I’ve decided to go bold. Bold is the path to re-invention for the writer in the 21st century.
When I look back at my former blog, as I mentioned earlier, I had over 600 visitors in the first five months. And after I stopped writing, over 300 more made a pit stop. Over 900. Hmm… Then I thought to myself, if that many people eyeballed and possibly read some of the pages within my blog, what would happen if I actually had a book accessible for them to read? Let’s just say an E-book. If only a quarter of that number actually purchased my e-publication, not only would my moderate confidence have escalated, not only would I have made a little money, my writing would be out in the world, and maybe those individuals would come back for more.
I admit, the agent query process has been daunting. Just receiving a few “we didn’t have time to look at your proposal” notes doesn’t do much for my motivation level, especially on the tail end of a recession. Now that my life has settled in, I intend to continue to query my first novel with more of a vengeance. However, inspiration still burns and I don’t want to lose that. I have a second novel in progress that I could challenge myself to finish in a short period of time. In addition to the second novel, I have about 6-7 more novels already in my brain waiting to pour forth. Plenty of material (I am thankful that I’m very lucky in that department. My only problem has been finding the time to write it all down). In the past few days, I’ve read a few good stories about writers like me who were becoming hopeless in sending out query after query, waiting and waiting for one little acknowledgment, a waiting that can age the hope of even the most determined writer. These few writers decided to chuck the query, and say hello to the Matrix, transforming their masterpiece into an E-book. And to the tune of Amanda Hockings, within two years, her ability to market herself invited over a million dollars before finally getting her first publication deal.
After reading her story, I thought hard, but not long. I thought about the number of visitors to my blog. My heart began to beat a little faster. The notion of taking my destiny into my own hands lit a fire I have not been able to contain. An E-book?
But let me say this first. I am a stern advocate for books in print. That is the ultimate goal. There is a reverence I have for books, an immortal magical quality about the printed word. During these times, people flock to get their hands on gold. But the priceless commodity in my world are words I can touch with my eyes on the page. I will be the Joan of Arc defending the immortality of the printed word.
However, I have decided to go bold. I’m going to publish my first E-book. No, I’m not selling out to the new world order. I look at it as paving yet another path to print. I have more time than ever right now to write, and my blood screams to seize the moment.
For any of you writers out there who are now feeling a bit of query rebellion, check out Amanda Hockings story: http://amandahocking.blogspot.com/2010/08/epic-tale-of-how-it-all-happened.html
My deadline to e-publish: May 1st.
For those of you who read or followed my first blog, I thank you. For those who are visiting for this blog for the first time, welcome. I’m no where near an expert on web design, but I think this blog looks pretty cool for graphics that came together kind of by accident. Trust me, it took 5 hours to chance upon the unexpected, finished result.
I started my first blog simply because I was told that’s what a writer does in the 21st century. I was seriously resistant at first, but then, if anything, it kept me writing, and to my surprise, people kept reading. As of last week, to the tune of almost over 900 views. Not bad for my first time. People read even though I was elsewhere.
Life happened, I moved, and I stopped writing the blog. Unlike fiction, the calling that seems to capture me, and hold me still, despite life’s tugging and whirling, writing the blog didn’t have that power to keep me. As I got space from it, I felt my blog writing was random, routine, and lacked depth. The experience of writing has never been that for me, and it took several months for me to realize that a return to sharing my writing journey had to have the same qualities that keeps me writing—inspiration, discovery, focus, and direction.
During the last several months, I’ve had a chance to really sit with how to move forward as I start my writing career. I graduated school right when the economy tanked. The few agents I did query, with the exception of one, wrote back that they didn’t have time to look at my submissions due to the incoming volume. A few publishing houses closed altogether. One agent actually liked my story, but stated she wasn’t sure how to market my novel. Even though I only queried a few, my energy was drained with the worry of establishing my life as a new college grad in a very different world than before I went to college. It wasn’t the world writer John Gardner advised to get the teaching job with the Master’s degree, the guaranteed paycheck, to support the new writer. This was a world where I had to knock on 50 doors just to get an interview, and 50 more just to get, not a teaching job, but an office job. This was the world I focused on, and for a short while, I stepped away from the writing. But not for long…
Since graduation, I’ve had to recover, recalibrate, reorient, and now, re-invent my path as a writer. I’ve learned the road is one you pave, and if you’re skillful, extra hands will help with the paving, and even help to clear the way.
Next month, my second written novel will be published. Tomorrow, the writing here will be the first of many days that will chronicle this endeavor. Some may think I’m crazy, which I won’t deny. Others will and still find me the adventurer. No argument there either. I had always hoped that my writing would inspire. Now, I see, it is the journey of the writer that also inspires.