Thursday, July 14, 2011

The ugly green eyed monster rears its head . . . again . . .

*This is a cranky rant so please pass over it if you aren't up to joining in*

Okay, this hasn't happened to me in a while and perhaps that is exactly why I feel the need to write about it. I just saw the cover and release date for a book, what looks like a really good book and the green eyed monster jumped up inside of me and started to stomp around.

I met the author at a conference before she was published, about a year after she had her contract with her publishing house. We had a great visit, she is a very lovely gal and if she's reading this, I am completely happy for her. No, really, I am!

Yet still there is that part of me that wants to roll around on the floor, kicking my heels and shaking my fists at the heavens. I'm no newcomer to the industry (going on 8 years writing with purpose, more than that writing for the hell of it), I've been to my share of conferences, met lots of people, pitched till I was blue in the face. Hell, I even have an agent. But that doesn't change the fact that I am still in the search for a contract, still in the same spot that most other writers are and as much as I am happy for those who "make it" it can also be intensely frustrating.

There is no magic wand, despite the urban fantasy theme, there is no set of rules that if you follow them step by step you are guaranteed a spot on the bestseller list. Perhaps for me that is the core of this green eyed monster. I am by nature, a person who likes to figure things out and as hard as I try, there just is no figuring out what will sell and what won't. One day vampires are in, the next day they're staked out in the sun to shrivel up.

Maybe because I have an agent I'm not supposed to say these sorts of things. But really, it doesn't matter what part of the journey you are in, you can end up feeling as rotten as you once did on step one, even though now you are on step ten or eleven (just guessing). I think that's important to remember, especially for me. The journey is what this whole writing business is about. The destination will come, one day, but focusing on the journey on the rough days is how to get through.

Okay, I think I'm done now and I can go back to my writing, believing that one day, me too, will be on the bookshelves. But please, if you feel the need to rant, go right ahead, the comment box is open.


Ben Martin said...

I'm just starting this whole writing journey (I have an e-book on smashwords that's been available for a whole 5 days. I haven't even really looked for an agent yet)but I'm certain if I were in your shoes I would feel the same way. It's like that in anything: for whatever reason some people fly out of the gate while others slowly build up steam.

I'm not even going to pretend to give you advice, what I will say is I hope I can be as stubborn as you've been and just keep plugging along. I tend to become discouraged pretty easily, and if I somehow knew I could keep striving towards a goal over several years like you have, I'd be pretty happy, I think.

Shannon said...

Hi Ben, Thanks for following the blog and the comment. Endurance is all part of the game and even knowing that there are days! No worries though, it was a momentary flash of green and I'm ready to rumble today and take on the world!

Best of luck with your book on smashwords! I am hoping to put something out on Amazon this fall upon my agents advice. (Crazy I know!)

Keep on with the writing, keep on trucking through the tough stuff, just don't be surprised if you have moments like I did last night. :)

Anthony Fox said...

Hi there,
I agree totally. The ride is long and bumpy, and then when you get there, well, who knows what the result will be. I’ve wanted to be a writer since a boy and now the door is open and I hope there’s no turning back. The first two books I wrote, well, the first was turned down, but luckily my second was accepted for publication. I wrote a book about my experience at university while studying artificial intelligence it’s called: How to pass a degree with confidence
I started my blogs: How to Pass a Degree / The Bookshop Guru
Because it keeps me active and helps maintain creativity for my next book which is a novel about the senses.
Hope you don’t mind me mentioning my blogs.