I think if I just started typing every day, whether or not I have a topic in mind, I’d post a lot more often. Nothing seems important enough to write down, except for some stuff I can’t really talk about. But today I decided to take the plunge and just write anything. Just communicate.
I haven’t been writing fiction at all for a long while, so long that I don’t even feel guilty anymore. Letting my agent go let me go. I felt like the band of a slingshot must feel right after it releases its missile, flaccidly bouncing with the force of the release. I’m not ready to load another stone, but I am finally still enough to begin hunting for the perfect one. The hunt might take a while, and apparently I’m fine with that.
As I’m opening files and emails I haven’t looked at in months, I’ve found something disturbing. I’d thought Black Veil Angel, what I consider my better book, had been barely subbed, maybe to ten or so smaller publishers, while Ea’s Gift had been subbed to the death. Now I see it’s the other way around. My agent had abandoned EG in favor of BVA (apparently it was the better book), and I was so deep in my helplessness that I’d never laid the subs out side by side.
The reason this is disturbing is that BVA was going to get me another agent, if I ever decided to try that route again, and EG was self-pub fodder, something that didn’t have a life in traditional publishing but was good enough to experiment with. I thought my future was in contemporary fantasy anyway, so it would be fine. But the most likely next project, the one that captures my imagination, is another traditional fantasy like EG, complete with a dragon.
So all this means is that I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing. This whole time I’ve been trying to balance what I want to write with what I think others want me to write, which is impossible. I bought into the advice that it’s best to have a whole bunch of people read your stuff and tell you how to fix it, no matter what. I’m starting to think this is a big reason my creativity died.
Other people, those who don’t have a people-pleasing gene as dominant as mine, might do well with this advice. For me, it’s just managed to confuse me enough that I freeze up. I haven’t had a vision for my projects, I see in hindsight, except to write what pleases others. And not in an attagirl way, an ego puffing way, but that if other people don’t like my work, then my work isn’t valid.
What I see now is, if others don’t like my work it might not get published, but that doesn’t make it less valid. And once I understood that, it was easy to see that somebody is going to like my work, if I am authentic and true. Some people know this and apply it instinctively. I never did.