I’ve been spending much of my before work “working on my writing” time the last couple weeks searching and querying agents for “Gilgamesh Shuffle.” So far there have been no nibbles. I have however received several rejection form letters. It is funny, but I get a little jolt of adrenaline every time I see a reply from one of the agents I’ve queried. I expect their rejection, and would even be quite surprised if I got a request for more material, but each time, before I actually read the words there is a little bit of hope.
Those emails are like Schrodinger’s box. You don’t, and can’t know for certain what they contain, until you actually open them. You have a suspicion that the cat is dead, but until you lift the lid you can’t be sure. So each email brings a little bit of hope. So far I have queried (doing some counting from my log here)…..23 agents. That is a lot of waiting. So far I have 6 rejections.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it is time to stop worrying about it for a little while. I have decided that I will give myself through the rest of the weekend to obsess, then will simply move on for a bit, until I have heard back from most of those whom I’ve queried. I have started working on then next thing and so far it feels good, that is what I want to focus on. And of course I have to start editing the other two books that are done but in the state of terrible first draftness.
There also is the fact that I have realized, with a little prompting from Jenni, that I really need to start trying to figure out how to make more of a “platform”. There is something in that that which is daunting. I know that writing means nothing if it is not read. I understand that, but I want to write. The platform building takes time from that. Time is the thing I lack most and wish I had more of. I get up at 6 every morning so I have time to work on writing, and more and more I find that there is a longer list of things that need to happen that aren’t the actual writing.
That leaves me with trying to get these things categorized, prioritized, and organized, so that they can be dealt with in their proper order and take away as little from the writing as possible. I think I have a plan, but will have to wait and see how it plays out. Meanwhile, more writing, more reading, and keep plugging away.
The Kickstarter is over, and it did not get sufficiently backed to fund. I am somewhat disappointed, but at the same time undaunted. I thank everyone who looked at the site, and shared. I am looking forward to new adventures in trying to get the thing into publication. Right now I am attacking the dragon of agent searching.
This is one of those things that seems easy on the surface, but the more I work at it the more complex it becomes. There is certainly much advice out there on the internet about how to get an agent, how to query an agent, how to deal with the stack of rejections (of which I already have begun a collection), how to requery, and how to know when to stop. The one thing I haven’t found is how to know when it is time to consider self publication.
My thoughts about self publication are mixed. I think it is valid and growing means of getting one’s work out there. It is certainly a way for a talented author to make a living. The mechanics of it have become easy and very low cost. However, growing up with the idea of “getting published” as being the ultimate goal of an author, I have an irrational prejudice that makes me question my own skills as a writer, if I can’t somehow get this into print through the publisher.
I have published two books already, and Second Wind has been fantastic. I am hoping with the current book to try and get it sold through a publisher that would allow me to qualify for SFWA membership. This is the next goal. So the quest continues to try and find an agent to get it into one of those houses that will allow that to happen.
I’ve come to the realization that the writing isn’t the only thing. And that is what is hard. I want the writing to be the only thing I have to worry about. I want to just sit at my computer and bang away at the keyboard and read the research and not have to think about the rest of that stuff that goes into success as an author. But, I’m coming to realize that simply isn’t going to get me to my ultimate goal of being a writer full time. It is a balancing act. The more time I spend on promotion, the less time I have to write, which is what I really want to do. But, the less time I spend on the promotion, the less likely it is that I will ever be successful enough to write more than early in the morning or late at night or over my lunch break at the day job. It is a “Catch 22” that I’m still trying to figure out.
Advice, comments, or personal experience are all welcome. Especially if you have had success in creating the balance.