At the Gate Between Written and Published

RogerandOutJournal log entry – A couple of weeks ago I uploaded my first post since August to let you know I was still alive. During the past few months I’ve been working meticulously on my new unpublished novel, “Chalked,” which had had life first breathed into it on this very website. Now it’s done and I feel almost hopelessly lost. I wish I could sit down and start writing the next one, but I can’t, because now starts the legwork again, sending out query letters and samples to literary agencies, hoping for a bite … a nibble … a spittle of drool.

Isn’t it so hard not to doubt oneself? I have to believe every author goes through this. I have to believe it or I’ll feel like I’ve missed the boat all together, neck deep in murky water with the sludge below pulling me under. It’s not that I doubted what I’d done when I finished, because I didn’t. I felt great about what I had accomplished. I complimented myself on it. But when I’m surrounded by my friends: Me, Myself, and I, I don’t get much more criticism than an agreeable nod and a hefty handshake that says, “Good deal.” And though eager to do it … it is also so hard to remove my story from such a sanctuary.

I read articles on famous authors and their classic novels and how they were initially rejected. It’s comforting to the extent that it puts my person in the boat I might have thought I’d missed … but even in very good company, being turned down still hurts. It has me rereading what I wrote, but then wondering, to boost myself up, if it wasn’t the query or synopsis that was sent out which needed improvement. I find myself reading a published book, making note of my opinion of it, how it was written, and then running back to my manuscript to see if what I’ve done is up to par and comparably in the same league. This period of neither here nor there is in a surging ocean. One moment the masts are high, the wind’s in my hair, and I’m sailing fine, and the next moment I’m overboard with the chain of the anchor wrapped around my leg, seaweed up my nose, and headed for the drudgery of a sure wet bottom. But it not being hopeless, I rebound to my drier state, but it not being completely hopeful, I’ll take that plunge again, and rebound again, my emotions cyclic in nature to a stuck tack rotating in a flat tire.

There are millions of people, and if only a small fraction of those read my book, I’d be a success, but the problem is, there are not a million literary agents and a million literary tastes to give me that opportunity. There is a gate, a very subjective gate, separating my work from the masses … and I hope it opens.

Be we writers or of pen-less hands, we all seek our dreams, and so I bid, “Good luck to all my fellow travelers of such a journey.”

Signing off,
Roger and out

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