The IWSG is the creation of Alex J. Cavanaugh and its purpose is to share and encourage. The first Wednesday of every month, writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Unfortunately, this will be my last contribution to this awesome event for a while.
It should be fairly evident that stagnation leads to insecurity, and that insecurity can eat away at you like a bleeding ulcer, leaving you weak and doubting everything you do. Frankly, that's where I see myself right now and I can’t go on like this for much longer -- not knowing if I really belong. I’m not one to just let things languish, and not the type of person to tackle projects without a plan of attack and timetable. So, what does that mean? It means I've developed a strategy…but it comes with a cost.
Side note: We’re all wired differently…by that I mean we go about things such as how we create, edit, revise, seek representation, in fact just about everything that determines our writing process in our own way. Sure, there are similarities and certainly circumstances play an important part in shaping our path, but in the end we are all individuals with a unique vision and a distinctive style with which we bring it to life. Most of the time here on my blog I talk about my vision -- my way of doing things -- and the unspoken words typed in small print on the warning label states…THIS MIGHT NOT BE RIGHT FOR YOU.
Today I’m invoking that notice.
I have been chasing the publication dream for five years now. For some people, that’s just a blink in time…for others, it feels like forever. I’m somewhere in the middle. The opinion of some are that the development process for aspiring writers can’t be rushed, much like the fermentation of a fine wine, and we shouldn’t be worried even when the years reach double digits. Still others are of the belief that the amount of effort put forth determines the timing of ultimate success. Once again, I fall somewhere in the middle. No amount of sweat and determination can make up for the “touch” that only comes about through a slow maturation and experience.
I feel like I’ve reached that point in my journey, my evolution, where I can succeed. I’ve written three full-length novels, multiple short stories, and I feel like I’ve developed a writing voice that could appeal to a wide audience. Before personal issues threw a wrench into my drive-shaft this year, I was starting to make meaningful connections with agents. Now that things are back on track I see myself standing at the crest of the last rise, but I’m hesitant. I’ve got to stop vacillating. It’s time to apply some of that sweat and determination to catapult me over the top and finally see if I have what it takes to realize the dream. Otherwise, what’s the point?
To be blunt…it’s time to @*&%...or get off the pot!
Here's my plan. For the rest of 2013 and all of next year I will devote myself to this dream. I will take the last three months of this year to edit & revise my YA Horror novel and get it ready to shop around. Next year I will do a full-court press involving agent/publisher querying, pitches at writer’s conferences, and whatever else it takes to get my book noticed. If by the end of the year I’m unsuccessful, then I’ll explore the self-publication option and make a decision. If that means the dream remains just that…a dream…then so be it. At least I’ll have an answer.
That’s the plan…so what’s the cost? This blog. I don’t have a lot of spare time to begin with and we all know how much effort it takes to maintain a substantial blog presence…and I’ve done it all these years because it establishes my writing platform and hopefully builds a network of future book buyers and promoters. Also…it’s a TON of fun and the relationships I’ve formed via this blogosphere are deeply treasured! The hard fact is…what good does all that do if you can’t write a book that entices somebody like an agent or publisher to work with you?
So, when WRiTE CLUB concludes this year, I will be going on extended hiatus. Except for a couple of book launches that I'll be helping promote, Cruising Altitude 2.0 will be going dark. “Big whoop” you say…you don’t visit my blog now! I know, and I’m sorry about that, but that’s exactly why I need to back away. Blogging is all about the ying and yang, to earn readership you must read and comment on other blogs. I haven't picked up a new follower since April. If it was just about writing blog posts I could probably keep on doing what I’m doing, but it’s not…and I can’t. The one thing I will keep active is the BLOG BLITZ. This is one of my blog inventions that really does good, so I just can't watch it die away.
I've watched as some of my blogging buddies have taken this same approach, and for some it has paid off. Others...not so much. I’ve also closed down this blog once before, back in 2011, but for a different reason. Back then I was frustrated because I didn’t feel like I was maturing as a writer and I needed the time to decide if I ever could. It worked…I used that time wisely and came back stronger, more confident, and I've continued to grow. This time my self-imposed banishment is different. This time I feel like I am a writer, I just need the time to find out if someone in the publishing world agrees. Maybe the strategy will work again.
I’m not going completely away. I’ll be around from time to time…checking in on you…but for the most part my focus will be on my book and finding a home for it. I will be back when I get the response I'm looking for.
Remember -- this is what’s right for me…but … THIS MIGHT NOT BE RIGHT FOR YOU!