On a More Serious Note
I’ve been thinking about this post for a while. I was afraid to write it because it’s just so serious but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, is it? (I dunno, I kinda like pictures of dinosaurs myself.)
So I have a confession: whenever I read about someone down here in the trenches with us getting a really awesome publishing deal, a little piece of me dies temporarily.
Why the hoo-hey is that?
It really made me feel guilty for a while. It wasn’t out of jealousy. Not in the way that I would take their success from them. That’s not fair, and I’ve really come to cheer on and support my fellow bloggers. I didn’t know exactly what it was until last week. Thursday night I was cleaning the kitchen. Mr. Atkins was nearby, and all these thoughts I’d been stewing over finally broke free. I rambled on to him about this strange reaction, and it turned into a helpful conversation. But here’s how it first went:
I confessed my temporary inner-death at someone else’s book(s) announcement. Then I went on to say how this publishing industry is just. so. scary. It’s not like if you get one book, you’re guaranteed a second. I’ve always had it in my head that I will continue to write even if I never get published. But if I could earn money for my writing, then it could be my job, and it wouldn’t have to be my hobby that would sometimes get pushed to the side for the more demanding things like a job and a family (I’m not sure if that makes sense?). (I think at this point Mr. Atkins stopped trying to offer suggestions/comments and decided listening was the best course of action.) I know, I know, if it’s important enough, you’ll make time for it. BUT. Life happens. Kids will happen sometime in the future. And our hot water heater will break. And we’ll have to go to the hospital. And we’ll have dance recitals to attend. And family dinner to make every. single. night. I’m excited for these things, but I’m so afraid my hobbies, my passions, my interests will fall to the wayside. I can’t let that happen, obviously. Which is why I’m working so hard now to ensure that writing is something I cannot be happy without!
After talking too quickly for too long, it dawned on me why I get so disheartened at publishing announcements: they remind me how very far I am from that possibility. I have two books in the works: one I’m on the second draft, the other the first. I have another idea that is clamoring to be written, but it needs to kindly wait its turn, thankyouverymuch. Sparks (as it is currently titled) will need more than two drafts, obviously. And when I finally feel like it’s ready, I’ll have to write a query letter and try to perfect that. And continue doing research on agents to stalk query. And then, if I land an agent, going on submission, and from there, and so on, and on and on, etc., ad infinitum.
It can sound overwhelming, all strung out like that. I can’t think about it that way, not all the time. If I break it into bites-sized morsels (bitter or sweet, depending on the day), I breathe easier and know that I can, in fact, do this.
So I need a plan! I need a goal. I’m making one now:
I, KRIS ATKINS, DECLARE THAT I HAVE A GOAL TO QUERY AGENTS IN 2012.
There you have it. My goal. Polish a manuscript to where I feel it’s ready, and throw it out into the world. Well, to carefully selected agents’ hands.
I feel better already!
Dance party at my place!
What about this publishing industry most scares you, and what are you doing to defeat it?