Okay, okay. I couldn’t think of a good, clever title for this one. Sue me.
So in thinking further about the ego, and how we simultaneously think our writing stinks and that we are the best writers ever, master storytellers whose work deserves to rocket to the top of the bestseller lists, and how that mix seems to run more strongly to the latter the worse a writer one actually is (unless you’re a genius genius, which let’s face it, if you are a genius genius you probably keep your mouth shut about it most of the time too. Even Mozart didn’t run around screaming, “I’m a GENIUS!!!” through the streets of Vienna. He may have thought it, and expressed it privately, but I doubt that if the internet were available now he would be on message boards posting things like, “Los Angeles Philharmonic are TEH ASS, they sed NO 2 my opra te fuckerzzzzz111111111 They wuldnt no gud musc if it SHOT THEM wif my GAT” or something like that. Which is probably the lamest text speak ever, but give me a break. I hate texting, and when I am forced to do it I pride myself on still writing in actual, complete-sentence English.)
Anyway. So when do you know it’s time to give up, and feel good about that decision? How do you objectively look at a manuscript and think, “You know what? I’m just not feeling the love for you anymore. I think you’re good, but maybe just not good enough to keep flogging”?
I’m at this point with one of my ms. It’s a good book; objectively I know it is. But is it good enough–and do I care?
It’s made a few preliminary agent rounds. I think I sent out 16 queries all told. Got two partial requests, one full request, and one full request after a partial. One very nice personalized rejection to the query. Got no response at all to the others, but in all fairness they were e-queries sent to heavy, heavy hitters.
All rejections, although all but one were personalized. One asked for a second look if I decide to make suggested revisions.
But here’s the thing. I don’t know if I want to. I just don’t know if it’s worth the bother anymore.
Part of it is, I have a new idea I’m eager to start. The ms in question is now, in my head, Old News.
Part of it is, Old News is a pretty straightforward urban fantasy, and I’m starting to think either my work simply doesn’t fit into that market as it stands (I don’t write first-person “kick-ass” heroines and I’m really sick of reading them), or the market is simply starting to glut already. What’s one more urban fantasy series in today’s market? Yes, mine is clever and special. But does anybody even care anymore? Do I?
So Shiny New Idea stands before me, looking all…well…shiny, and Old News has the hang-dog look of a book I’ve lived with for too long. And I don’t know what to do. because I know it’s a good book, but I don’t know how much of my belief in it is ego, or should I have more ego about it and not give up after a couple of rejections? But it isn’t really the rejections that’s doing it, it’s my feeling that the rejections might mean something and I don’t know if I want to bother…
I don’t know. Sigh.
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
I’m still waiting for a few links. Leave them in comments if your name is on the list below, please.
I had something else I was going to mention, and I’ve forgotten it. So I may come along later and pop it in.