I end the year much as I began it, waiting and hoping and believing in a manuscript that my writer pals (pubbed and un alike) love, that my agent loves... and now multiple editors have said they love... but without a contract.
On one hand, every trip to the bookstore, every click through Amazon, every blog and message of other writers makes me say, often out loud, THEY are getting contracts, why not me? Now I'm not saying I'm not getting ANY contracts, I still have books for Love Inspired coming out and submissions going out this week, but this single title, this book editors, authors and agents all say is something special? (crickets chirping)
Anyone reading this who has ever tried to do anything creative and get it into the hands of people who might help you reach an audience understands these feelings. For some they spark anger, others sink into a swamp of sadness. Me? Well, I go to my muse, who lives in the land of underappreciated writing - a land populated by the lines from books and TV and Movies that just did not get the respect they deserved and yet remain an endless pool of inspiration. For today's 'sermon', I draw upon the 'text' of Serenity (the awesome movie based on the awesomer TV show Firefly)which IMDB lists Joss Whedon as the sole writer of (really? I should research that more, later)
Okay, so I'm not Mr Universe but I have at my disposal the next best thing - the Internet.
I also have a good idea translated into a good story, with strong characters and the skill of years of writing. What I don't have are big single title numbers. Being a word person, I don't 'get' numbers. So this year I have decided numbers don't 'get' me.
I will finish writing Helen Hartman and the Kitchen Counter Revolutionaires and it will become a 'real' book in much the same way the Velveteen Rabbit became a real rabbit... because it's loved and because...
(Take it Mr. Universe)
From here to the eyes and the ears of the 'Verse, that's my motto, or it might be if I start having a motto.
For now, at least, writers don't have to give up when they exhaust all options for traditional or new traditional publishing (which I haven't, yet but am being pre-emptive against that anger, sadness, etc thing) that they don't have to throw their work in a trunk or a trash can. Write, edit, read, edit more, polish and publish - one way or another. If you have something worth sharing, don't let anyone else tell you you can't share it with the 'verse.
Don't let fear of not getting that big break keep you from trying. Don't pressure yourself into rushing into a bad choice for your work. Don't let rejection defeat you. Don't... wait don't be defined by the negative (Hey, wait, isn't don't a negative?)
Better yet -
DO: Finish Your Manuscript
DO: Keep learning, learning from others, learning from failures, learning from successes
DO: Believe in your work enough to make it the best it can be
DO: Write, write, write
No matter what life throws at you, I hope this is a productive, purposeful and prosperous year for you - it will be for me, because...
You can't stop the signal
(BTW Blog that keeps Helen Hartman alive in my mind as I write out the story - http://dearhelenhartman.blogspot.com/)