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Confessions of an Un/Published Writer

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Why do I bother?

It's been over a year since I last posted to this blog, and almost that long since I worked on my third novel. I need to get out there, contact agents, submit stuff, but the whole process is so frustrating. Agents don't seem to want you unless you can guarantee to make them a mint, and who can? Publishers don't want you without an agent.

And yet I know some people make it through this vicious cycle. Do I not have the dedication? Am I just going to let my 2.75 novels languish forever on my hard drive? Am I really willing to give up? I have no idea. As of now, I'm frustrated, but at least half of that frustration comes from myself, my seeming inability to get off my ass and get back into the query game.

Do I self-publish? I know some people have has success with that, but would I? I dearly want a real contract from a real publishing house and a real advance check, but as it stands now, no one is reading my novels. Wouldn't it be better that people at least have the chance to read them, even if they were only print on demand and ebooks?

I don't know. I do know that the novels are good, well-crafted, and intelligent works of art, if I do say so myself. I'm a good writer, and my novels are certainly better than some of the dreck I see being published out there. So why not me? Why do I seemingly lack that drive to keep pushing, pushing, pushing, to make it happen? Am I afraid to succeed? Do I overestimate my own talent? I just don't know.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Frustration and Comic Con

So it's been nearly a year since I've posted to this blog. I've been frustrated by my inability to sell my novels, and that frustration has taken a toll on my writing. Sad, but true. I've got to start doing better.

And now for the Comic Con part of the subject line. We (myself, my wife, and our six-year-old son) went to Comic Con for the very first time last weekend and had a blast. There were some downsides, to be sure, (the massive, headache-inducing crowds!) but we had a really good time nevertheless. Spent way too much money, but, hey, it's a vacation, and that's what you do on vacations, right?

We didn't attend a lot of panels, something I regret and intend to rectify if we ever go again. But the exhibit hall was truly a site to behold, and where I spent nearly all my time. We were there Wednesday night, Thursday, and Friday, and I barely managed to get through the entire hall. I bought a lot of stuff, got a fair amount of freebies, and took a lot of pictures with my son posed with various costumed people. His favorite? People dressed up as characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender, of course.

We also went to Legoland and the crowds there were thin by comparison. Pretty much everything there is built from Legos! A really fun place, and my son had a great time -and so did we!

And now back to the writing thing. I'm still working on my third novel. I need to stop worrying about selling them and just get back to writing them. Not that selling isn't my ultimate goal, and one I'll continue to work at, but I'm going to have to get past the point where I let it distract me from actually sitting down and writing. Wish me luck!

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Monday, September 24, 2007

What have I been up to?

I haven't updated this blog in a long time - and the longer I put it off, the harder it is to start writing again. (Funny how that works!) But I've been working on finishing and editing last year's Nano effort, and trying to decide if I'm even going to participate this year. If I don't, it'll be the first time in four years since I haven't, and so I probably will, but...

It's frustrating. I'm currently waiting on two agents to get back to me - one who has had my book for nearly a year! - and I just want to sell the thing and move on to the next. I've been advised by at least two big-name authors, both of whom I have huge respect for, to send directly to the publisher and avoid the agent, but somehow I haven't done that yet. I want an agent. (Now, please, as opposed to later, thank you very much.)

And thus I keep plugging away.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Too Long

It's been way too long since I've updated this blog, and I'm sorry about that. If I made New Year's resolutions, I'd resolve to do better in 2007 - but since I don't, I'll just have to make a concerted effort to actually write in this thing more than once a month!

Nano went alright this year. 50k wasn't too difficult, but finishing up the novel is proving to be challenging. I have everything worked out, and I just need to put it down on paper. November and December, however, are busy months, and I just haven't done it. I guess I'll be tackling the ending in January.

So how is everyone out there doing? Do I even still have any readers left?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Six Weird Things About Me

I found this on another blog and thought I'd answer it on my own:

Each player of this game starts with the “6 weird things about you”. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “you are tagged” in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

And here are my answers:
  1. I'm the useless psychic. I always know mundane things just before they're going to happen. About a year ago, my son turned the thermostat on the refrigerator to the maximum level, freezing the line that dispensed water. A few weeks later, I dreamt that I got out of bed, walked into the kitchen, and pressed the dispenser button. Something inside the fridge clinked and, finally, the water worked again. I woke up and followed the pattern from my dream and, sure enough, everything happened exactly as I'd seen. Even the "clink." I also knew the exact moment my first wife died, though I was nowhere near the hospital when it happened.
  2. I'm the owner and webmaster of the Official Chris de Burgh (think "Lady in Red") website. That's not weird in itself, but most people in the US have no clue who he is.
  3. When I was a kid, my friend Brad and I were putting together a tent in the front yard when we decided to put all the tent poles together and see how high we could make them. We hit an electric wire and nearly electrocuted ourselves. The bottom of my feet were burned.
  4. I collect action figure from the 1970's, and probably have more toys than my five-year-old son does.
  5. I'm double-jointed in the second-to-last finger in my right hand. I can "lock" that finger into place, pointing straight out, even while the rest of my fingers are balled into a fist. I've never met anyone else who can do this, and you can't either. Go ahead, try it.
  6. I can recite all of the phone numbers, driver's license numbers, and credit card numbers that I've ever had, but have a hard time remembering my anniversary.
Want to join in the fun? Reply to this post and tell everyone six weird things about yourself!

Monday, November 06, 2006

I've been busy...

I'm sorry for not posting to this for so long. Both my wife and I have been down with a killer cold for the last two weeks - and then there's Nano. I've participated in NanoWrimo every year since 2003, and have reached the requisite 50k every time. It's going to be hard to do it this year, though I'm going to do my best to prevail.

I'll write more later when I'm feeling a bit better.

Thanks to everyone who left comments, suggested names, and what have you. I really appreciate you reading!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


We were discussing literary agents in the comment section of another blog, and the discussion was so interesting that I thought I'd bring it over here. Agents, like people in general, range from the nice ones to the dreadful ones, and I've encountered all three. Some will blow you off with a tiny slip of paper essentially saying "Thanks for wasting my time." Some will ignore you completely. But the worst will blow you off while also trying to sell you their "editing services," and those are the agents I have absolutely no respect for.

I've been a full-time non-fiction freelancer for twelve years, but have yet to even get my foot in the door in the world of fiction. I've written three novels, the first of which has gone through multiple revisions to the point where I believe I've honed it into something to be proud of. Scratch that: I am proud of it. But that's not enough. I want to sell the damned thing, and its sequels. And, in order to do that, I need an agent.

And it's frustrating. I've been trying to find an agent for going on three years now, which is why I can lay claim to having encountered all of the types mentioned in the first paragraph at the start of this entry. Now I just need to encounter one who'll take the time to actually read the book, and who can hopefully see the potential in not only the novel but in me as well. I'm willing to work hard to make them and the publishing house they sell my novels to a lot of money. I just need to be given the chance.

So, gentle reader, (I always hated that phrase, but it somehow seems appropriate here!) what are some of your experiences - good and bad - with agents?