Is it a pipe dream?
Those of you who know me know that I have been working on a book for quite some time. I’ve been writing since I was 17 and I started working on My Book in about 1996 (no joke). It’s gone through several transformations: character changes, plot changes etc etc, but the heart of it has remained the same, kept constant by my heroine.
Of late, I’ve been swapping 10 pages a week with Ashleigh, who herself is writing a book. We gleefully exchange pages and ideas; each week nervous about how the other person will take it. You’d think after already giving her 13 chapters, I wouldn’t be nervous anymore, but every week I hit the ‘send’ button and wait anxiously for Ashleigh’s seal of approval.
But this week I’m plagued with doubt and anxiety. With thousands of people out there wanting to be published authors, do I stand a chance? I waffle back and forth between “With all the crap out there, how can they not publish my stuff. My stuff is GOOD!” and “With all the crap out there, why would they publish my stuff? How will I ever get a break?”
But I guess all I can do is keep writing, finish the book and see what happens. But darnnit! I want to get published! I want to make gads off money doing something I really enjoy!
Is it a pipe dream?
i’d settle for upper-middle class amounts of money!
but seriously, i know how you feel… every time i read a book on the publishing industry, i have to put my head between my legs or grab a paper bag to keep from fainting. i get told that agents receive thousands of submissions a month, that publishing without an agent is impossible and that many agents only take on one or two new writers a year. i get told that the usual advance for a first novel is $5000 and i want to swallow my tongue cause something tells me the royalties on a first novel aren’t usually great. exactly how long am i going to try to make a career out of this?
hmm. i intended to post to make you feel better, not to contribute to your panic. so, let’s commence with the cheering up and encouragement. having read all 13 installments of your novel, i can say that it is engaging, and i would keep reading it even if i didn’t know you, which is more than i can say for a certain serial thriller we all know and… yeah. i can see an improvement to your writing style since we started, and i believe that mine has improved as well. even people who haven’t read your book can attest to what a fabulous writer you are by reading this blog, which is unfailingly amusing, charming, and grammatically correct.
that said, just being a good writer won’t necessarily get you published. you know what i think? i think a lot of crappy writers out there manage to get published because they work their asses off at it. they query and query and query until someone somewhere accepts their manuscript. and that’s the answer. don’t ever doubt your writing — it’s fabulous. don’t doubt your characters — they are fabulous creations of your mind. don’t doubt your story — it’s suspenseful and addictive, even (especially for some) without dead bodies littering the ground! so, if a crappy writer with a crappy story can get published by working their ass off to get an agent, so can you! we will do it together — the rejections! the ridiculous query letters! the stress!
that said… we both gotta finish first!