the slush pile, I’m seeking that gem in the agent pile. My query letter is going to fall into the hands of the right agent, the one I’m meant to work with, and everything is going to make sense. That’s what I have to believe.

And, by all means, I’m not saying I write just to get that elusive book deal. I’ve self-published three books without querying them. Why? Because I knew they weren’t mainstream enough to appeal to the masses. They were off-beat, quirky, a little esoteric. But certain things have happened during this journey of writing my fantasy novel. It led me to believe this is the one I need to try to get published. And I won’t simply give up and self-publish it when I feel that hope is lost.

As writers, we need to recognize and understand which of our work is suited for what. Sometimes self-publishing is the best option, despite the terrible name it has seemed to claim over time. I don’t see anything wrong with self-publishing; unless, of course, it’s a novel that you truly and wholeheartedly believe in. And even then, it can be successful. But it takes a hell of a lot more hard work in terms of marketing yourself and advertising for it.

And honestly? Sure, I did radio and newspaper interviews for my short novel and novella, but I didn’t try that hard. And I’m pretty sure I don’t get royalties every time my books sell, because there are dozens of places it’s being sold and I don’t even know how they got the books in the first place, because I never got those checks.

With that said, even though this may come as a shock to some people that I really don’t care about the royalty checks, but I really don’t. I didn’t self-publish in hopes of making money. I self-published for one reason and one reason alone: to get my work out there. I wanted my books to be available to the public, to whoever wanted to read them. The money means nothing to me. I don’t need much money in life, although it would be nice to get a large sum once so I can pay off my student loans. But other than that, money is just money to me. I’ve never had much to begin with.

So, as the blizzard rages on, I’m going to sit here after I finish this post and continue to trek on as I write the sequel to my fantasy novel. Because even though agents don’t ‘love’ it right now, I have a handful of people reading it as I go, pushing me to write the pages because they love it and want to see what happens next. And isn’t that what matters most? That there are genuine readers who love your work and want to read more of it? I write for them. And for myself. I will continue to share my work, even if it’s on a smaller scale.

I write despite the disastrous conditions. And I will trudge and travel on through the storm.

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One Response to “Writing through the Blizzards”

  1. grantsrogers March 2, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    You are just awesome dude. Keep trudging lady!!

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