Yeah, publishing takes forever. For those of you who are very patient, this might work well for you. For those of you who are not patient (like me), publishing in all its forms will drive a writer to fits of the crazies. Publishers can go months at a time without any word. Agents? Just as long. I’ve had a project that sat in someone’s in box for nine months before being read and have a revise and resubmit requested.
Then the project sat for another six months. UGH!
And during that time, we writers are constantly aware of the fact that the market is shifting. The readers are leaving (or if you write YA, Growing UP!) And pretty much each tick of the clock might as well be the death knell of your writing career. Projects that were awesome a year ago, two years ago, four years ago—well, they aren’t awesome anymore.
I’ve watched this. The only condolence I can give is that while we’re watching the clock tick by, some things will cycle back around. People couldn’t give away paranormal romance a few years ago, and now I’m starting to see those move (slowly, but WAY more than the nothing from two years ago).
So that’s the first advice—it all comes in cycles.
Dystopians were huge. Now they’re dead. Everyone expected Sci Fi to take off, it’s still very hit or miss. And largely, YA fiction has this feeling that if it could just find the thing that got people excited again… Alas. No new Harry Potters (did you read Cursed Child too?). No new Katniss Everdeen. And it’s not like there aren’t Amazing books out there, it’s just that they aren’t getting traction.
And then there’s the feeling that no matter what the category or genre, I’m missing the boat. It’s a really hard feeling to shake. I’ve been sitting on a novel that needed a few edits before it would be ready for submission for months. I needed to write a different book first because the two tie in, but months. I’ve been waiting for months, and it’s still not ready. Even if it was ready tomorrow, I’d have to wait more months before I got any sort of word. RRRRRRGH! So yeah, sometimes, when I’m in the middle of the publishing cycle, I get caught up in how slow I’m going and how fast the rest of the world is going. I’ve got no good answers, but I can say this: never turn in shoddy work.
Ask for more deadline time. Figure something out—bribe people. Nothing but your best will suffice later when you look back at your works. Nothing.
Now, off to go turn in a lousy start to NaNoWriMo (I think I participate so I can watch myself fall behind).