generally speaking, i’d say my dreams, goals, missions, whatever the hell you want to call them, are usually practical. achievable. buying a house? i can do that (well, maybe. jury’s really still out on that one.) get a graduate degree? sure, why not. pay off debt? travel? find a job that i look forward to going to every morning? all within the (theoretical) realm of possibility.
so why have i been entertaining thoughts of landing a book deal that fronts me enough money to quit my day job, pay my bills, and let me take my time figuring out what i want to do next?
clearly, i’m delusional.
i’ve had little feedback on my writing (i’m referring strictly to fiction writing. not my ability to articulate my feelings about various political debacles and social issues.) some has been positive, some has been…not, but it’s all been constructive. it’s just not nearly enough. when push comes to shove, i have absolutely no idea what i’m doing. i know the number of published writers is small. i know the number of published writers who make a living from their writing is even smaller (ann lamott, for example, teaches creative writing. so do a number of other novelists. nora roberts is not one of them.) whatever possessed me to think i could actually make a living off of this, i have no idea.
it may have something to do with the amount of writing i’ve been doing lately. i’m burning myself out, i’m afraid, but i can’t seem to stop. except for yesterday evening, when i plopped myself on the couch after dinner and spent the rest of the evening reading a book instead of turning on my computer (although i’d already written about 1500 words that day. on my, um, lunch break. yeah. lunch break.)
book one of the shadowdemon trilogy is done. i’m about halfway through book two. i’ve written the opening chapter of book three and i’ve two different endings planned, because i can’t quite make up my mind how i really want it to end. i signed up for the write on the sound writer’s conference at the beginning of october. my conference fee gets me into a 1/2 day fiction workshop where i need to submit a writing sample, a few hour long workshops, and a manuscript critique.
for my manuscript critique, i chose to submit the opening chapter of shadowdemon rather than a lesson in vanishing. the reason for this is two fold: paranormal fiction and urban fantasy are big right now. really big. it stands to reason that if i want to actually make a buck off this venture, i should submit the moneymaker. now, i know that shadowdemon needs work. quite possibly a lot of work, so much so that it may never actually see the light of day. i re-read it before i sent it off, and even i felt it was missing something. i just didn’t know what was missing. hopefully this publishing industry professional will be able to tell me something i don’t already know.
the other reason is that i’m borderline ambivalent about having a lesson in vanishing published. writing it was difficult. horribly, depressingly difficult. but i got the story out, and that was what mattered most. i told the story, from beginning to end, and it felt…complete. not that it doesn’t need work. it does. but it wasn’t something i’d given up on halfway through.
i don’t want to see that work, something that pulled so much out of me, published and then ripped to shreds. or published and praised enough to raise expectations that i will produce another work of the same, or better, quality. in fact, thinking about it scares me enough that i want to crawl under my desk right now and hide.
but those delusions are here to stay, it seems. not only am i signed up for WOTS, i’ve got a fiction writing class at a local community college on tap, a friend of mine has convinced me to do national novel writing month this year (NANO for the uninitiated), and the BF has offered to see if the father of one of his students, who happens to be an award winning famous author, would be willing to sit down and talk to me about the business of writing and publishing.
somehow, the reluctant writer has become the unstoppable writer. oops.