I have been known to bemoan the writing process. Well not all the parts of the process. I love the writing. Sitting in my own space, creating strangeness. Creating characters. Creating extensions of myself. Getting lost in the story. Love it.
Now, the editing. I can deal with that. It’s not always easy. But getting to the editing is the hardest part. Once I begin, I can see the forest a bit more clearly and have a better understanding of what can remain and what most go; all in the name of conflict and story arc and stuff like that.
Outside the scope of sitting down to a pen a paper, a computer…the business side of it…that shit I bemoan.
The day may come when I throw everything I’ve ever written up on Amazon and call it good. That’s kind of my “give up plan”. Nothing against those who throw their stuff up on Amazon and do well. I admire their ability to market themselves. But marketing myself is my biggest hurdle when it comes to writing. Actually telling people I’m a writer. Actually ‘selling myself’ as a writer. (Jesus, how old am I, right? It takes everything in my being to introduce myself to people I’ve just met and exclaim, when the question comes about as to what I do, that I am a writer. So you see, the idea of marketing myself is something I’m not interested in. I could pay someone to help with all that. But I’m a true artist, I don’t have that kind of cash. And really, that isn’t the way I always planned on my career going. I have a completely different dream. Self-publishing on Amazon doesn’t fit into it. Maybe one day there will be a path through the self-publishing world that makes sense for me. I’m open to possibilities. However, that day is not today.
A little over two weeks ago, I started getting back to work. If you are one of my four regular readers of my blog, you will recall the rejection I got that floored me. I of course jumped right back on the horse, but I was pretty turned around, rather directionless for a bit.
Writing side note: The closer to the top of the proverbial writing/publishing mountain you climb, the farther the fall. It’s a harrowing fall at that. But you live through it. I’m here to tell you that right now. You WILL survive. But it leaves bruises that require a bit more ‘wound licking’.
So, I’m healed up and back to work and started thinking about my bemoaning.
I have an uncle who is an illustrator for children’s books. He once told me that a writer must prescribe to two practices. The first was the P Theory. Which is Practice, Perseverance, and Persistence. And if those three elements feel like they aren’t working, then hit your knees and Pray. The second practice was to never stop submitting. The moment an artist stops submitting their work, they’ve lost.
I subscribed to the fanciful theories and advice. Only, I have half-assed it on the submission front. I submit to a handful of literary magazines every 18 months it seems. My main focus lately has been on gaining an agent.
Here’s where the bemoaning and thought process and advice become a cocktail of inspiration.
I can’t bemoan shit. I don’t have the right. Honestly. I don’t. I stopped submitting my work and I continued to call myself a writer. Sure I wrote on my blog. Sure I work on books and stories and actually do have a daily writing practice. But I want to be more widely read. I want my words to have a longer reach. And if that is what I want, then I have to actually adhere to the business side of the writer’s life and get my stories in as many literary magazines as possible. And the past two weeks that is exactly what I’ve been doing. If I have free time, I better be submitting and editing and writing. I better be putting in the work of a writer. I better be putting in the work that reflects the kind of writer I want to be.
Now see, there are a whole mish mosh of different writers out there in the ‘verse. How they wish to live their own writer-ly lives is their business. My business is the pursuit of publication on a wide-read scale. If that’s what I’m aiming for, well then, better put some serious effort in. No time for bemoaning. Figure I’m going to ride this wave of inspiration as long as I can and then find something different to inspire me.
I bet at this point, you might be wondering, just for fun, maybe for your own information, how does one go about all this submitting? I’ve done years of research on this very topic. What’s truly priceless is the amount of information on the inter webs. Two of the sites I’m addicted to at the moment that are rather handy:
Querytracker – a one stop shop for writers looking for literary agents. This site helps you find agents, keep track of who you queried, and record the answers and any information you might have gained.
Submismash – a site whose tag line is “All the creative opportunities in the Universe.” Pretty darn useful.
So my friends, them’s my meanderings for today.
Remember, do no harm, but take no shit.