Saturday, April 02, 2011

Part 3 of Post MFA Coma: The awakening...

March 14th


Recently I had coffee with the mother of a former student. She told me that her daughter was struggling at college; she doesn’t like to drink and party,  yet she goes to these parties, drinks a soda and tries to get into the spirit of drunkenness. The mother said to her about all this: you have to be who you are.

Man is that not just in college or high school. Be who you are.

Like right now, I need to just be who I am, because the trick is when you fight it or try to conform to something that you really aren’t, awful anxiety and fear takes over. Even though it seems scarier to risk being yourself because your self might be different, untraditional, or quirky.; it’s harder to be who you aren’t.

What does that mean?

It means that I'm revising the final Maddie book, looking into super low cost ways to edit and publish it AND, still, at the SAME TIME, try to find an agent for my new work.

I'm a Gemini. Can't help it.

March 15

I used to think if I worked hard enough, I could achieve and do anything. But writing my collection, crafting a query, doing research on agents, focusing 24-7 for so many months only to have the result be rejections…The theory that hard work pays off is bunk. I know some say I’m impatient… But the facts speak the truth:
MY SISTER'S WEDDING, submitted by my former agent for four years, resulted in nothing, and before that time period,  I submitted for four years– that’s eight years of waiting.  BIG FAT BROKEN HEARTS, I submitted to almost 30-something agents and have been rejected by almost all of them. I’m actually running out of people to submit to. Patience has nothing to do with where I’m at. And where I’m at is no agent. But it’s not due to a lack of patience.

MSD (the newest, unpublished Maddie novel)  will never find a home because none of the other Maddie books did.  BFBH (my collection of short stories)– I will wait it out for probably years; there’s no urgency.

March 16

When I really look at the trying to publish my books thing, I suddenly totally get it right now: no one is really spending any time thinking about whether or not I should self publish again.

March 17

I’m awake now.

Not that I have been asleep, but I think I was in a post MFA coma for the past few months.

Writing can be religious if I let it. It can be transformative.

I have redefined my expectations and what it means to be successful as a writer.

I can’t put it all into perfect words yet. But I know that it has to do with not shutting any mean or mode out in terms of sharing my work. Be it Blogging, self publishing, mainstream publishing–whatever. The expectation I have of myself as a writer is to share my most favorite and best work with as many people as possible. My other expectation is that I will have to be totally and fully responsible for that sharing. That I expect to not allow myself to let my manuscripts collect dust. That I will get them into book form–at least, for now, the Maddie books. That I will finish all the projects I have started before I’m….Okay, forty five. That’s the two Maddie books, which I have decided to combine into one big book. That’s also the brand new book I started and have 50 thou words for. That’s also the 80 pages of the adult novel that’s been sitting for almost ten years unfinished.

I know that no matter what happens with this publishing thing, I will write, continue to put myself out there and if I have to publish my stuff myself, so be it.



Current STATS: 18 out of 31 agents I've submitted my new collection to have rejected.  Rest haven't heard back from. Submitted also to SOUCREBOOKS (a publisher).

Working on combining book 4 and 5 of the Maddie series and aiming for publication late next year or beginning of the following. Hoping on the 1 year anniversary of the first Maddie book to reissue them into one volume.

1 comment:

Joanne Carnevale said...

Yay! Do you mean the 10 year anniversary? I think you do. Yay, again. Love the idea! Depending on your schedule, I could probably help you with some really LOW cost proofing/editing. Lower than low, as you know. If that sounds good to you, fill me in when you have it figured out. So glad you're awake and reinvigorated. Yay!