Writing is such a pesky business. It’s time-consuming, it’s demanding. It isn’t always convenient for the writer in question. It takes a lot of courage and perseverance to be a writer. It really does. There are the hours upon hours upon hours of crafting that first draft, going over it and crafting that second draft, and sending it through for critique and revisions. It’s such a pain in the ass because we don’t always want to hear that there’s something with this baby we’ve managed to push out after, well, longer “labor” hours than actual childbirth. We don’t want to be rejected, yet that rejection is necessary. After all, if we’re not receiving a rejection letter, how would we know if the agent or publishing house we’ve queried is actually the right fit for us and our goals as authors? Yes, self-publishing is a great way to circumvent that, but then we still experience rejection in that people may not be buying our stories.
I’ve mentioned in the past about a woman who stopped because the rejection letters were too much, wouldn’t consider joining a different critique group or even self-publishing her works, despite my efforts to encourage her on that path and to try and test the market with her themes. Even as a niche writer, she could have found valuable information and used that to market herself to the next agent or even the same one or to one of the very few publishing houses who don’t require authors to have an agent for submitting manuscripts. I know a guy through Scribophile who has two series started, the first two books are published to Amazon, but he hasn’t published anything since 2015. I know. I’ve checked because I was in the process of critiquing Book 2 of his distant future, science-fiction/fantasy series. This guy also has more reviews on his first book than I do between all four of my books. Mind you, real life could have gotten in this particular author’s way for continuing his series; I know my real life has been a bit of a drag and caused me delays on Ravensrealm. The only thing even keeping me on this path of a writer is my own determination to succeed and to keep improving, to have my own stories out there. I love writing. My life would be infinitely easier if I stuck with just fanfiction. I wouldn’t have to worry about revisions, about promoting my works in order to garner sales, or deadlines. I wouldn’t have to worry about much of anything writing and publishing fanfiction to designated fanfiction websites. I could simply enjoy writing (which I do anyway).
But becoming an author is something I’ve known I’ve always wanted to be. I’ve innately known it since I was a child. I do this because I love the stories I’m crafting, even as they frustrate me and leave me filled with self-doubt on how well they’ll be received.
I keep at it. Now maybe the difference between me and other people is the fact I grew up poor. And I mean poor. My biological father preferred to live off of state assistance. We got food from the Salvation Army pantry. I learned the value of a job and hard work through my mother after she separated from and divorced my biological father. I had more than enough people willing to try and knock me down for what I wanted in my life, and I could have listened. The odds might be against me in so many ways, but I would rather pursue this, tough it out, and keep at it than give up and ever wonder “what if I had just kept going”.
The last thing I want in my life is ask myself “What could have been if I had at least tried”. I was once fearless. I am working on being fearless once more.
So, even though I’ve not had much in the way of sales for my books, I refuse to give up. I will remain strong in my endeavors.
After all, writing isn’t easy. Those who think it clearly don’t do it.
Stay strong on your writing path, my friends. Write, write, and write some more. Get the feedback you need to improve, and remember you can always be improving. Coasting through life just isn’t fun or meaningful.
Until the next time!