So I promised an announcement and here it is:
Thanks for stopping by.
To be more specific, I am quitting what I’ve been doing as a writer. My dream has been to publish novels and have them do well and at some point become a full time novelist. A successful full time novelist.
I quit that. That’s what I quit.
If you don’t mind, I’ll go ahead and elaborate.
I just finished my third novel– at least the first draft of it. It’s pretty okay and it’s on this website under the Current Project above if you’d like to read it. Here’s a synopsis:
* * * *
Lakhoni is left for dead when everybody in his village is murdered by a raiding party. When he can’t find his sister’s body, he realizes that she must have been taken by the raiders, who it turns out were sent by his own king. Determined to rescue his sister and bring justice to the wicked king, Lakhoni decides to go to the king’s city. But before he gets far, he is taken in by the Living Dead, a group of brutal rebels who hate the king for reasons of their own.
Fearing for his soul in the face of the cruelty of the Living Dead, Lakhoni manages to escape and continues his journey, through the dead of winter. Through his time on the road, he learns more about his world, but doesn’t suspect that he has crucial part to play in the destiny of his people.
But he will not rest until his sister is safe– even when facing down the king’s guard, the assassins of the Living Dead, and his family’s murderers. Can he survive long enough to discover the truth about his mother and father and fulfill his own destiny?
* * * *
The synopsis is a work in progress. I’d love to know what you think.
Anyway, I have been feeling this pressing urgency to get a book sold. I go to conferences and wish I could spend the money to pitch to agents and I long for the time to write the stories that are bursting out of me but still rewrite the projects I’ve already got in the oven. I really want to get queries sent off, but I also need to find an agent and that takes a lot of work and I need time and energy for that too.
Then I made this goal to be doing a signing next year. And my urgency and the pressure to GET MY BOOKS ON SHELVES and MAKE THEM GOOD and all of that stuff has just been pushing and pushing and pushing me.
So when I don’t get the time, or can’t make the time, or get so freaking tired, or just need to watch some Bones or Chicago Code or Fringe but when I sit down I fall asleep instantly– gah.
AND I STILL HAVE TO GET PUBLISHED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
I quit that. I want to get published, and I want to get my books on shelves and in readers’ hands, but I hereby tell the world that it can wait.
First, I need to write more good.
That is my plan. I will hone my craft. I will write better stories. I will rewrite my stories so they get better.
I think part of this comes from listening to old Writing Excuses episodes. Dan and Brandon talked about how long they were writing and honing and working until the publishing segment of their careers really got going.
So I am deliberately seeing my writing career as made of segments. Right now, exactly now, is the segment wherein I learn to be a writer. Where I get some discipline, take on challenging projects, test my mettle and really immerse myself in the experience of being a student of this craft I love so much.
Because really, I don’t know if I suck or anything, but I know I’m not great yet.
And I want to be a great writer. I don’t want my books to get out there and not actually be awesome.
Don’t get me wrong. If publishers or editors or agents (or even one of any one of these) calls, I’ll go ahead and answer that phone call. Editors, agents, publishers– feel free to call. Or email.
But I won’t be calling (I know, I’m not supposed to anyway) or emailing. Not yet at least.
I hope that’s all clear. It’s nice to write it and have it clear in my head now. I shared it with Hotness and she’s with me.
What it all comes down to is that if I am feeling the pressure to make money from my writing so I can get my family into a more comfy home, then my motivation is wrong wrong wrong and my writing will reflect that.
Thanks for bearing with me. I will, of course, continue to blog.
And you will, of course, continue coming to my blog because it is your manna; your lifeblood; the shining and hopeful light in your otherwise bleak day.
Anyone want to talk me off the ledge? Any thoughts on this change?
No way am I talking you off the ledge. This is a wise move. You can’t control the timing of these things–so you work your tail off to get better and do those things you *can* control. Then, when your apprenticeship is over–however long it takes–things will move.
I am 100% in your corner. I gave myself a similar talking to a couple weeks ago. Always encouraging to know there are others out there playing the same tug-of-war!
Slow and steady…slow and steady…
I gotta say, you all stopping by and commenting means lots. Evidence that writers really are the best people in the world, except for Mother Teresa.
And she’s dead.
Great post, Jared. I can totally relate. Had a similar moment a few years ago. Was very freeing and a tremendous boost to my writing as well.
I hope you don’t mind, but I’m featuring your post today on MormonDaddyBlogs.
Thanks. I’m looking forward to writing now. It’s kind of a big deal.
And thanks for the feature. I’ll spread the word.
File under “Possibly Counterproductive”: I have a cousin who used to be a literary agent. She is now a published author and also works as a private writing coach, helping writers get published. She charges $250 for a first edit and feedback/advice. LMK if you’re interested and I’ll get you her info.
Hrm. Thanks– that is possibly counterproductive. However, it could be helpful down the road. I will get back to you when the time comes.
Have you thought about taking your first two completed novels the Indie (self published) route? Maybe even publishing them under a pen name just see if they get any traction? (After browsing around on your site I’m assuming they aren’t published—at least in the traditional sense.)
As a fulltime dad and breadwinner who writes whenever he can squeeze in a few hours, I understand where you’re coming from and can relate to the pressure you feel. I think you made the right decision to “quit” and concentrate on writing. But why not see if your first two novels fare in the open market? You can give them away for free and find out pretty quickly whether or not they have wings.
Just a thought.
Thanks for stopping by. You’ve definitely given me some food for thought. My first novel might actually be ready for something like that. Gonna have to chew on that for a bit.