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Putting all expectations on one story



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Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:38 am
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Rosendorn says...



I'm sure a lot of people relate to this.

As I'm trying to become a Viable Published Author, it's hard to look at everything and... realize I don't have anything for publishing. (It's even tougher to swallow that the project I've been working on for over a decade likely won't be that project, because trilogies are harder to sell than stand-alones and I want to make life a little easier on myself when it comes to publishing a first novel)

So I start a new project and immediately get overwhelmed with "so THIS will be the story I use to break into publishing"... then I don't write it, or everything I write gets frustratedly bad (because it's a first draft+ I'm trying too hard instead of letting myself have fun), and I end up not writing.

I want to Be Published. I feel that, by this point, my credibility is in question if I don't publish relatively soon. But in the drive to Be Published, I forget why it is I write and why I enjoy writing.

Anybody else relate?
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Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:59 am
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DarkPandemonium says...



I can relate, except for me it's more about finishing something than publishing it. Whenever I plan a story, I get overwhelmed by thinking 'THIS is the novel I'm going to finish properly', and I invest so much in the idea that it can be paralysing. I feel so guilty for abandoning WIPs even temporarily, because it seems like it hurts my credibility as a writer when I can't even get a novel written. I have to remind myself that the joy of writing is the main reason I do this, so I should put that above all else.
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Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:37 pm
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Holysocks says...



Definitely can relate to those feelings- but mostly in the sense Dark was saying; it's more centred around finishing for me. But at the same time, I see people querying and stuff and think "Oh MAN I can hardly wait to be rejected a million times!" and then I realize that nothing I've ever written is even close to publishable, and then I despair of how I'll never finish a novel

Mind you I have a lot more hope right now, as I have a tentative goal to write a 60 - 70k novel by November. So my weekly goal is 2500. @Carlito helped me figure out my goal and stuff, and yeah C: I've done two weeks so far and hit 2500 at least, so I'm very happy and hope I can keep it up- because I REALLY wanna be able to write novels cx
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Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:39 pm
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Vervain says...



I've hit the point in my life where validation is my end goal, and right now validation is tied into traditional publishing.

I logically know that my actual best bet is probably to build a social media base and self-publish. I mean, I'm not really that great of an author, so if I ever finish anything that might just be what I do. But I'm also not good at building a social media presence. To other people, I just don't exist.

But I'd also love to be traditionally published. Like, right now. But I don't have anything finished that's even near publishing quality, so I start writing my "publishing book" -- the one I think will make it.

Nope, scrap that one. New one. This one's my publishing book.

No, that's stupid. Next one.

So on and so forth. It's like every time I look at it I go "this is nothing near what gets published". I'm afraid of writing something too samey to the books I typically write and read. I'm afraid of ripping off things I've read before. I'm afraid that no one will publish me because it's just not interesting, or the plot isn't deep enough, or the action isn't good enough, or the villain is stupid, or the stakes aren't high enough -- so I never finish draft one, because what's the point?

So yeah. This happens to me a lot. It's hard to stop. I usually end up scrapping everything I write. It makes me feel like crap mentally and emotionally. I just want to finish something, but I may have to cut myself away from my community to do that.
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Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:27 am
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Carlito says...



I'm also someone who dreams of being traditionally published, and I've been fairly public on YWS about those aspirations and my adventures in writing, editing, and querying. I definitely feel the "this will be THE ONE" every time I start a new project, or every time I start a new draft (and I've been 0/3 so far for books queried that I thought was "the one" :p).

I think that feeling helps me though as I'm writing and editing because for all I know, it could be the one. The industry is so subjective and so much is based on timing, that who knows. This book could hit the perfect agent at the perfect time and that could be that. Or it won't.

At some point during the editing process and definitely during the querying process I get hit with - it will never be good enough, i will never be good enough, this isn't going to happen for me, why am I trying? I don't get on Twitter a lot, especially since YA twitter is always filled with other people's good news and I want that. Sure, it's exciting to see someone else's dream come true, but I want that. And I ask myself what I'm missing because I've put in the time and the work to get good at my craft, and it hasn't happened. Yet.

I hold on to the yet. I'm a dreamer and I'm someone that holds on tight to dreams. I'm also a very patient person (about most things :p) so I'm prepared to wait. I believe that if it's meant to be, my writing dreams will come true. If it's not meant to be, I'll have a hobby that brings me enjoyment the rest of my life (even though I know I won't be fully satisfied if it stays purely a hobby my whole life).

I don't know how I finish so many novels and so many drafts other than I just do it. I'm very goal-oriented, so once I set a goal I care about, I'm all in. Even as I muddle through the middle and I have no idea what's going on, I try to remind myself that I'll fix it in the next draft. I don't tend to overthink first drafts because even if it sucks (and it always sucks) I know I can salvage it into something decent in the next draft, I just need some bones to work with, and the draft after that will be better yet, and so on.

I tell myself it's not a race to get published and my value as a writer is not determined by my success in the query trenches (but I want it. Bad. And waiting stinks.)

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Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:18 pm
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Tenyo says...



Why would you want to be published?
We were born to be amazing.
  





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Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:01 am
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Rosendorn says...



@Tenyo I honestly laughed when I read your question, because it's such an unconventional approach to solving the problem. I love it.

Basically, career advancement. I would like to stay connected to the writing advice industry, preferably getting paid for it, and the ability to be seen as trustworthy in the big leagues of writing advice is reliant on being an agent, editor, and/or published.

For me I have a certain amount of knowledge I'm a good writer, but I don't have the collection of publishing credits that would allow me to do what I'd like in the writing advice field. I basically want to interact with that world more, and publishing is the way to get there.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

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Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:01 pm
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Tenyo says...



So, some other possibilities that might help you get to the same goal;

- Set up some workshops in your home area and run a few short courses. They're fairly cheap. I've learned that telling people I run workshops or casually run courses for [insert token minority audience] in my spare time, it really catches attention. It's also great for networking and building confidence.

- You can also create group publishing opportunities, include your own work in there, and (depending on how it works in your area) possibly get arts funding to produce the works. If it's a small community project and you go to a printing press rather than a publisher, there would be less profit turnover, but you'd be able to publish under your own brand.

- Publishing credits do a lot, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a novel. In fact, magazines can be just as influential. Saying that you have two novels published is pretty cool, but saying that you had a story published in Strange Horizons or Ares Magazine looks awesome in a portfolio.

- Alternatively, to be blunt, if you're worried about your inability to finish a novel and publish, and that if you don't do it then your credibility might be questioned... maybe you're not credible yet? XD It's like... knowing all about astrophysics without figuring out how to change the zoom on a telescope. Once you're over that hurdle you'll be amazing, but you might need to just set the big stuff aside for the moment and figure out the little things.

I learned this from being confused and jealous at watching first time writers (all middle-aged folk) get published. I realised that they simply had much more patience and reasonable expectations of themselves. They made a plan, started at the beginning and worked through to the end. The other interesting thing was that when talking about the future they would aim to get [novel title] published, rather than aiming to be a successful author.
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Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:59 pm
Rosendorn says...



@Tenyo See the thing for me, about the first two, is trying to do them is why I want to go for publishing. Because for me those individuals aren't credible unless they're published independently from themselves. If I genuinely believed that those two would get me the career success I'm looking for, I'd not feel any need to publish based on how my efforts have panned out.

And for short stories, I get the hangup of wanting to publish them even worse, which exasperates feeling like I don't have the skills to write short stories (since I'm so rusty at them)

I really can't tell if I'm credible or not, yet. 10 years experience giving writing advice and I still feel like the biggest imposter ever, that only one person has even used my advice to get published (including myself) so I can't be that good yet. Publishing and writing advice feels like a giant gated castle, and getting published feels like the keys to it. And once you're there, you're considered a respectable, credible writer.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

Ink is blood. Paper is bandages. The wounded press books to their heart to know they're not alone.

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It's all a matter of perspective. Everyone is the hero of their own story, and the villain of another's.
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