It just really dawned on me last night, after talking to some of my best friends, that I’m getting published again. That I’m not a ‘one-hit wonder.’ True, this book could do worse than the first, and make me want to go hide from all readers for the rest of my life, but in this subject I’m fairly optimistic. Most of Phase‘s reviews have been positive, and some of the negative ones have had really good explanations for where it was weak and hopefully ::crosses fingers:: I’ve learned from that.
I was finishing up some final edits this weekend, skimming through the pages to fix this (I was surprised how often the protagonist cursed actually) and that, and I wondered if those wanting to be published had a clue as to how not glamorous this job can be. Before I was ever published, I had pretty out there dreams and imaginings about how much life would change once I got published. And my life is not the same as it was prior to Phase, but in some ways, I’m still plugging along.
Do I still dream of fame and my book selling like hotcakes (how fast do those sell anyway)? Sure. The dream has always been to be a full-time writer, go on book tours, write best-sellers and live in the perfect cottage in England (yep, that’s my dream). But if it had happened with Phase, would I be teaching? Probably not. I would have missed out on getting the chance to touch and influence my students these past four years and although that life has been hard, I wouldn’t change it.
To be a published writer really requires diligence, persistence, and perhaps a little bit of luck. I got an agent due to contacts my masters program had. Prior to contracting with her, I had quite a few prompt rejections (I don’t think one was personalized to give me a clue as to why I was being rejected). I’ve been rejected by publishers since getting my fabulous agent, one that got so close to getting accepted in a large publishing house that when the rejection came through, my reaction was much like losing a loved one.
It hurts. Writing is personal, especially in fiction, and to have someone cast your work aside just rips through your self-worth. But you keep writing because you have something in you that demands it.
There’s no easy formula. There are books that get published that I read and I’m offended by them (their lack of craft and or good story), books that make more money than I will ever see. Easy to become disheartened.
You have to edit. You have to fix the little and the big problems. You have to read like a crazy person because you can only make your story sense better so what comes out of you is good. And you have to keep writing.
I love when people tell me that they’ve always thought of writing a book. I guess most of us have pondered it. Those people can think all they want. Those that do write, whether published or not, those are the brave and the admirable. Those that finish a project (hardest thing ever) are successful no matter what anyone else thinks. Maybe that sounds weak because OF COURSE you want to get published. But you can’t control that. That requires a lot of other people to be a part of.
But you can write. And you did.
So you’re brilliant.