I take writing very seriously. I don’t just say I am going to write and flounder around, never completing a manuscript. I have created my ‘prized babies’ and I have also edited, made corrections and honed my stories. And so my learning experiences began.
First I received various rejections – all form letters and all saying they do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. After I rush to the dictionary to see what they mean (and discover there is no meaning there) I find out they merely mean they want agents to submit – but not authors. I then write a number of agents, so sure my work will be the next ‘Great American Novel’ and am puzzled and confused. Agent’s rejections are similar to publishing companies – the wording is different. They are not accepting new authors. Dejected and depressed, I wonder how on earth I am going to publish my novels.
Publishing companies rarely take unsolicited manuscripts. Agents rarely take on a new author. Should I wait for an opening – and especially should I continue writing? Of course I will continue writing – it is my passion, my greatest enjoyment in life. The question to ask myself – can you eliminate writing from your life? To encourage my badly damaged ego – I cheered myself up. I chose to think of my writing as a hobby – somewhat like doing crafts. Perhaps I could write journals or maybe even get a job working for a local newspaper. All that stayed in my mind as the confusion whirled around, not settling anywhere. I finally accept one fact – I must write. I have just been formulating another wonderful idea in my head and it is taking shape so nicely.
My next thoughts center on ‘learning my trade’ as I write this new story.. Perhaps I am doing it wrong. So I loaded my arms with ‘how-do’ and other research books – I read and read until I discover there is no one definite way to write. Also I am already proficient in spelling, grammar and have a vivid imagination that goes in a chronological manner – I learned that when I created my first baby. But, nonetheless I check my plot, my flow and transitions, I check my point-of-view and everything else others advise. Still searching through the books for something I have skimmed over I see – read your genre. See what sells. Back to the library I go – loading my arms with my ‘genre’ – romance. But disappointments continue to nag inside. Yes, there are some fantastic books in my genre. Yes, there are many that are much better than mine. But it is those multitudes that are worse also – that makes me wonder why I’m not published and they are published. Meanwhile I have finished my second baby.
As the depression sets in more firmly this time – I repeat the process – and also finish my third novel – a romance that needs writing, because it consumed my mind. Only to be followed by another as I wonder what I can do.
Then I receive advice from a ‘fellow author’. Self publish – she did and it was a successful proposition. Well, not considering personality differences, I spend thousands of dollars I don’t have, I am no further ahead. I can’t sell a toilet to a person who needs one – is what I discovered about myself. I can’t brag or sell myself either. I cannot even make myself try and convince another person of anything if they shake their head and say no. So another failure is under my belt, this one a very costly endeavor. So I settle down to writing another book.
I am a ‘computer geek’ of sorts. Because I can sit in front of a computer all day and type my stories with much more ease than a typewriter – I learned much pertaining to computers but there is much more to learn. I have learned about Amazon, Kindle and Create Space –wonderful opportunities for writer’s who have written a novel or many novels at very little cost. They will do both ‘Print on Demand’ for those people who want to hold a book in their hands – and for those people who will read books on their Kindle. They list your books on their sites to purchase. This does not cost an author much unless you sell books and even then they take a reasonable percentage for themselves.
Now, all that is left is to learn my ‘marketing’ strategy. But after many past mistakes, I will not let it consume my time to such a point I won’t write. Already I am writing another story. I have learned much throughout this process. I will learn how to market my books as well.
But, especially, I have learned a very valuable lesson –balance. I have every intention of writing my stories as well as learning how to market.