Friday, 25 January 2013

Writing, publishing and disappointment

I'm still working through some thoughts around the theme of rejection and how we deal with it and read a wonderful post called The Seven Stages of Publishing Grief (or Hello Darkness, My Old Friend) which discusses dealing with disappointment as a writer; the way we so easily succumb to comparing ourselves to other writers who all seem to be doing so much better, with more reviews, more sales, more success. This can have a debilitating effect on our confidence and motivation.  

I think back to when I started writing and how my dream was to be taken on by a traditional publisher (this was long before indie publishing as we know it existed). Every rejected story was a knock-back, a disappointment to be weathered.  When I got my first ever publishing deal I assumed that was the end of my worries and the start of being a famous author.  Ignorance is bliss, they say, and I was in for a rude awakening from my naivety (nurtured, I have to admit, from reading media stories of writers becoming an overnight success).  The book was published (I think the print run was 3000 copies) and after a few years it was remaindered.  The publisher (a BIG one!) didn't want my next book and that was the end of my relationship with them. Back to square one, pretty much, although I did have the beginnings of a track record. My next UK publisher went bust shortly after producing my next book.  And so it continued.  

Pitches.  Some meetings with publishers. Variable success rate.  I soon realised that this is how it is, unless you are incredibly lucky.  Just keep on working and trying. 

This week I have sent 3 stories off to a website, and all have been published.  Which is lovely.  I also had a screenplay for a short film returned that I entered for a competition last year.  I really believe in this script so I now have to find another outlet for it.  They received over 1400 entries, but that's no consolation, even if it should be.  

With indie publishing, the pitching stage is missed out.  You go straight to the readers.  So far, so good. You are published.  But then you get disappointed for different reasons - not enough reviews, sales lower than you hoped, etc,  You get the picture.  

There's no solution as such to this.  That's just the way it is, as the song goes. If you want more, then do check this truly excellent post over at Writer Unboxed. Full of practical advice. 

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