I feel like I have just broken through the worst bout of Writer's Block anyone has ever experienced in their entire lives. (Yeah, right...)
Because readers don't like reading about writers' problems, I'll spare you the details.
The very reason for me posting this random / stream-of-consciousness post is because I feel I should write something, somewhere in order to keep any vague hopes of becoming a published author alive.
I received an Honorable Mention to my last story into the Writers of the Future. The result is not as good as my second-last entry (Silver Honorable Mention), but it's better than my last one (straight reject). This is officially my fifth (or seventh? maybe eighth? I lost count...) entry into the competition. The good news is: Before last year, I used to get straight rejects all the time. (I was such a freaking bad writer three years ago -- I mean, awful.)
I wrote a novel since November last year -- a desperate attempt to get something published in this dog-eat-dog world of writing. I self-published it; the first review out the block was a five star (thank goodness) but reviews don't mean shit, only hard sales do, and that novel was not entirely what I want to write anyway (it was a contemporary YA Romance) but, hey, I was blocked, and I was glad to get something out the door. (I wrote it under another name.)
The essence of my Tale of Woe is this:
I got sick of rejections, I decided to try write a novel (not that hack-novel above; another novel) instead of short stories, I got an idea for a setting, and the research has been an absolute nightmare. Yes, it's a truly "original" story (hence, why the research is so difficult), but it's taken everything out of me. I've been working on it since November / October last year (maybe even earlier). I am now stuck between the two possibilities that (a) I am trying too hard or (b) I am not trying hard enough.
I read a novel from Stephen King the other day (Colorado Kid) which completely SUCKED (yeah, yeah, King, I know you tell us that we're "wrong" at the end of the novel for thinking there was absolutely NO PLOT to it -- which only confirms that you got lazy, because why even bother commenting on it to your Constant Readers?) and I cannot help but feel disparaged that "The Big Boys" can publish so much trite because they have "Made it" while the rest of us spend six months trying to come up with Original Ideas and Knock-Your-Socks-Off stories when that isn't necessarily what people want. Or is it?
Anyway, I know King's tale, I read his book on writing: He's been through this (actually, he's been through worse) and he broke through it, like I guess everyone must break through. And there's no use griping about it, is there? So, I assume once I've broken through, I can also publish crap and get paid millions for it. (I hope not... Maybe King said the same thing in the early days...)
So, here I am, researching, researching, researching, and I wonder if I shouldn't just be writing, writing, writing instead.
I took advice from some "Top Writers" on "how to write" which ground my production to a dead halt. So I've come to the conclusion, now, that I must ignore all advice and simply write and maybe the Great Gods of Literature will bless me with their epiphanies if I simply do that for long enough, and submit enough stories.
Anyway, nothing is ever hopeless. I will probably regret this post later. But, hey, seeing as no one knows who I am anyway, it doesn't matter, because I can just delete the post later, and no one would care or know any better...
I promise that the next post will have better news (unless it doesn't...)
Bitching over, this is my current game plan:
- Continue researching and plotting "The Novel" because it truly has a "Bright Idea" associated with it, and I cannot think of a better one (and haven't been able to for six months).
- Use that research to also write short stories, and submit those short stories
- For the next few months, make all short stories related to "The Novel," and then put them together and turn them into a novel, so that I can, maybe at the end of the year, start canvassing for a Literary Agent who completely and totally loves my writing and thinks I am going to be the next (Stephen King?) "Big Name Author" who can write trash and get paid lots of big bucks for it in about ten years.
- Last, but not least, stop trashing Stephen King. He's not the reason your last story got rejected.
PS. Maybe I'll start blogging more, too. Maybe...