All right. So I’ve finished another book. I submitted the manuscript to my agent and suffered the indignity of writing a synopsis (which, thankfully, are much shorter now, lessening my agony). And today, I even went the extra mile of sending along an overview for a series of other books based on my first book’s theme. So what do I do now? Pop a bottle of champagne and smoke a cigarette like the Paul Sheldon in Stephen King’s Misery? Uh, no. I still had to work up syllabi for my two summer classes (this is how we professors enjoy our time off), answer emails, work out, feed the cat, make dinner, etc. Then figure out where I’m going to take this thing next, and what I’m going to do with the next thing. Because let’s get real, peeps. The work of a writer is never really done, not if you want to call yourself a writer.
I’m not knocking it. It’s the life I chose. Writers write, and I have to be frank. It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten anything new out there, and it’s not for lack of trying. So many times I’ve gotten thisclose, but at the last minute the editors say “pass.” Who knows the real reason why they’re not feeling it, why it’s not quite there, why what I’m writing isn’t what they’re buying. You can’t write to trends, because by the time you get it to the editor’s desk, the trend you were writing to has already left the station. The best thing you can do it just write the best book you can. Everyone has a style, and you’ll never get anywhere if you copy someone else’s.
So read. Read a lot. Study your genre and your craft. Be original in your own way of seeing the world. Write in the voice that comes most naturally. Stay away from cliche. Present a professional manuscript. Proofread. Get used to waiting and make a friend of disappointment. Know that every rejection is a badge of honor, but listen to what they’re saying. If you hear the same thing over and over, sit up and pay attention. But never forget that all writing is subjective. It’s never about you personally, it’s always about the work. And for cryin’ out loud — don’t let rejection discourage you. Some the the best and best-selling writers in the world have been rejected dozens and hundreds of times. I know I’ve been, but I still got there a few times. And I will again. I have to believe that. And you too.
So here I go again, putting myself out there. I have to, because who am I writing for anyway? I’ve already read my stuff (TOO many times), so I have to send it out. Rest assured I’ll keep you posted if anything exciting happens and this time, I’m sure it will. And if it doesn’t? Well, you’re just going to have to stay tuned.