Writers don't get a lot of encouragement outside their overactive imaginations. As a rule, they face widespread disinterest, active rejection, and harsh judgment. A writer develops self-esteem and focus. Or she quits.
And yes, I do understand that this makes a rather tidy excuse for my own vanity, bullheadedness, and those possibly delusional levels of self-confidence I so often enjoy.
Still, writers persist.
They keep hoping for readers. They aspire to give readers something, to pass along a message. They maybe dream about making a little money. They -- and by this I mean me –– want to prove that the identity they've cherished on the sly (a writer! an actual writer! a not-so-awful writer after all!) is true in the wider context.
I recently parted company with my agent. It was (taking a big breath) a difficult and painful choice on my part: having gained the attention of a reputable and successful agent at a big-name agency in New York, it felt like running the wrong way with the ball to let her go.
But I did.
And now, I'm an aspiring novelist without an agent. Again. Does being again without an agent make me less legitimate in the wider context of readers and publishers? Uh, yeah. Duh. Granted, traditional publishing is changing fast, and granted, the innovations have a solid business plan, but still.
Anyway, why blog about this? (Eeyore chimes in with, "Why blog about anything?" He also says, "Thanks for noticing me.")
Because, in my not-so-secret heart-of-hearts, I think it's the point. To try. To fail and yet keep trying. To use my allotted days in an effort to make something cool to share with people.
Why not dream big? After all, it's a limited time engagement* we have on earth. And what better use of our time than to give it a try?
And, frankly, to see if I too can help some poor creature survive a long airplane trip by telling a story that makes him forget that he's stuck in a narrow seat high above ground. (Thank you Kate Atkinson and Stephen King for -- in your different ways -- doing this service to humanity for me recently.)
And for now, I think that means sticking by the traditional route to publication: an agent, a publishing deal, subsidiary rights, etc., etc. Alrighty then, where did I put that Kevlar Cape of Self-Confidence? Ah yes, there it is, next to my tin Magneto helmet and that nice stretchy Lasso of Truth. What-ho and away, Silver!