When I was writing my first novel, I felt so alive. I enjoyed every single moment. Words flowed out of me and problems seemed to solve themselves. I fell in love with my characters and I still find myself thinking about them and wondering how they are doing. I cried while writing the end of my story. It was one of those wonderfully cleansing cries that make you feel like you can face the world again. Best of all, along with creating a story that I loved, I felt like I rediscovered my lost soul while putting those words on the page.
Now, the editing part wasn’t as much fun. I still enjoyed (most of) the process because I felt like I was improving my story. Over and over and over again, I poured over my manuscript making change after change. Feeling like it was getting better with every correction, I remained energized and determined.
Then, I started to research how to query. And, I did some querying. I got rejections and had no reason why. All I knew was that my story wasn’t good enough or desirable. Was it my writing? Was it my querying skills? Was it the premise? I followed all the submission guidelines…yet with crickets chirping, the silent rejections flowed.
I finally started to share my work with more people. I even hired an editor. The feedback I got was pretty positive. Still, I’m left wondering, what is so wrong with my story?
I’ve been scouring the internet, searching, searching, reading, seeking answers. What I found is that books like mine are “a tough sell.” I’m not even sure if that is true. There is so much stuff on the internet, who knows what’s true and what’s not. I am even more confused now than ever.
I thought more than once about shelving my novel…or just sending it into my trash bin altogether. What is the point after all? Why write a story if it won’t get published and no one ever reads it?
Ugh! What got me to this point? I was in love, and now I’m ready to throw the thing I love in the trash (and not just the book, my will to tell my stories.)
I just feel so tired. I’m tired of the frantic internet searches to answer the question “why.” I’m tired of people giving me pitying looks and telling me to “just self-publish” as though it is a consolation prize for those who suck (me. A rejected writer must be a shitty writer.) I’m tired of thinking I should just write something marketable that will be an easier sale, even though my heart won’t be found anywhere in it. I’m tired of feeling like a talentless hack.
Once a balloon floating high and proud. I am now a sad little thing, shriveled and hovering just above the floor. I hope to find my high point again. Maybe it’s so hard to continue because I do care so much about those characters I created. It feels like I invited all their friends to a party and no one showed up. All of us sitting there with our party hats on, noise makers poised and ready, staring at a door that never opens.
I don’t know how to move forward. I guess I put my dreams of publication up on the shelf and just write for me. I’m too deflated to do anything else at this point. Plllllllllllfffff.