It was nearly five months ago that I entered this year full of optimism for my writing career. I had a good agent who believed in my latest young adult novel. I’d managed to build a substantial online following that included thousands of fans. The entries were in to my two favorite novel writing contests, and I felt confident about both of them. There was no way this wasn’t going to be my year to do big things.
That plan hit a huge snag in February at the sudden passing of my father. In losing my father, I lost my inspiration for a time. Add to that the fact that during this time, I was notified I hadn’t advanced in one of my two favorite writing contests, and I was a mess questioning my commitment and drive to this second career.
Things seemed to looking up a couple of months after my dad’s passing when I received an email from a publisher responding to a query I’d forgotten I’d sent. The publisher was interested and asked for the whole novel. Feeling somewhat buoyed, I dipped my toe back in the waters of writing and started penning a new novel my fans had been asking me for. My writing career really seemed to be back on track when the publisher offered me a contract which I accepted.
As you know from previous posts, that publisher and I are no longer working together. In the interest of being diplomatic, I called it creative differences though I truly felt the publisher misrepresented themselves. During this time, I’ve never mentioned the publisher’s name. Interestingly enough, I never even mentioned its name when I was asked for a partial and then a full and then ultimately signed. In hindsight, I think it was my sixth sense telling me not to mention it since it probably wouldn’t work out.
Well, I’m a little sad to say my writing career has taken yet another blow. This one, I didn’t see coming. I didn’t advance to the next round of the second writing contest I’d entered. Now before you go thinking my ego is that over inflated, I have a reason for being surprised and saddened. Last year, I made it all the way to the finals with a novel I didn’t think was as good as this one and was told by these same editors I had amazing talent. Guess I missed the mark this year.
After a few days of licking my wounds, I’ve come to a decision. It’s time to take matters into my own hands, redefine success and do what I can to achieve that goal. In this digital age, it doesn’t make sense for writers to rely on publishers to make things happen for them. Yep, you guessed it. I’m joining the ranks of those self-publishing electronic books. Not only will I be able to maintain complete control over the content, but I can reach an even larger audience as more and more readers abandon traditional print books in favor of e-reading devices. In theory, I could even make a little bit of money, which wouldn’t be bad but isn’t what motivates me.
All I want, all I’ve ever wanted, is to tell the stories the way I want to and to give readers stories they love. If I make a little money then that’s what I call a win-win. Someone once said if you’re doing something you love, you never have to work a day in your life. I’m not sure that’s really true for writers. You have to work to make your dreams come true. I’m ready to do that work on my terms. Who’s with me?