I'm a pragmatist. An acute one, even. Which means that this whole crazy publishing business can make me kind of...well...crazy.
There's no right way to write, or get critique, or revise. (No. There isn't.)
There's no one perfect path to being published.
There's no way to know whether the steps you're taking are moving you one step forward or two steps back.
It's true. Frustrating, maddening, terrifying. And true.
If you're used to figuring out how well you're doing by grades, or employer evaluations, or getting a raise...
Dear writer friend, you're going to have to find a different way to gauge your progress, and your worth.
More than that, and especially if you're a pragmatist like me, and you watch this whole writing-and-querying thing go down for awhile, and realize the true subjectivity at work behind everything -
you're going to have to find a way to keep yourself afloat.
I'm still not sure whether I have.
But I do know that I've stopped caring so much about whether and when I get published.
I know. That sounds stupid. Because of course I care, right? I mean, I'm still querying, still working my butt off, still plowing through that new WiP's first draft (one third of the way done as of this weekend, thankyouverymuch.)
Yeah. I care. But I kind of...don't anymore. I want my writing to make me happy. I want it to make other people happy, too, of course. But the reason I started wasn't to hold a shiny hardback or to snag a three-book deal or to have featured advertising on Goodreads or to be a guest on a talk show.
Anyway. Though this might sound depressing to you, and though it has no solid conclusion...somehow, over the last week, I feel better. That's not to say I won't feel worse in a week, or randomly shed a tear over my MS's playlist. That story's still a part of me - always will be, I think. (Seasoned writers, am I right?) But there's something in me saying that even if this book, and the next one, and the seven after that end up in a drawer....it's not the end.
(Not that I know where the end is.)
Thanks for bearing with me in this moment of introspection. I don't know what I'm really saying. And I don't think I have to. Just...I'm surprised, is all. Surprised that, in the midst of the query trenches, I feel okay.
And besides, Spring is just around the corner. Right?
It has to be.