Anyway, now that I'm off school (besides one religion class I'm taking online), I've got some time to actually work on my writing. A lot of this time is taken up by family and recently I've been working to fill up my blog post queue on here, but as of this week I should be at work writing again. So I've been doing a lot of prep work, trying to figure out where to go from here.
It's hard, you know? I've been writing novels since I was about ten, finished my first when I was eleven, and started sending out at age twelve and here I am, still doing the same thing. The industry moves at an incredibly slow pace (it takes years to write and edit, years to send out, years before publication) but the trends move so quickly it's hard to keep up. For me, the biggest struggle is knowing which book to send out when. I've written 18 so far, as you know, with a little over half of those still remaining in my queue to edit and send out. I'm in process of writing two more books with a few other ideas waiting. With all of those books, I get really nervous about which one I have the best chance with. Trying to keep up with the trends is extremely difficult, for one, and every time I start sending a book out I find myself thinking, "What if I sent out a different one? Would that work better? What if I'm missing my chance right now by sending this book out instead of another one?"
It's a poisonous thought chain, really, but relevant. There's a lot of luck to succeeding in the industry, on top of talent and hard work. You get to wondering what more you can do to get that kind of luck. "Making" the luck, as you might say.
It's been a while since I've sent a query out to an agent, probably over half a year, because I've been busy writing and doing school. Before I send anything out, I need to edit it extensively, which includes help from critique partners who have their own lives and often take months on end to send it back. With all of this, the trend often slips through my fingers before I can send out the book I've been preparing. I was working on What It Takes to Deal, for example, in hopes of sending out, because contemporary has been in recently. But now, with me still a good few edits away from getting it ready, I feel the trends shifting. My guess is more towards magical realism now, looking at recent book deals, which means looking back at which book I have that matches that more. But by the time I finish editing that book, the trend will probably have passed again.
Image via wallspick.com.
Besides that, I've recently been going through my editing queue again deciding which ones to keep and which to throw out, a process I talked about in this post. At the time of that post, I'd just thrown out The Prophecy Keeper, for reasons detailed within. But a few weeks ago, I woke up one morning thinking about all the good and original things that book had and I realized I want to keep it after all. I'll need some extensive edits to salvage it, but I'm not willing to let those things go.
Then last week, I came to the conclusion that the Chosen Four series is no longer viable either. This choice wasn't quite so hard as throwing out The Psychic Story was for me, but it's still difficult. Both of those books were extremely instrumental to my development as a writer, to learning how to truly craft individual characters that then take on their own will for example, and they were both books that garnered me tons of "fans" in the writing boards I was in throughout middle and high school. Many of my writing friends know those books well. Furthermore, the Chosen Four series was the first series I ever wrote, which was a big step for me. I put an incredible amount of work into them. I've never researched so extensively for a book. But I know now that I have to throw those books out because they're too clumsy, based off of premises that don't realistically stand up, too dependent on lacking details that I've tried to ignore for the bigger picture, as I often do. Details are my weakness and they bring this series down.
And that's just another thing that's difficult. Managing a career in any art industry takes a lot of stamina and the details tend to slip through for me. I don't know for sure where to go from here. I do know that I'll be finishing Sammi starting this week. After that, I need to select a book to start editing again in the hopes of sending out. I'm completely unsure of what that will be. For now, I guess I'll come to it in the moment. But it's not fun not knowing.
Does anyone have any advice on this stuff? (Also, to my CPs, if you'd like to weigh in with any thoughts on which book would be best at this point, I'd love to hear from you. Email me or whatever!)