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We All Float Down Here, Georgie…

Dark Abyss

There’s persistence in this business. It’s how the majority of us writers get published.

I was thinking about persistence today at work and how it feels oftentimes that I am busting my butt for nothing. I realized that this was the same exact feeling I got back in 2009 when I hadn’t sold a book in over two years. I was writing, submitting, getting past the first stage of submissions and then… nothing. It felt as though nothing was going right and I wasn’t ever going to get past those two books I sold way back when.

It was… depressing, to say the least.

I finally made some headway early this year when I contracted a short story. And Injustice For All was a decent story, but it go my foot back into that door. My spirits cheered. I was unconquerable.

How many writers suffer from that depressed feeling, I wonder. How many of them just give up because, quite frankly, it’s really not worth the time, blood, sweat and tears we put into a book. You have better luck playing the lottery than being the next J.K. Rowling, yet more people try to be writers than regularly play the lotto. Strange, right?

So how do you stay honest with yourself and your writing without spiraling into that deep, dark abyss?

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2 responses to “Dark Abyss

  1. Neeks August 31, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    I just keep plugging and try not to think about it. Like oncoming headlights at night – look at the road in front of you and not at the lights and you won’t get blinded.

  2. Barb Caffrey August 31, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Jason, the stories talk to me and I listen to ’em. I don’t have anywhere near as much time as I want to actually work on them due to family health concerns and all the physical rehab I’ve been doing for my back and hands — the energy only goes so far — but the stories still talk to me, I listen, and I write ’em down as fast as I can.

    I think that’s the only thing you can possibly do is to keep faith with yourself, which we often forget to do in our quest for publication. Most of us do not get any positive news from magazines, publishers, etc., for a long, long time (for me, it’s going on seven years unless you count the stuff that’s at e-Quill Publishing, and some folks don’t). What we’re doing seems to just not matter at all, and yet, it matters to _me_ what I do, and it matters to me that _you_ keep doing what you are . . . I think the only way we fail is to just give up, and I refuse to fail for that reason.

    As writers, we learn more about our craft every single day whether we know it or not. We observe everything. That goes into our writing one way or another, regardless of genre. We observe what other writers do that makes sense, and we observe what other writers do that doesn’t seem to make any sense (but works for them, or doesn’t, depending on what it is). And along the way, if we’re fortunate, we make some friendships and meet some good people online or off who understand what we’re doing and appreciate it.

    No matter how frustrated you are — plenty, it seems to me — remember that you are a very good writer with a lot of talent and that all you need is one decent chance. If you get that, I know you will capitalize on it; that’s all any of us can do, is to prepare for that chance so once it comes, we will do everything we can to maximize our odds that we *will* succeed.

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