I was at a bar the other night and meeting the BF’s new work buddies. I said I was working as an English teacher right now and this one guy was like – Oh cool, you must be into writing. And I was like - yeah, I’ve written a novel, like whatever, it’s not published, it’s just written. It’s not even professionally edited and no one has even read the whole thing. It might as well not even exist really…
But I wrote a novel. I spent like all these years writing a novel. Why? Because I always wanted to write a novel. The journey of it was the thing right? Like what do you do in your spare time? I’m working on this cool YA romance time travel novel actually. Yes. I felt totally awesome when I was writing it. Like I was going somewhere and doing something.
But now it’s finished. OK, like all writers out there I could keep working on it for the next thirty years, but let’s just say it’s as finished as it is going to get with only my own eyes upon it.
So what do I do now? Well, I started working on the sequel but it was kind of like, no one has even read the first book, why am I slaving away on the sequel? And yes, writing the sequel is seriously fun and I love doing it, but I’m also very time limited right now in my life and I have to weigh up how much spending so many hours of my day working out time travel twists against building a decent future for myself. Ideally, I’d like it to be the same thing, but when no one pays attention to your novel, it starts to feel like a waste of time. OK, I don’t really think that or mean it, time spent writing is not a waste of time. But some days it feels like that. If it doesn’t feel like that for you and you happily sit and write at your laptop at 5am every morning even though no one is interested in publishing you, well done. You beat me.
Argh, but I’m so sick of all those stupid fucking quotes about how if you’re a writer you will write every day. I haven’t written for months. That’s the reality of being a writer. You write a novel, you spend a couple months sending it out to agents and publishers and every one of them replies with ‘while we enjoyed reading your submission, unfortunately…’ Bullshit you enjoyed it! Just say you didn’t even read it! Or admit you thought it was crap!
Seriously, I don’t want my novel to be on my laptop when I die. I want it to have a life. It’s weird how it actually feels like it is it’s own entity. Like it’s own person. Like it’s not mine any more. The cord is cut and now this novel needs to go out into the world and live. It needs to meet people, make friends, have lovers, make people laugh, cry, piss people off, bore the pants off people and be loved and loathed.
I’m just so shit scared of it not getting published. I’m scared of it getting published by the wrong publisher. I’m scared that the people I wrote it for, all the 80’s dorks and YA lovers, time travel nerds and kids with crushes won’t ever get to read it.
So far I’ve been rejected like I dunno, at least 15 times, that’s not including people who never got back to me. It’s not that many, I know that. But man it gets boring doing this. Refining your stupid cover letters, cutting and pasting the first three, oh no, you only want two? oh you want that as an attached file or pasted into the email? oh shit I forgot to change the agents name.
What are the other options? 1. self publish, 2. upload the whole thing to the internet for free or 3. die with your novel still on your laptop.