Yeah, you read that right. I made it.
To the breaking point.
And suddenly you’re wondering if you’ve taken a wrong turn while reading author success stories, or if I’m gonna drone on about percentages of success versus failure and give you permission to give up on your own WIP.
Need a kick in the hind end regarding your WIP? Read further.
It’s been six months since my latest blog post, two months since my latest tweet but let’s face it, that tweet was basically just to let everyone know I wasn’t dead.
I’ve been banging my head against a wall with my work in progress. It’s been a WIP forrrr five years? Six? I don’t even know anymore. And it needs yet ANOTHER rewrite.
This novel was the first thing I’d ever written with an air of seriousness. Before work, after work, during work, and on weekends.
Have you ever sleep-typed? I do. Often. And when I wake, reading the gibberish is both challenging and humorous.
I put my time in. Without a shadow of doubt, I killed myself learning to write, and my debut novel was my platform the whole way.
Now I’m 130-ish rejections in, and wondering why I have wasted so much time on this book. I could be cooking my dear husband nightly dinners or saying “Hells yeah” to Friday night movies.
Kind rejections poured in from my last round of queries, one submission is still floating, though I’m fairly certain that it just sank quietly to the bottom of the slushpile.
We’ve probably all read the posts about when to give up. I read something along the lines of “After fifty or sixty queries, you should consider a different project or a different avenue altogether.” What I think they meant was, “Hey writer, you’re querying too soon. The system is overstocked, hence the infamous slushpile. Step aside so we can squeeze by.
About two years ago, I realized I was that asshole clogging inboxes.
But like so many of you, beta readers consist of family and friends because there are no writing clubs within a reasonable jaunt. 70 miles one way for me.
I did the online beta reader thing, but what I really needed was to be in a room full of writers so I could pick out the biggest, meanest one and ask them to hold my book over the fire.
If we can’t find someone willing roast our book, how do we know if what we’re writing is worth a hill of beans or not?? We read! Yeah. I read alot. I still couldn’t tell my shit was shit, because I loved it.
“When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.”
But my dear husband, the one who mostly cooks for me, does so because he swears be damned that my book will make it. That I’m too close to give it up.
Now I’ve read about the low, the breaking point of authors. I thought I was exempt, because my determination levels are exeptional, especially for a dog-eat-dog town with far fewer job opportunities than population.
You know the type of place:
-Nobody leaves. If you do, you’ll be back.
-One building school for K-12.
-Everybody knows everybody and their business.
-Corning cars may or may not have been a right of passage….
Alot of the younder kids call our town a black hole, or the twilight zone. You blink, you miss it.
But I’m proud to call this place home. I can stand in my yard at night and see the stars. ALL of them.
And if my little slice of paradise can birth numerous astronauts, it can surely birth ONE PUBLISHED AUTHOR.
I could chose to quit, or I could not.
I’ve begun the next rewrite. I’m pulling myself out of the slump, and so should you. If you’re reading this and you’re counting rejections, quit that shit. Don’t you dare give up on something you believe in. It’s THIS EXACT MOMENT that separates published and unpublished.
So this is not a final goodbye. It’s a belated “Hello friend!”
My next post will be coming soon.