I recently resurrected my women’s fiction novel. The new query (one of a thousand versions) came to me in a split second moment and I believe it is my strongest yet. It has led me back to re-working my novel just a bit in order to incorporate ideas from my query.
If you have been following my blog, then you know how incredibly frustrated I have been from this whole publishing industry. It has gotten me down, caused numerous tears, and left me overall depressed.
Yet, as I listened to my recently downloaded God music on my IPod and this query just came to me, I thought, “Does it even matter if I ever get published if I’m enjoying what I’m doing, spending my time doing what I want to do, and answering my heart’s and God’s calling?”
My recent answer is, “NO, it doesn’t matter. It would be nice but should be only icing on the cake, not the end-all and the solver of my problems.”
Don’t get me wrong, I intend to fight with everything in my body to have my dreams realized. But, if it doesn’t happen in my time frame, it won’t be the end of me. I still have my real life to lead–one of family–that trumps this life I lead in my stories. And it is this life that matters the most.
I’ve been hesitant to give up homeschool and now I think I know the underlying reason–I have and am learning as much or more than my kids in the process. I get to study what I want to study for once, investigate things and people I want to know about, and spend as much time as I wish. This is probably one of the greatest benefits of homeschool and one of the strongest reasons to homeschool i.e. letting the child investigate what speaks to their heart and not what speaks to the State’s heart.
I grabbed a kids’ book on Gilgamesh more for me than my kids. So I’m reading it and the afterward by a Professor Cyrus Gordon from my alma mater, Brandeis University (I wonder if he’s still around since this book is from the 1960’s). It relates the historical significance/importance of this ancient Mesopotamian tale as it predates the Ancient Greeks and the Bible. Particularly, it mentions the sacking of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BC (previously thought to have been the first known dates of Mesopotamian cuneiform)–the very subject I am reading about in the Bible in Jeremiah, Lamentations, and now Ezekiel. This is all stuff I never learned in school and so visiting it a second time has been…wondrous.
So, the tale of Gilgamesh is the tale of a man who became experienced and wise in his travels; and learned what all of us must learn in order to be wise (despite having failed in his mission to obtain eternal life): to make the most of our earthly lives without chasing rainbows that are beyond our grasp.
I agree and disagree with this. I agree with making the most of your life, but I see nothing wrong with chasing rainbows. Dreams are what give us life and my writing career is definitely obtainable. In terms of little kids, that’s all my kids do–is chase rainbows, unicorns, Pegasus, dragons, princesses, princes, castles, and fairy tales.
It breathes life into them and that’s all that matters in this world.
I can still learn right along with my kids while they are in school. I don’t have to stop learning (and neither do they) as long as I choose not to. They receive the benefits of being with their peers at a regular school and I can still learn whatever I want whenever I want.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately. What if my husband died what would I do? What if one of my dogs died? What about my grandparents? This could be attributed to my very somber mood as of late or the fact I just finished reading Lamentations in the Bible which describes the death and destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC by the Babylonians but as I was laying in bed this morning, thinking of death and checking to make sure my dogs were breathing, my writing surfaced again in my mind. What if my novels are dead?
This I believe is what is driving my thoughts on death–the fact that my writings/novels may be dead and I’m just not prepared to deal with this or let them go. A book by nature is a living document for every time it is read it comes alive in the mind of the reader or listener. I want my novels to come alive repeatedly–not die a horrible death on my computer never being read.
Death is something we don’t have control over. When your time is up, you are called. Maybe this is what God is trying to teach me about my novels. I want to have control over their life and death but I can’t really force a publisher to publish it, now can I? I thought I’ve handed my novels over to God’s will but maybe I haven’t. Recently, I have let the fact that my career is going no where get to me and maybe I shouldn’t have. After all, if it was meant to be (it being my novels published or me have a writing career), it will be. It has been predetermined and all I have to do is act on it. God already knows. I just wish I did. It would definitely make the rejections a lot easier to handle knowing someone else will believe in me.
It’s time to get back to my passion. I once read in order to succeed at your dream you must devote 2 hours to it everyday. I try to do that but right now I’m just not motivated to much in fact. I’m finding it hard to eat, to cook, and to focus on my writing. It’s hard to find the motivation when you can’t see the end game–and at this point I doubt if I ever will get published.
How do you get motivated when your work seems fruitless?
I had been riding a temporary high as I’ve resurrected a previously-thought dead novel and edited it to something new. So, I’ve been pretty excited lately.
However, as I edit it and re-read it, I can’t help but think I’ll never get published with any project. I’m trying to stay true to myself and write what’s in my heart and yet as I peruse blogs and articles on my genre, I am only discouraged. Either by my obscure character (how tough it is to sell YA or literary women’s fiction) or just the mere fact that getting published by anyone these days would be a shear miracle.
I keep thinking my work is utter crap. Yet I read recently if you can’t give up writing, then don’t and keep trying. Well, I’m pretty sure I can’t give it up and I will always harbor hope somewhere within.
I’m just frustrated. I know the harder you work for something, the more you’ll appreciate it. I just don’t want to work 20 years on my dream and my life be near the end before I ever see my work in print. How long is enough, God? I’ve been plugging away at this dream now for 3 years now and I’d like to see even one sign of success, some kind of confirmation I’m not completely wasting my time here–ya know, maybe land an agent or something.
All I’m asking for here is some help. Divine intervention would be nice.
Life doesn’t always turn out how you plan, does it? Take me for example: I always thought I’d be a high-power business woman, jetting across oceans and making deals that would change the way business operated.
Yet, here I am: a mother of three beautiful babies whose dream now is to become a published writer.
Would I ever have imagined that back in high school? No way!
Then there’s the path I’ve walked so far: been married, great life, husband’s business fails, declared bankruptcy, lost everything, moved all over the country, husband struggling in the job market–to here–living in an apartment complex surrounded by people on power trips.
All of this serves a purpose. One, it has made me a hell of a strong person. Two, it is great writing material. Three, it has made me who I am, at this moment, sitting here typing this. And I kind of like who I am.
God has brought me to all of these moments (good and bad) and so far I’ve made it through all of them. And I will survive apartment living for the next few months until we can either lease/option a house or rent for another year. It will all work out in the end.
Funny though: in the moment it sucks and afterwards it was no big deal.