Hi everyone –
I had a SUPER hard time thinking up a blog this week. Why?
Well, first off, I’m not much of a “craft” blogger. See, I have this internal non-fiction editor in my head that whispers “this is boring” and “no one cares about this”… She’s really mean and vicious!
But for some reason when I’m writing fiction, she sits back and shuts up. Maybe she enjoys going along for the ride to see where the story goes?
Now she’s over here with a raised eyebrow whispering that this has nothing to do with the topic.
But she’s wrong.
When I set out to be a published author, there was a “path” to follow, almost like a recipe. You finished your novel and started querying agents. If you were very serious, you also worked on building your publishing credits on the side with short fiction sales.
I followed the recipe with dedication.
I finished my novel, started on the next one, and sold short stories to magazines and anthologies. I collected agent rejections and watched as, to my horror, the path started to fork.
So there I was in the middle of a forest of unknown, staring at the worn places and wondering if they might be paths too. Which one do I take?
In the end, I tried a couple of them.
I gave up on agents for the moment, and self-published a too-long-for-a-short-story-anthology-but-too-short-for-a-novella, Across the Veil.
I learned a LOT. Mostly that I can’t imagine editing and formatting an entire novel on my own, so while that path definitely leads to the goal of getting my story into readers’ hands, it wasn’t going to work for novels, for me.
Backtracking, I followed the next path and submitted to a new publisher with a great new business model that I admired.
And it worked! I got the call, and my first novel was released.
In fact, in May, Night Walker will be re-released in mass-market paperback and on Barnes & Noble shelves across the country! Woot!
But wait… the story’s not over.
My problem is that my goal is to be a full-time writer.
I need more than a couple books to be out and available if I’m ever going to make enough money to write full time. Well shoot!
So now I’m staring longingly at the agent path, and I wonder if maybe they would be able to point me in the right direction.
I have another series in my back pocket. (okay on my harddrive, but I’m trying to keep this in character… LOL) The first two novels are complete with the third underway. If the ultimate goal is to write full-time, then I need them to run out into the world pronto, so that I have a backlist to build from.
But where should I send them?
See why the agent path tempts me? LOL
I do have requests from a few places to see the other series, so I opted to submit it without waiting around to find an agent.
Now we come full circle, and that mean vicious voice is whispering in my head again. “What if none of them want it? What will you do then?”
With all of the options for writers out there, the “Path” seems to get more twisted, with off-shoots that all hold promise. This is a good problem to have, but it’s also scary for those of us with a nasty voice in our heads that thrives on neurotic insecurity.
So I stumble along, unsure which path to take and very grateful that I brought some yummy trail mix to help me remember to enjoy this crazy the journey.
Which path have you chosen? Are you happy with it so far, or are you gazing longingly at another?
Hope I’m not the only one! LOL
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