Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Things I don’t know

I’m a writer. An author. And not only do I openly admit it, but I talk about my writing and my hopes and dreams quite a lot. And in very public forums. (Like blogging.) Because I’ve been into this for a while, people have a tendency to ask me things. Sometimes, I have answers, but more often than not, I don’t. Not yet, anyway.

There are a lot of things I don’t know.

1. How do you get an agent?
(Um, I can tell you how I’m trying, but since I have yet to be successful in this never-ending endeavor, I might not be the best person to ask.)

2. When is your next book coming out?
(Hm. I’d love to say 2013, but since I’m not feeling the self-publishing vibe, I have no idea.)

3. How does a midlist book make the bestseller lists?
(My guess: good writing, strong word of mouth, and some brilliant marketing from the author. But I’ve never been there, so…I couldn’t really tell you for sure.)

4. How can I make a living as a writer?
(Uh, I’ll have to get back to you on that. As soon as I find the secret, I’ll be happy to share it, because I’m nice like that.)

5. How long are you planning to keep writing / submitting?
(Indefinitely. Because I’ve tried to quit. A few times. Recently, even. Never works for long, so I guess I’ll write forever.)

6. Who is your favorite author?
(Answering this question would be like diving into the ocean and trying to pinpoint a favorite starfish. But I have a particular love for young adult authors these days, so I guess I could start there.)

7. Where did you learn how to write?
(Everywhere. Practice. Lots and lots of practice, and classes, and critique groups, and conferences. But again, see the above questions. It’s entirely possible that I don’t know how to write—maybe that’s why I don’t have an agent and/or book deal and am not making a living as a writer.)

But even with all the stuff I don’t know, there are a few things I do know.

1. I will never get to where I want to be if I don’t try.

2. Trying sometimes = failing a whole lot of times.

3. Winner/ loser/ reject: there are people in my life who will always be there, and they will love me anyway.

4. People will always be more important than money or deals or success.

5. I am the only person who can decide how I act, how I treat others, and how much I value the relationships in my life.

6. I have written a number of full-length novels. Someday they will be read by people who need to read them. It’s okay if that someday is far away.

7. Even though I am not necessarily where I want to be in my writing career, I am already successful. I have done things most people will never even attempt. I have met people and formed relationships, and experienced things I didn’t even dream when I was young. And I am teaching my kids the value of the phrase never give up.

8. Someday, I WILL have the answers to the questions on my don’t list.

Sometimes what we know and what we don’t is a matter of perspective.


Stina Lindenblatt said...

The agent question is easy: write a well written story that knocks the agent's socks off. The answer is easy, it's the execution that's tricky. All you can do is exactly what you're doing. :)

Love this post!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Stina is right. You just have to keep doing what you're doing. For me, I have found the most important thing of all is to enjoy where I am no matter what. I have found more peace when I make that my top priority.

Carolyn V said...

You are one of the most sincere people I know Nicole. Thanks for sharing. Wish I had the answers too, but only time will tell if I ever will. :)

Leslie Pugh said...

I loved this post and how open you are about the frustrations of being a writer. I haven't been out of the writing closet for very long but I'm already getting some of these questions and it's sometimes hard to explain to others about the writing and publication process.

Stampmouse said...

Great post.