I know I’ve been really horrible at doing much on here or elsewhere lately. This, I’m sure, has been incredibly tragic for my reader(s?).
I figured I should offer a bit in the way of an honest answer to why I’ve been so distant lately.
I’d love to say I’ve been busy writing. I really would. I’d even love to say that life has gotten in the way, however, that’s only partially true. The truth is, I’ve been stuck in a mental strategy session. I’ve been trying to determine how to move forward with my writing career, as well as anxiously awaiting on one last hope.
The one last hope is probably the biggest culprit, as I do have one agent currently in possession of my manuscript, whom I keep hoping against hope will make my decisions easier on how to move forward.
But the strategy session really comes down to the question of whether to self-publish or continue the battle for traditional publishing. I know this seems like something I’ve hashed out on here multiple times in the past, but my brain still hasn’t completely made the decision. I hate the process of sending my stuff out to agents and having rejection after rejection roll in. But, I’d still much prefer to go the traditional route so my focus can be on the writing, instead of the selling. . . you know, after I sell the first book. I’d also have a partner in the process (i.e. the agent) who would be able to give me their insights into the business, help me to understand what would be the best projects to take on next, and overall help me develop my career.
Whereas, the self-publishing line of career pathing offers the benefit of being able to get my books out without dealing with those initial rejections. . . but very little else. It would be much more of an up-hill battle to get my career started. Instead of writing a book and finding someone who likes it, I would be writing a book and convincing the world they like it. That’s a hard concept, at least when you have no brand recognition to begin with.
And the main problem here is that these two different options offer two different immediate actions. If I continue on the traditional publishing process, I have to write a new book. The incredibly small amount of people interested in even the basic concept of either of my two completed books means that re-writing them shouldn’t be the focus right now, writing something that agents are interested in should be.
If I go the self-pub route, I have to bury myself in the re-write process, making these things as beautiful as possible before I give them to the world. Otherwise, anything I did in self-publishing wouldn’t be all that worthwhile.
This debate has been consuming my internal batteries. Every time I sit down to try to get something done, like writing a blog post, or reading through my completed manuscripts, or developing some of my new project ideas further, I find myself thinking through these same questions. And I can’t come up with an answer.
The battle for being traditionally published seems to be one that very few can win. But I’m not sure the odds are much better in my favor when considering that idea of self-publishing successfully.
And the battle between the two comes down to one major pro and one major con, both with regards to traditional publishing. If I go the traditional route, my primary focus will be writing. I’ll be involved in the selling aspects, sure, but I won’t be strategizing that, just a pawn. But, to go that route means the prospect of hundreds (if not thousands) of further direct rejections. That’s painful. . . and could mean that I never actually get published, no matter how many books I write.
Of course, I could always go to self-publishing later. . .
In other words, I’m at this point where I don’t know which project to focus on, so I move slowly forward on each one and my mind is consumed by this stupid idea that I could still be traditionally published. Perhaps if this one hold-out agent would finally give me their answer I would be able to put the issue to rest. I have a feeling that another rejection would make the answer a whole lot easier for me.
Anyways, next week is a new week, here’s hoping my brain reboots by then.