A friend shared this tweet with me a few days ago and it perfectly sums up my current state of mind.
As most of you know, I love to write. In addition to my blog, I’ve been very fortunate to have some of my essays in print, yet I remain unpublished as a fiction writer.
A few years back I wrote a children’s book for my son CJ and it won the Atlantic Writing Competition but I have had zero luck getting it published. I’m told that the children’s picture book industry is ruthless and I shouldn’t take it personally. (I still live in hope that it will one day come to life, maybe in time for my grandchildren.)
I’ve also written some poetry and a lot of short fiction, but have never felt confident enough in the pieces to submit them anywhere for publishing. For some reason I’ve just always had more confidence in my non-fiction work. Perhaps it is this blog that has given me the self-assurance one needs to expose their soul to that type of criticism.
Because that’s submitting your work to a publisher feels like… exposing your soul.
I finished my novel many months back and celebrated that achievement by feeling good about it for five minutes. Then the doubt set in. Seriously, that’s what it felt like. I celebrated in my head for a few minutes and then told myself it was a piece of shit.
The editing process sure didn’t help. The first edit wasn’t too bad, I could still see some strength in my writing. However, by the third edit, I was wondering why I was even bothering. Nevertheless, I slogged through the painful process and was left with 80,000 words that needed to be read by someone else. I needed to get a second opinion.
This led me to where I am now. I have just send the book out to a few beta readers and am waiting to hear back. This is the scary part because this is when I hear if they could even get past the first chapter or if the whole thing is a complete waste of paper. (Thanks to Shailla, Denis, Kris and Jenny for being brave enough to take the plunge into my writing. A special thank you to The Sister, who’s going to have to deliver the news to me face-to-face!)
Now, let me clarify, I’m not deluding myself that this is the next great Canadian novel. My book is romantic fiction… or, to put it bluntly, it’s chick lit. But is it good chick lit? At this point I really have no idea.
So, as I wait for feedback, my mind is racing. I am full of negativity and self-doubt, and am only expecting the worst… that way I won’t be disappointed, right?
Arrrgh! Basically, I am torturing myself in a mental Pit of Despair!
Anyone have any calming words of wisdom?
It’s a bit trite but, but the advice I have is that if you don’t attempt, you are 100% guaranteed not to get it published.
And these days, self-publishing is acceptable. One of the Washington Post’s top picks for 2015 was a fiction work that was self-published. So stay in the fight 🙂
Thanks Jeff. It’s trite for a reason, because it’s true! Self-publishing just sounds like a lot of work. 😉
It may not be any more work than standard publishing. Okay, maybe the same but different battles 🙂
I don’t have any ‘calming’ words of wisdom, but I my motto has always been prepare for the worst, but hope for the best (not ‘expect’ the worst!). I call it ‘optimism tempered by reality’! LOL! And that way, I’m hopeful for a good outcome, but ready to hit it with Plan B, should it not be what I had hoped for 🙂 But that said, don’t torture yourself. At least you ARE writing! You are trying. And that counts for a lot! If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!
Thanks Lorin. I am hoping for the best, I’m just in agony during this waiting period!
Yes, always hope for the best, because you are brilliant and awesome! But, if you like, I can occupy you with some sewing and home reno projects 😉