Every author has gone through rejection, its kind of a rite of passage. Stephen King, John Grisham, Upton Sinclair… the list goes on. But for how long can you go on receiving such letters? How many depressing seminars can you attend about the state of the book publishing business?
And then there comes a time that the writer wants to…write. To return to what he or she loves best; to give oneself up to an evolving story, to feel the energy of creative forces, to tell the story that is burning within.
It’s the near misses that hurt the most: the request to see more of the manuscript. Even more so, the requests for exclusivity, 6-8 weeks when you do not approach other agents, and they seriously consider your business potential. Then there are the agents who talk up the foreign markets, the movie potential, and, of course the triumphs and lifestyles of their successful authors.
I’m not blaming the agents (except those who rejected me, of course!). They are a product of the market they function in. The entire book business is in decline and we are desperately in need of more J.K. Rowlings’ to ignite and sustain a generation excited to open a book.
But not many of us can or will write the classic, the once-in-a generation, the book whose name is casually rolled out to a group of nodding friends. Many of us write for success, for recognition of our toils, our obsessions, for the knowledge that others are engulfed in a world we created.
I write for change. I have completed four novels, and each deals with transformation: of people who seek to better themselves or right the wrongs around them. My last two novels are about social injustices (Oilspill dotcom – the powers of multinationals, and They Returned As Heroes about the way we treat our war veterans). The use of the pen (I have one somewhere) and keyboard to effect social change is an exciting ideal for me, a huge incentive for my writing.
So I am motivated; I have sent submissions for Oilspill dotcom to about fifty agents either side of the Atlantic (Oilspill dotcom is based in the UK). I have edited and edited it, read it through twice to a very supportive Berkeley Writer’s Group and now written another novel in a 100 day ‘break’ I took from editing and marketing Oilspill dotcom. And I have my next story all lined up.
So it’s time to move on. Oilspill dotcom will be published by a Print-on-Demand company and I will give 6-9 months to marketing it and trying to ‘get noticed.’
Thank you for noticing me. Most of my blog entries will deal with choosing and working with the Print-on-Demand company, with editors, with creating marketing plans and such like. Until then…