Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A True and Honest Confession...

...that has nothing to do with blogging. Or reading, really.

Sometimes it feels like pursuing the dream of being a published author feels like lassoing the clouds...

I've mentioned, over the years, that I'm an aspiring author. In that regard, I'm one of many such blogger-aspiring authors. We read, and many of us also write. And though I'm slowly crawling out of a reading/blogging slump that encompassed most of 2011, one of the benefits of not reading as much as getting to work on some of my manuscripts. The ones I'm talking about are a dystopian story and a high-fantasy story.
I've wanted to be a writer ever since I discovered the works of Lloyd Alexander and Brian Jacques back in elementary school. In addition to loving the characters from those worlds, I was inspired to create my own, to populate my own worlds. And over the years I've tried to suppress my desire to tell stories, mostly because the world of publishing is such a hard (and often devastating) industry to break into. I still can't stop.
But lately...I don't know, I'm just feeling more and more unsure of my chances. I feel like I'm allowing myself to be beat before I even enter the ring.
I try very hard to stay away from author blogs and author websites. That may sound like a weird thing for an avid reader and aspiring writer to say, but when authors talk about how long it took them to find an agent, or how long they had to wait until their story was published, or how many rejection letters they freaks me out. It makes me think, "gah, should I even bother?"

But I've (accidentally) found two author posts that really forced me to look in the mirror. One of them is here. The author makes a vague reference to manuscripts she originally wrote that never ended up being published. And that makes me of the stories I'm working on right now - my fantasy - will it, too, never see the light of day?
I understand that not every manuscript is publishable. I understand that a lot of manuscripts are little more than springboards that will lead to newer, better, stronger manuscripts, and those will be the ones to try and get published. And I know that I may sound arrogant or ridiculously wishful, but I cannot bear to think that my fantasy may never see the light of day.
I'm writing this one so slowly, so deliberately. Sometimes I'll leave it alone and not touch it for weeks because I can't give it the attention it deserves (see, I'm not able to sit at home and write and the bills to magically pay themselves. I actually work during the day). But this story feels right. It feels like it needs to be in print. But, because it's one of the few manuscripts that I'm close to actually completing, does that mean it will be doomed to never reach publication? Is it to be little more than a springboard? And will I be the only person to ever know it exists?

There are days, like today, when I feel like, "why should I even bother working on this anymore? I'm probably going to be the only one who will love it." When it comes to my fantasy, there are so many conflicting feelings I have over it that I have to keep myself from going off-topic.
So while I'm glad that it looks like I'm out of my reading/blogging slump, I fear that I'm descending into a writing slump as well. All these author posts talking about how they had to rough it and tough it out and take rejection are probably intended to inspire, but for me, they're like sucker punches. I don't know what to feel about my writing future at this point, and that's unnerving.

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