A string of negative results lately has me reevaluating my publishing plans. Obviously, we all get rejections, but I’ve recently received several of them back to back. Then, a couple articles that were set to appear in different magazines this month didn’t make it to publication. One has been pushed to a later issue. The second, the editor has not returned my call/email explaining why.This series of disappointments have led me through a version of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I actually have an additional step in my personal process: “chocolate” - the consumption of which doubles during the grieving process, but it’s ok because I balanced it by drinking lots of diet soda. Your mileage may vary. The key is to get to that last step as quickly as you can.
As I mentioned before, I am now reevaluating my publishing plans:
1) What makes me happy – I realize I have been spending a lot of time writing for some publications just to receive a paycheck, or to keep my name in print. I’m sure this has affected the quality of my work. I need to return to the reason I got into writing in the first place. I need to stay true to what I enjoy pursuing.
2) Earning an income – obviously, I never expected to get rich off my writing. But, as I have gained experience I need to pay attention to what brings me the most return and eliminate pursuits that may have become a waste of time and energy. There are some pursuits I have to STOP. I’m fine earning less money in order to grow readership. My fans and students need to come first.
3) Self-publishing – anyone with a blog self-publishes to some extent, but how do you know if you’re ready to take the leap with your book? Indicators will eventually surface if your work isn’t suited for commercial publication. For example, one of my manuscripts has been rejected several times now with comments such as “It has narrow appeal”, “I don’t think there is a big enough market for that topic”, “this sounds like a niche market”, and a flat out “You might want to consider self-publishing that.”
My point is, we all reach a time where we have to reevaluate our goals. When have we had enough? Do we keep going? Do we change gears? (I shared one rejected story HERE if you wouldn’t mind offering your feedback.)
I’d love to hear your advice and experiences with anything similar.