I almost missed Insecure Writer’s support Group!
I’ve been steady on for a long time, and I’m starting to have that feel you get when it doesn’t happen for you. When I started trying to get published and find an agent, I couldn’t have imagined what being where I am now would be like. I’m sitting here with three published novels, news I have to keep quiet about, and things are looking…
Ah, but that’s the problem with goals and the feeling of having arrived: You Always Want More.
I know it gets hard to imagine, but the goal posts in your life are always moving. Sometimes this is subconscious, but sometimes it’s planned. In publishing, it’s a list of steps that we’re told is “The Way” (yes, the scare quotes are necessary there). The steps are: Write the book, Revise the Book into Awesomeness, Query dream agent, SIGN with DREAM agent, SELL BOOK AT AUCTION!!!!! *confetti flies into the air and the words PUBLISHED AUTHOR are permanently displayed above your head so everyone will know you are amazing*
As you might have guessed, this isn’t going to work for most people. I always longed for the day when I would sign with an agent. I watched while trying to control my jealousy as friends got agents. I fumed when books were signed that were similar to mine (quietly and away from the internet), and then I’ve started to see more of something else. More of my friends have parted ways with their agents, or books that had been sold are orphaned as an imprint folds. Great books sit on shelves, not moving. Mediocre books sell like hot cakes (also really great books sell like hot cakes), but there’s no reason to it. There is a solid element of luck in all of this. I love my fairytale version of publishing, but it just isn’t reality. And when one of the things on the fairytale list is one of your goal posts, it gets hard to keep taking yourself and your career seriously (yes, I can totally hear some of you saying “what career, Rena?”) when you don’t hit all the markers (or don’t hit them in the right order).
I don’t know how to solve this problem, but I do know it helps to remind ourselves that the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence.
And don't forget to check out the IWSG link and visit Ninja Captain Alex, and this month's co-hosts: Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan!