I don’t believe in jinxes, yet I find myself becoming more cautious about sharing information too early these days. It probably comes from spilling exciting news with a friend or family member then having months go by without anything further happening. People call daily with the “Any news yet?” questions and it doesn’t take long for those questions to change and then stop altogether.
Months in publishing are like days to the rest of the world.
There are a lot of us trying for spots and editors are insanely busy people. Add to that fact I approach my stories with a “and now for something completely different” aspect,and things are just a little more difficult. (I blame Monty Python.)
But, when I first went out on submission, I’d just had two friends go through those whirlwind “got an agent and an auction within days” scenarios. So I’ll admit, my expectations started too high. I had more than one agent interested, an editor loving the book–I thought things might finally start happening. (Remember, I submitted category romances on my own for years until I finally listened to the editors who kept saying I could write, but category wasn’t my place. )
Those whirlwind publish-fast situations are honestly rare. Most of us take a bit longer. And it didn’t help that when I went out in 2008, the publishing industry went through a scary shake-up that seemed to last FOREVER. (My personal life was hit with the same economic nightmare simultaneously, so my hopes were extra high due to that as well.)
But back to the news sharing. Truth is, even the smallest bit of positive news is exciting and keeping that to yourself is damned hard. But things change at the drop of a hat. So now, I try to keep quiet. Um, that’s hard for me. Just sayin’. I can keep secrets for others, but when something fun comes my way in this business, I’m all about the outside voice.
Now, I’m not talking about sharing the big stuff like getting an agent or a book sale. Those are the two biggest goals an aspiring writer has and success in either is a big, big deal. We work so hard for those! I’m talking the little things-the possibles that crop up here and there.
But what is submission really like?
It’s very, very quiet. Like I said, lots of us vying for spots and unfortunately, we writers spend a lot of time alone in our heads and that constant flame of hope can flare up and burn away concentration at times. So sometimes that quiet isn’t quiet at all. Only a writer is going to get that, btw.
Now, here’s the from-the-heart-part, a kind of heads up for anyone who finds themselves in this position. It’s normal to start losing support when something has gone on this long. I started writing and finishing books more than fifteen years ago. And lately, my family has gone through some really tough economical times. There are some who feel I should give another career a go, that I’m wasting my time. Some are urging me to self publish and others have reminded me of the definition of crazy–doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Yes, I AM writing a new book and yes, I do hope it will be great enough to sell. That isn’t going to change.
This is never going to change.
I love to write and while the publishing side of the business can dampen that love occasionally, it can’t kill it. Because the writing part of the process is all me. This is the part I control and this is the part that still makes my heart beat fast when that new idea hits. There is nothing better out there. It’s better than wine and you all know how much I love wine. 🙂
Even more intense is the desire to see my books on the shelves. It hits me every single time I walk into a bookstore. When I opened the package with the Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romance, my heart was pounding with so much excitement, I nearly tripped coming back from the mailbox. And yeah, okay, I did run my hands over the smooth covers. For a long time actually. Hubby teased me about that. But something I had written was in there. And the MBOSOR only has a short story in it. I can’t imagine what it will be like to hold an actual book.
Okay, that’s a lie. I can. It’s what keeps me going. That and the telling of the story itself. Without that desire and that love, the rest of this might not be worth it. 🙂