“WTF?” Sez you. “Luxury? Getting daily rejections? Living in this mousehole on a diet of ramen and generic Froot Loops? While the few friends I have left laugh at my “delusions” of being a published writer? I’m supposed to #%&!ing enjoy this?”
Well, yes. It’s the only time in your career when you will have the freedom to just…write.
OK, calm down. I know sometimes you think you can’t stand this torture one more day. How long can anybody be expected to live on hope alone? Time’s wingèd chariot hurries near! You’re tired of the rejection, humiliation and frustration!! You’re desperate to—
- Show all those skeptical friends and relations you really do have talent.
- Let your significant other know all those pep talks weren’t wasted.
- Show up at Thanksgiving dinner and tell your brother-in-law who always makes digs about your “career in navel-gazing” to #%&! off.
- Say to all those condescending customers at McChili’s that you may be bussing tables now, but you’re a WRITER dammit.
I know how it feels to be filled with that desperate longing to see your work published. I lived with it for over a decade. And felt the euphoria when I finally got my first book contract—I doubt there’s a drug in the world to match that high.
But it doesn’t last long. Because after you sign is when your real work begins. And if you thought you were finished with rejection, humiliation and frustration, think again. This is what could be in store—
- Hate-hate-hating that stupid cover that makes your dashing Scottish hero look like David Lee Roth in a dress.
- Praying your new editor will see your book through after the old one leaves to start her own literary agency.
- Sending out press releases, blanketing social media sites, haunting forums & being nice to people you’ve been trying to ignore for years.
- Sucking up to the local talk radio guy whose show has always pissed you off, begging for an interview.
- Groveling to the editor of the local fishwrap to get him to run maybe an inch on your launch.
- Begging bookstore managers to let you do a signing—and get enough copies into the store to make it worthwhile.
- Typing your fingers to the bone in a marathon blog tour. (There will be a guest post here next week from YA writer Janice Hardy telling all about blog tours. A must-read.)*
- Getting your obnoxious friend who went to film school to help you put together a book trailer.
- Traveling to strange cities on crowded planes to talk to people who don’t have a clue who you are and care less—if you’re lucky enough to get a book tour at all.
- Checking your amazon ranking twice a day and agonizing every time it goes down.
- Trying to wheedle reviews out of anybody you can press a free book upon.
Ah yes. Reviews.
Begging someone to do a review is daunting. But dealing with a bad review is soul-torture. If you had trouble dealing with that guy in your critique group who hated your heroine because she didn’t get herself a blunderbuss and smoke that cheating hound of a duke, wait until the trolls hit your amazon page and give you a few of those clueless, nasty one-star appraisals that bring down your ratings..
Bad reviews. Everybody gets them. They can be brutal. More on that in a couple of weeks.
And remember—all the time you’re launching your new career in marketing, you’ll have to be writing a second novel. Probably in less than a year. While still bussing those tables.
Won’t you be happy you’ve got all those rejected novels stacked up in your files? Think of them as inventory. A novel that might not be the break-out blockbuster to launch a career may make a nice follow-up once you’re established.
So revel in the luxury of writing in your mousehole. With no marketing responsibilities. Or the public humiliation of bad reviews. While you build inventory.
But tell off your brother-in-law anyway. And let those condescending people at table three know you really are a writer, published or not.