Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rejection as The Mother of Invention: What's Next?

Well I got another rejection letter.

This came as a blow after the exhaustion of my pregnant camping trip (more on that later!). Needless to say yesterday was a weeping day.

I couldn't get the rejection out of my head. I couldn't stop thinking - what am I going to do if this doesn't work? Total idiots with bad stories and worse intentions have been published! Why not me???

Grumpy and teary-eyed I shared these things with Christian and he offered, quite reasonably, several options.

1. I can try to sell another completed book to the list of agents I have. Over a process of rejection etc, I'll figure out what works and what doesn't.

2. I can start snail mailing letters to agents who only take paper queries. It will have additional cost, but that may be prohibitive to other aspiring big 6 published authors which may give me a slight edge.

3. I can pander. This involves researching what books are selling and writing a book for purely commercial purposes. It may or may not be twaddle. It may or may not be fiction. It would likely be sold to a different list of researched agents though it could also be sold independently if I got my act together that way.

4. I can, after getting all responses back for JEREMIAH, decide to publish it independently and put a bit more concerted effort into being independent. This would involve connecting with various groups that are interested in relevant themes and plugging the book.

5. I can give up writing and do something completely different (you can't see, but I'm laughing at this - and crying inside).

Here are my thoughts on these options:

1. I don't know if it's a good idea to try to sell another, very different book to the same agents. I've read it can work with a few months between attempts. With several of these agents, it has been a few months. However I don't want to send out KHLOE to one group of agents while I'm still waiting on JEREMIAH.

2. I'm loathe to snail mail. It will be a hassle beyond hassles as I do not have a printer, would have to buy special paper, worry about different formatting issues etc. I am a ludite born to a digital age, which is kind of like saying I'm the world's tallest midget. I may say I like paper (and I do for many things), but I'm still a cyber girl. The process will also drag on for who knows how long. I am not patient. I might still do it however, if I feel like it will lead to some learning or a book deal.

3. Hmmm. Pandering. At this point I'm not opposed to it. I admit this morning in the wee hours that I even researched potential topics. I looked at a number of best-seller lists (which are updated frequently - however I was looking at those with longevity). I brainstormed topics.  There are several non-fiction books I've been thinking about writing that could be more commercial. Non-fiction is a different animal, but I'm not afraid of it. After all, I write non-fiction regularly in this blog. That said, I don't know if I can finish a non-fiction book. I haven't tried (you can't see but I'm now grinning devilishly).

I feel a challenge coming on.

4. I am seriously considering this option. I want JEREMIAH out there, especially after North Dakota's latest attack on women's rights. I want to connect my fiction with groups that are interested in raising discussions about these things. I want to be a voice for women and girls and an advocate. Of course, my passion in this still brings me back to that point where I see an agent as a possibility. That said, this may be one of those situations where I have to prove my worth. The question is,  am I up to the task?

5. Giving up writing is kind of like giving up eating for me. I will never stop writing. It's not that I would actually stop producing work, it would be more that I gave up my dream of being an influential and widely read author.  I'm not ready to give up that dream, but I'm also realistic. I've been thinking a lot lately about other things I could do that I would get excited about and follow through. I've contemplated consulting, video streams, physical products, storefronts, and other random services. I come back to the same few things over and over again. But everything I talk about, first and foremost, starts as a book.

No. I think I have to write. I think that is where I will be most successful in the long run, even if it involves beating my head against the wall repeatedly for the short-term.

Still, I'm undecided as to how I should proceed. My actions now will dictate my options later and I hate inaction (and I hate loss of choices!).

So the question is, what do you think is the best option and why? What is the best plan for moving forward when you're facing a potential wall like this? Have you dealt with something like this yourself? What did you do to get over/through it?

I'm open to suggestion. :-)

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