Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Things told me

The vacation is over, in more ways than one. I won't get into the messy personal details, but a few quotes come to mind. Favorites include, "you've still got options, even when there's a gun pointed at your head," and  "I've learned that 10% of life is what happens to me and 90% is how I respond to it." Which is to say that I find myself under the gun, and the past few days have encouraged me to carefully mull over my response to recent events.

One response I've decided on is not to stop writing, and I'm happy to say that it felt very natural, that decision. Before the news came, I had been editing through my sci-fi manuscript, cringing at points, and remembering why I did it in the first place at others. When I was done, I felt good, and the notes for the next book flowed freely, and have continued to even through the present (though, admittedly, I haven't slept very well). A related response is that I'm also going to revisit the agent search. I was willing to spend years publishing books with small presses in an effort to create a readership, proof to agents and editors that I was a safer investment, but with two books published, there's nothing to say that I couldn't try again now. I might still fail, of course, but somehow "I might still fail" sounds a whole lot better than "I might still try."

A friend of mine, a few weeks ago, talked to me about evaluating and re-evaluating. He maintains that one of the major high points of his life occurred in the midst of his trying to change. A different friend, who has long been very congratulatory of my limited success got into researching the success of certain highly popular books, which is to say, he's been reading them. He didn't tell me what conclusions he had come to, or if it had actually helped his writing focus, only that he could say, without pause, that he was not the target audience. I shared my own insights into recent novels turned record-breaking movie series. What I didn't say was how impressed I was with that level of commitment to try to change. Had my own mysterious challenges not arisen, I might not have been so receptive, either. That is another response I've decided on. Re-evaluation.

Believe it or not, I'm also trying to exist more in these e-places. Blogs and pages and profiles and such. I'm still coming to grips with the fact that, at least in the beginning, what a writer says on an internet page is more important than what they say on the pages in their books. But I also suppose it's better to come to grip something before it comes to grip you. At least, that made more sense before I typed it out.

Either way, things stand, and I'm working on doing the same, but I will leave with another favorite quote I heard recently, "If you want to be a writer, then write."

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