Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Writer's Dilemma

Getting an idea for a new story is a high.  Writing it, solving the problems that come up, bringing it to a satisfying conclusion is another high. Then I let it sit for a week or a month. And if I still like it (often after some tweaks and twiddles, or maybe a plot twist or five) I take it to my writing group.  If they have suggestions that make sense to me, I do another round of rewrites.  Then I send out to agents and editors. 

Then come the rejects.  I’m no piker at this.  I have a list of agents who sell the sorts of things I write.  I’ll do 4 at a time for weeks.  My list has over 100 agents.  I also have about a dozen publishers on my list, who read unagented stories.  The rejects pour in.

And I wonder if I’m fooling myself.  My friends know enough to be critical of my work.  If they say they like it, they mean it.  They know I appreciate a good criticism far more than praise, even if in their opinion, it’s earned.  I’m not good at accepting compliments.

But over 100 rejects.  What does that mean?  I’ve certainly read about books that became famous best sellers getting rejects before they were published. 

I’ve also had books published. My books have won awards.  But they don’t sell well once they are published, which makes publisher hesitant to accept work from me.  My books are not profitable.  They’d rather have a new name.

So, after much consideration, I created a new name and an email address to go with it.  So far, the story I’m sending out with that name is getting rejects.

This story is a picture book. Therefore, I decided to commission a cartoon based on the story. Once that is complete, I’ll enter it into contests for animated cartoons under 15 minutes.  

There must be some way to get an audience for my stories.  And get some income from them. A few days of being high is not reward enough.

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