"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Reevaluating the Plan

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page

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.


Bob R Milne said...

Back-to-back rejections are an evil we all face (some more often than others), but having accepted work not make it to publication is just a cruel twist of fate.

I can sympathize with your need to reevaluate. I've been thinking along the same lines myself. Thee are only so many hours in the day, so if I want more time to write, then I have to dedicate less time to reviewing or blogging. That time has to come from somewhere.

Anne Marie J. Schlueter said...

I am not yet to the publishing stage, so thank you very much for sharing your story. For the beginning, I've written for myself, and I try to remember to keep it that way. It's just a bonus if other people like it too.

Anonymous said...

An agent told me to self-publish as well. I think a lot of agents want to see how well we can do on our own before stepping in to help us get to the next level.

Feather Stone said...

After three rejections with my first manuscript, I re-evaluated the kind of publishers I had selected. It occurred to me that I had to be more choosy. I did more research into each publisher and found the one. Yes, the one! I sent my ms and it was accepted. You'll get published, but only by the publisher who is right for you and your story. Best wishes. Blessings.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

I tried during my early twenties to go the traditional publishing route and received a mound of rejections for my manuscripts and stories.

This time around, I went directly to self-publishing. Many others have done this before me and succeeded, why can't I? I will succeed or fail on my own merits. And like you said, many agents these days want to see if you can sell before they try to sell anything anyway, and even if you're in a traditional publishing house you still have to do the social media hustle.

What have I got to lose? (Besides sleep)

Erin Kane Spock said...

I'm currently doing another 5 year plan. I used to know what I wanted for myself in the publishing industry but now I need to reevaluate. Whatever I do, I have to be able to be happy with myself so I'm looking before I leap. Good luck. I'm in the same boat.

Sylvia Ney said...

Thanks everyone!

planeypailly - that's an excellent point!

Sandra Cox said...

It was a wise idea to add chocolate to your steps:)