Thursday, May 10, 2007

Concerned

I didn't want to be. Concerned, that is. I'd like to go on pretending that everything is dandy, and that June is not looming like a large semi-trailer on the horizon, ready to plow me down in my little car of obliviousness, as I'm putting along on the freeway of publishing.
I was all set to take on 2007. I had a slogan, I had a plan, I was determined. Now June and the halfway point of the year is just around the corner, and what do I have to show for it but a new pile of rejections. Don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I'm not writing this entry in self pity, my resolve is not wavering. But did I think I'd have an agent or publishing contract by now? Possibly not. But did I think I would feel closer to achieving that goal? Definitely yes! Am I becoming more obsessed with the idea as time wears on... reading my last few entries will give you that answer!
Of course for all the rejections I've gotten, there are still a handful of proposals out there that I'm hinging my hopes on, one in particular. But the way the year is flashing by is definitely scaring me. You see, when I decided to become a writer, I set a very specific goal for myself.
I would be published by my 26th birthday. Why, you ask? Well, it's very simple.
One of the authors who inspired me to become a writer myself was Julia Quinn. Ms Quinn had her first book published when she was 25. This was going to be my bench mark. Thus, by the time I turned 26, I would have one of my very own books sitting on my bookcase. Almost six years ago now, when I was 19, this age and subsequent goal seemed like a very long way away. I had ages to get there. I wasn't worried. Sure, the publishing industry was not a very friendly place at times, it would be a huge challenge, but I knew I could do it. I had no doubts whatsoever.
But then I spent four of those years studying. I got engaged and then married, I went on numerous holidays to the tropics, we contemplated children, and then low and behold, I find myself a scant few months away from my 25th birthday.
So you can probably see why I vowed to make 2007 my year. The fact that it's now almost half over has my brain scattering about, re-examining my strategies to this point, trying to decide if I should try another tact, come at it from a different angle. But I know deep down, whatever I come up with probably won't make a difference.
As much as writers probably don't want to admit it, a whole chunk of this industry comes down to two very basic things. Persistence and luck. Persistence to keep sending out proposals even though you think you may have been rejected by every person possible in the industry, and luck that one day your manuscript will just happen to land on the right desk at the right time and your break will happen instantly, as if you haven't just spent the last decade tearing your hair out, trying everything to get the attention of agents and editors.
So what will I do if yet another year goes by, my 26th birthday comes and goes without a publishing contract in sight? Well, I may have a moment (or several) of despair, I may sit in a corner for a while, rocking back and forth as I try to find my sanity, which obviously fled me when I decided writing was a good career choice. But in the end, I'll gather my (likely tattered) resolve, pick up the pieces of my ideas and continue on. I might not get published until I'm 50 (and wouldn't my husband be horrified at that idea? I keep him silent about my lack of paying work and lack of house work in favour of writing on the promise that I'll get my "break" soon and then at least I'll have a dribble of income coming in. Little does he know that I don't care about the money, I just want to share my stories). But I know one thing for certain, I definitely won't get published if I give up, and luckily I don't have the capacity for giving up within me. Once I've decided to do something, I just keep going until I get where I want to be. I guess I've just never taken on something so big that has eclipsed so many years before.
With all that said, I still pray to the fates every night that someone, somewhere, soon will give me that chance I've been waiting for.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I admire your courage and tenacity. The whole "perseverence in the face of extreme rejection" is what keeps me from sending proposals out. You've got guts, girl. You keep going and one day you'll reach your dreams!

~ Bright Phoenix