I’m more connected to the publishing industry than I ever have been before. Not that I’m very connected, but I have recently started following some industry blogs. I feel like I have an inkling of what’s happening, although I don’t participate and I know I’m probably woefully uninformed compared to some. Still, being more connected has some interesting consequences.
Before I delve into the consequences, you should probably know that the novel isn’t going well right now. It seems to go in fits and starts. This is a full-on fit where I can barely get myself motivated to write the three new chapters that draft three really needs. Almost nothing is left of the Nanowrimo manuscript, and yet it’s still far from good with no end in sight. I think that part of the problem is this: if it’s only for me, I don’t have to worry about whether it’s good or not. As soon as I show it to someone, it matters. Once this draft is finished, I will show it to people. It will break my heart if I’ve been working for years on something that can only be tossed out.
I’m too close to it to know how it really is. All I can see is the masses of work it still needs, not whether the words that exist now are any good. That’s high incentive not to finish editing it. If I never get to draft five, then I can still harbor dreams of six figure advances and glossy covers. I can interview myself as I drive home, about the genius symbolism I wove through the novel and what my next project will be. I can craft my answer to “Where do you get your ideas?” I can plan what I will wear to book panels and signings.
You don’t have to tell me this is an insane pipe dream. I already know it. Just as I know exactly which house I’m going to buy in Maine when I win the lottery (says the girl who never buys a ticket).
And that’s where the consequences lie. Mostly, I’m sad because I wish I could join in. All the tweets from BEA are making me super jealous. Especially Shannon Hale’s hilarious reports of things Daniel Handler said. I would love to hang out with the two of them as peers and not just as a fan (maybe with Libba Bray thrown in for extra sass). The photos that Little Brown and Penguin are posting of the convention floor also make me cringe. Is everyone in the world managing to write a novel except me?
I’m beginning to see why writers recommend not even starting if you can help it at all…