Wednesday, October 1, 2014
There are Plenty of Fish in the Sea
Trying to get traditionally published is like dating.
You find a likely prospect. He says something flattering about the shape of your line. On the surface he looks pretty good. He's got a handsome veneer, a nice cover and an attractive website. You get a good feeling when he smiles at you. Kind of tingly.
But you've been burned before, so you do a bit of research, asking friends what they think of him, googling him. You check warning sites like Writer Beware and Preditors and Editors so you know it if he has a history of abuse or dishonesty.
Then, you dive in. You share your heart and hope it doesn't get broken.
In that same vein, having your writing rejected is a lot like being dumped.
You put yourself out there, but for some reason it doesn't click. Maybe it's mutual and you feel a sense of having dodged a bullet.
When you dish with your girlfriends, you talk about the other fish in the sea, and how it's his loss. You let them cheer you, even if part of you thinks it might be you.
But you're still looking for love, so you decide to try again. In secret, you work to make yourself that much better. You work out, lifting heavy verbs and sculpting careful sentences. You polish your craft and try new things; you stretch yourself and grow.
You do the dance many times before you find the one. Sometimes, it's hard to put yourself out there again. You have to fight cynicism and despair and keep hoping. But you're tough. You're a believer. You persevere.
Then you find him. And it's wonderful. You find that audience you've sought for so long. Or maybe it isn't exactly the way you imagined, but it's still lovely in its way.
But you don't just get married and ride off into the sunset together. The right publisher for one piece is not right for another. You'll need more than one beau to escort you to all the balls you want to attend. So, even when you've found a beau you have to keep dating.
If you're lucky, some of those beaus remain in your corner your whole life. Others turn out to have been fleeting romances, and they end, sweetly or angrily. But you go on.
Because there are a lot of fish in the sea. And you're going to catch a big one. I know it.
This posting is part of the Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. To check out other posts by writers in a variety of places in their careers, check out the participant list. This group is one of the most open and supportive groups of people I have ever been associated with. You should check them out!
I give permission for IWSG to use this post in the anthology.