Hello gentle reader,
In 2010, I wrote a Sci-Fi novel and I sent it to my former English teacher with a question: “Is this good enough to be published?” Incredibly – given the poor quality of my Masterpiece – she didn’t say “NO WAY”. Instead she told me: “If you work hard and you really want this, I don’t see why not.”
So I embarked on my very own publishing journey, full of hopes and dreams. I chose the traditional route, because it was what felt like the best way for me and my stories. It still feels that way, actually.
Soon enough, I found other writers on the same path: people writing a manuscript, or people with a manuscript looking for an agent. I read their blog, followed them on Twitter, made a lot of writerly friends with whom I could share the aforementioned hopes and dreams.
I wrote another novel (a YA High Fantasy), found beta readers and Critique Partners, and after a year I queried it.
It turned out finding an agent who loved my manuscript was even harder than predicted.
At the end of 2012, I made the decision to shelve my YA High Fantasy and to start working on another story.
I began writing a YA Victorian Fantasy.
In the meantime, I started noticing the writing community around me had changed.
Some simply quit and disappeared, sometimes with one last blog post explaining their decision, sometimes without a whisper.
Some got an agent and later on a publishing deal, leaving the shore of unpublished writers for the land of authors.
Others got a publishing deal with a small press or an independent publisher, and saw their book come out within 9 months or a year.
And a staggering, STAGGERING number decided to self-publish.
Now, I’m not criticising the last two publishing paths in the slightest. I just know one thing: those publishing options aren’t for me. Self-publishing is way more work than I can handle, and dealing with a publisher (whatever its size) means I need an agent to tell me what (not) to do.
Three years on, and I now find myself rather lonely on my publishing road.
Out of all the writers I met online or in person in the past 3 years, many, many of them now have a book out or a soon-to-be-published book.
And I’m still walking on the path, with my manuscript in hand and my hopes and dreams with me, forever convinced I will find the right agent and traditional publisher in the end.
And it struck me the other day that maybe I’m not as alone as I think in this situation.
When you spend a lot of time around the writing community, it sometimes feels like EVERYONE you know now has an agent and/or a book out.
But it’s not true. We just hear more about those who have exciting news than about those who are STILL looking for an agent after three years.
So if you’re one of those lonely writers without news for the world, remember this:
– Going at your own pace is fine. What matters is getting where you want.
– Don’t give up on your traditional publishing dream because it’s slow to come true.
– Don’t give up, period.
– Write the best book you can, and do your best, always. Someone will notice in the end.
– Enjoy the journey without worrying about what others accomplish. One day, you will accomplish those things too.
And never stop writing.