Friday, November 6, 2009

The Joys of Not Getting Published

I've finished my latest draft of what I always call "the cannibal manuscript." I sent it out before and the publisher I sent it to rejected it because the ending was too downbeat. I would argue that it's realistic, but I don't think any publisher wants to hear that line of reasoning.

After getting that feedback I did something I never did before -- I let people read it. Friends from all different backgrounds with all different tastes. I wanted different opinions. I wanted honesty and brutal comments. Most of what I got back, though, was positive and fit with what I was trying to do with it.

So another rewrite was in order, and I did it. Added some stuff. Took out a tiny bit. Polished it. Now I wonder what will happen when I send it out again. Rejection is a given, but what will the reason be? Will I find a publisher? Will I self-publish? Should I?

I've wanted to be a writer since I read The Shining. I'm proud of my achievements. Not many people can say they outsold John Lithgow, caused a web site to get more hate mail then it had ever previously received, or have their daughter walk through a bookstore and say, "There's my dad's book." I've caused a major moral majority group to forgo a planned speech and instead attack an editorial I wrote. That attack lasted an hour. I've caused people to leave the room during a public reading of my fiction. I've done less than some writers, more than others. This manuscript, however, is one I want out there.

I feel good about this (but I always do). I feel like it could change things. All it needs is a chance. All it needs is a publisher to believe in it. All it needs is one person to give the nod, and I think I will be set. I won't be rich, but it's not about that. It's about being able to make a living off something only I can do. I'm the only one who can write my stories, tell my tales. Me. That's it.

When people say I should relax and take it easy, not work so much, it's obvious they don't get it. If I don't write these things, they don't get done. There is nobody there to pick up my slack. Hell, there can be no slack.

I want this one to get published. I want it to bother people. I want movie options. I want interviews in magazines and newspapers (it was cool to get interviewed by my old hometown paper during my lunch hour when my poker book came out).

I want it.

I will get it.

Or die trying.

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