So I’m thinking about taking the plunge. Or thinking about thinking about taking the plunge. Or thinking about putting together my own focus group to think about thinking about taking the plunge. Obviously, I have a few details to work out first… but I am beginning to investigate <gulp> trying to get published. I realize that it is no longer enough to sit around day-dreaming about becoming a real writer who has a summer home in Maine and sits daily on a balcony overlooking the Atlantic pondering Life while dressed in ivory, cable-knit, turtleneck sweaters, sipping cappuccino from a mug made by a local artisan potter. Can you tell I’ve given the matter some thought?
No matter how misguided or overly-romantic my thinking about becoming a best-selling author one day — it’s most likely NOT going to happen if I don’t attempt to do something about it by putting myself out there. And the notion of being “out there” is as frightening as it is thrilling.
One the one hand… the idea that a real literary agent might consider my writing worthy of publishing gives me goose bumps! On the other hand — rejection sucks. And I know that rejection is a M-A-J-O-R part of being a would-be writer. Rejection, I understand, is as reliable as the sunrise in the world of publishing. You will get rejected again and again and yet, in order to be successful one day, you must keep peeling yourself up off the proverbial pavement and try, try again.
I’m joking about the actual focus group. But I do, however, covet feedback from my readers as well as the guidance of my fellow writer friends… especially those of you who have been or are headed down the road yourselves. I’ve heard it said many times that one should write about what one knows. For many years I’ve been compiling essay type writings both in journal form and here. And I’ve had, for about three years now, a few novel ideas (literally, no pun intended this time) that keep bouncing around in my brain, refusing to let go.
But the essays are something that I have NOW. They are largely written and I feel that it might well be time to put some sort of collection together and just get it out there. Here is where you, dear readers, come in. I would sincerely like to know what types of writings / entries / posts that you have enjoyed reading the most in addition to your thoughts regarding the collection of essays itself.
Were it not for you, I’d still be scrawling notes in margins and filling up journals — my writing never seeing the light of day. So I have all of you to thank for your encouragement and the incentive that you provide me in keeping my virtual pencil sharp. Please—if you feel so inclined—lend me your thoughts on the matter… It would be more welcomed and appreciated than you know.
15 thoughts on “A Penny For Your Thoughts”
I say go for it. I enjoy reading your observations of any subjects. How about a book about nothing? Oh wait, that sounds like a tv show. How about a coffee table book about coffee tables which has legs and could be used for a coffee table?…just kidding about the suggestions.
Your post reminds me of the writer of The Help – I think she got about 60 rejections before being published and now the book is an award winning movie too – she just kept going until she found the one that said yes. You will never know unless you go for it, so maybe it is time to take that leap. I love your writing flair and enjoy reading what you write – I know I am just one reader, but I truly mean that! Good Luck and Have a Great One:)
Thank you Renee, I thought of that too as I wrote this. Her story is so inspirational! She just kept getting up and trying again and look what happened!!
I totally relate to this post. I feel like I’m just getting over the anxiety of strangers reading my writing, nevermind people judging if it’s worthy enough to be published or not! I’m hoping to swallow my fears and my pride enough to take the risk and go for it. …Hopefully sooner rather than later.
Just get it out there. This is a great place to put just about anything once you have some regular readers. And then I would say to you… GO FOR IT!!
I think there is a great deal of merit in not fretting over “being published.” You are a successful writer as things stand. If you can augment the success that you already have, that would be nice. But I don’t think you should let it interfere with your writing. Here’s an example: Emily Dickinson is someone that everyone has heard of, but few people know that she, on the advice of a publisher, did not publish anything in her lifetime. The advice was given with good intent. The publisher saw the incredible originality that Emily had and he feared that it might be extinguished if Emily were concerned about a readership. He of course turns out to be right.
In your case, I think there is a certain degree of similarity. Yes, you should definitely get published – as long as not being “formally” published doesn’t hinder your continued writing. I mean do not get depressed if that formality doesn’t happen. You are after all published right now.
Continue writing your essays, and add novels and everything else that you are considering to that, and develop a robust body of work. Emily would be proud, and so will I.
I adore this response and ditto it.
Thanks Wil. I am so grateful for a forum like this to read and reply to others’ experiences.
Something really good to think about, Don. Thank you for that information about Dickinson. I will have to read more about her story. Thanks for weighing in with your thoughts on the matter 🙂
You have my vote. We, your readers, will be here to help you through the (few) rejections you might have to face. And we will be here to celebrate with you when you get the recognition you deserve. I’m not a publishing guru, but I would say that you need to put a mixture of stuff out there, the essays you already have, and put finger to keyboard for some of the brain-buzzing thoughts. Looking forward to seeing what the future holds for you. Here’s to that deck chair in Maine! (I’ve heard that summers are quite short there……where will you be for the rest of the year?)
Probably Ohio… my family is there. Or if I were REALLY rich… maybe I’d travel!! It’s fun to dream 🙂 Thank you for your vote of confidence and words of advice. It means a lot!
Go for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you Linda!! I appreciate the vote of confidence 🙂
I second, third and fourth the suggestion to go for it. You might even enjoy NaNoWriMo. More info here: http://www.nanowrimo.org.
Thank you!! I will check that out. I know it is starting up very soon. Perhaps JUST in time! 😉