I didn’t get anything done today I wanted to get done. I really wanted to begin putting together a few different proposals for future book ideas. But, between working 4 hours, shuffling non-driving teens to the mall, and trying to get some housework done, I did no writing at all. The kids are back at school tomorrow, after a long weekend, so maybe tomorrow I can get something done.
Not sure what to do, actually. I’m not sure if should just work on the next book in the Venus series, or work on the YA idea I have, or work on a romance/chick lit idea that I have. I’m kind of up in the air at the moment. The indecision is stalling me.
At this point, it’s almost more of a business decision than a creative decision. I like all the ideas equally, but at this point, with 21 months before VENUS ENVY is published, I’m in a position to think of how to, uh, position myself in the market. I need to decide what subgenres I want to write in, when I want to write them, and what would be most beneficial to me creatively and business-wise. Because as much as being a writer is about creativity — in order to be successful, you have to look at it like a business person also.
So, I think I will write proposals for the books I have in mind. If nothing else, to make sure I have concrete ideas. Just because I now have a sale under my belt, I can’t sell on proposal at this point. Surprising? To some newer writers it may be. I was talking to a friend the other day who expressed surprise when another author she knew, who had recently published her first book, mentioned that her next manuscript after selling the book, was rejected. Was that possible? she asked me. Yes, I told her, you CAN be rejected after you sell. Sometimes repeatedly.
I know a friend who sold her first book (or maybe first 2 books) and then had 3 manuscripts in a row rejected! How horrible would that be?! Luckily, she had a wonderful agent to stand behind her and tell her that this was okay, it wasn’t the end of a very short career, and that she should just keep trying. She did and she has been very successful since.
Truthfully, I feel no more like I’ve “made it” than I did before. Yes, I have a book that will be published, but the lag time between selling and publishing means that VENUS ENVY has no track record to use as an example to other editors of my ability to sell books. My agent may be able to point out that I have a book under contract with a publisher, but the next ms must stand on its own merits, because I have no sales record to make me look good.
That’s the bitter truth of the publishing world, folks. Don’t let it discourage you. Each step forward is a positive. And moves you closer to your dreams!