The frustration is real, and it isn’t going away. Not until it goes away.
Sometimes when discussing my path to publication with other humans, I get irritable. Okay, irritability is a personality trait I need to overcome, but generally I can stuff it way down inside where it only peers out from beneath my smile when something really grinds me down.
It’s not people asking about what’s happening that makes me irritable, it’s that I have nothing exciting to tell them.
When I finished my first novel, I was blissfully unaware of the true magnitude of the monster called publication. I investigated my options.
- Keep the novel hidden away on my P.C.
- Self-publish through Amazon.
- Climb Mount Everest: AKA, Traditional publishing.
I chose option three, and I’ve actually made it to Base Camp. This is the place where you acclimate to the idea of becoming a published author and have acquired an agent… (some of you may not even be at Base Camp! Here is a hug, and extra-large hot-chocolate.)
…who believes what you write is superior and your book will actually sell, perhaps in a bigger way than you’d ever imagined. Though, let’s be honest, it’s fun to imagine the very big. Especially when it would change your life in a Pluto is no longer a planet kind of way.
Your agent is much like a Sherpa, the one who really makes the action of climbing Mt. Everest possible. She pursues publishers without fear, and persists on and on and on, after several publishers say, “This project is not for me, but good luck finding a home for Ms. Rosinski’s work elsewhere.”
She forwards their rejection emails, time after time, and cheers you up when you feel like you suck and are the worst ever writer and you begin to think she might be the only one, other than your mother, who actually likes reading your crappy, sucky, slop, telling you once again how she believes in you, and how your work deserves to find a publishing home. And then you realize even your mother has never read your stories from beginning to end and you crawl into your cave and throw darts at everyone who passes by, ‘cause they might actually be enjoying their life.
Yep, the struggle is real. It’s real, because you’re a real writer. If you didn’t struggle, I’d throw darts at you and call you names. (not really, really)
The traditional publishing route is not for those who shrivel up with each rejection. Not for those who can’t bear the burden. It’s not for everyone. But, it is for me—at least for now. I’ve chosen my route, and I’m not turning back.
Thankfully, we are not alone in our journey. We have one another, as pre-published authors. We have our agents and mothers cheering us on. We have our will, especially if that will is driven by a calling to write and publish traditionally. We have HOPE in that still small voice that niggles its way through our self-doubt. The voice of the Holy Spirit reminding us we’ve been called according to His purpose.
So…You pull your gear back on. Check the O2 levels in your tank. You strap on a pair of crampons, (no, these are not feminine hygiene products) and you keep climbing up that publishing mountain.
It takes a long. Dang. Time.
You may be overcome by this mountain.
But, if you make it to the summit, then this long, exhausting, death defying climb, will have been worth it.
Isaiah 41:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
Romans 5:3-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.