I am no stranger to writer’s doubt. I’ve often worried about whether or not I’m good enough, whether or not I’m smart enough, whether or not I know enough about the business as well as the writing, whether or not I’ll ever be able to figure out how to network and sell and all of that jazz. Those sorts of things have been on my mind since I first made the decision to try to make a writing career.
But certain things have come together at just the right time to make me really question whether or not I want to keep plugging away to make this writing thing a life. Over the summer I was feeling pretty good. I thought I had a handle on this self-publishing thing. But really, it was just an illusion built on the brief popularity of Yearly.
September hit and the sales disappeared. Yearly has been bought as much as it’s going to be. Nobody was really interesting in A Tale of Two Lady Killers nor do they seem to be interested in pre-ordering Spirited in Spite. My faith in my ability to be a self-published author is basically non-existent at this point.
In a way, this has confirmed my belief that I write stories that folks have no interest in reading.
There’s still one more test I need to take before I can conclusively hang up my professional pen for good (I mean I’ll still write and probably self-publish it for my own enjoyment and the enjoyment of a few others, just another way to make some change when I can, but I won’t be calling it my career). I need to confirm with people in the know that I don’t write marketable stuff, that I’m no good at telling a story.
I need to try to find an agent.
The way I look at it, it’s sort of a win-win situation. If I can’t find an agent to represent me, that confirms in concrete that I’m wasting my time pursuing this. I’ve already invested seven years. I’d rather not push boulders for another seven if I’m not going to get anywhere. I don’t like not being useful and I don’t like wasting my time. If I can’t make my living doing this, then I need to go find a way that I can.
But, if I manage to find an agent willing to represent me…well, then. That brings up a new set of existential questioning, now doesn’t it?
The bottom line is that I’m not satisfied with the way things are going and my only choice is to shake things up. The result will either be an ending…
…Or a new beginning.