Feelings of insecurity today and yesterday, just being unsure, just questioning, just… just not where I should be.
I’m not sure why. Waiting for the official editorial letter maybe, though I know much of what it will say…
I had a really productive and helpful lunch with a friend in publishing who gave me direction on marketing myself and future steps. Looking at children’s/YA agents to try, when the time is right, but as far as I can tell, the people she suggested do children’s and YA only—not adult, not literary fiction.
I was telling E I had let that go, writing litfic. I’d been burned and I wasn’t going back. I had a whole argument about it. My analogy was that it would be like going back to your abusive ex-boyfriend when you have a good relationship with someone new, which shows you how irrationally emotional I’m feeling about it.
My friend asked me if I’d embraced writing YA now, and I said yes. This is what I’m doing. Only this, I told myself. I felt very sure about this earlier in the week.
And yet. And yet can I let it go forever? Is that really how I’ll feel in a few years? The new novel I’m working on now is YA—and I have so many ideas for other YA novels I want to write. But what if I decide to write something else in the future? Can I?
I also have been putting off sending a new batch of short stories to literary magazines—it feels so pointless somehow. I can already see the rejection slips.
This is not the way to be! I wish someone could come over here, take a look at everything I’ve written and am working on, step into my mind and see my true hopes and dreams, the ones I don’t even know myself, and then take a good clear peek into the future and tell me exactly what I should do. I’d like someone to say: “Write that book next, not this one.” Or “You’re going to be this, you’ll never be that.” I’d like to know.
But you can’t find direction outside yourself. It’s in here… somewhere…
The recession and stresses in the publishing industry (you’ve heard of this, I’m sure, and it looks like other media companies are following suit, and the bad news isn’t over for books) have also made me more nervous than usual. I still have a day job, and I’m happy about that—no layoffs at my company yet. Today, I have a giant stack of covers and picture books on my desk desperately needing me to check them. I’m a bit behind because I spent all day yesterday on something Big and Urgent. So there’s a lot to do, once I get to work. I’ll be very, very busy. I’m actually very grateful for that. Maybe it will keep my mind at bay.
Besides, it seems terribly absurd to be wondering what kind of writer I’ll be in the phantom future when book publishing has come to this:
“Maybe writing books will become just the hobby of rich people, or people who can live very cheaply.” —from the above article in Galleycat