The title is self-explanatory, but I’m taking a break from Twitter in order to re-evaluate if writing is really a good path for me or not. Now, I posted this on Twitter, just to let people know why I wouldn’t be answering them for a while, I’ve talked about this decision to a few friends as well, but in case anyone is interested, here is a FAQ of sorts that’ll answer anything, and reply to the same basic comments I usually get.
- Is this about not getting into PitchWars?
Yes and no. I think it was just that final drop in a vase filled with water up to the brim. I had just gotten a rejection on a full that I had been waiting on for almost half a year, and basically, the critique pointed out were things that were all explained at the end of the story, which gives me the impression the person didn’t actually read it to the end, or they wouldn’t have critiqued something that was obviously pointed out. I’ve participated in this contest more times than I can even count anymore, but I never, ever got in. I know it’s subjective, and I know mentors can only pick one or two out of hundreds, but to not get picked over and over? I know contests aren’t meant for all types of genres, and that the goal is also to network and make new friends, but after a while of entering different manuscripts, but never getting in, well, I guess it takes a certain toll. In short, it could have been any contest, and don’t get me wrong: writing contests do work for some writers, so don’t sell them short.
- The only way you’ll ever get published is if you don’t stop trying
I’m sure some people have written stories their whole lives without ever being published, but I do get the point. Problem is, I can try all I want, but it may never happen. The amount of time I spend pouring hours and hours into every manuscript is staggering, and if my goal was to get published, and I look back on the years I’ve spent doing this, then all I see is a waste of time.
- Write a new manuscript
I’ve written 23 manuscripts so far – some were stories never to be published because they were for myself and I wanted to practice my writing, learn how to write stories, find the flow, etc. After all these, if I haven’t been able to publish the ones I have queried, then maybe I should face the fact that I’m not author material. Some may find my writing good, but it’s obviously not good enough to publish. Now, the ones I’ve written in the goal of publishing just sit in a folder reminding me that it was a silly dream because I’m obviously not cut out for this industry.
- The genres you write in (dark fantasy/paranormal) are hard sells for the market, so why don’t you write in another genre that’s popular?
I can’t write for trends for many reasons. First, the genres that are doing well are the one I don’t read or even like reading. If there’s one thing that’s consistent in the marketing industry is that you have to read what you write. Second, everyone is always saying to write the story YOU need to write, but then everyone turns around and points at how you should change it if you want even the slightest chance of being published. And while the genre I write in might be problematic when it comes to publishing, obviously, even in contests there are paranormal and dark fantasy picks, and agents still say yes to those writers, and publishers publish, etc. but not to all my manuscripts, so I think that’s a little bit of a hint toward not being good enough in my writing.
- You should be writing because you love to write
I’ve already written about this in a previous blog post, but I write because my dream was to be published. Maybe that’s a bad reason to some people, and it might also be why I’m now taking a step back to make a decision as to quitting writing all together. I know that if I was published, it wouldn’t mean fame and money, but being published was all I ever wanted, and yet, never being able to attain it just crushes me more and more with every passing year.
- Every rejection is a step closer to a yes!
If it comes to a point where you just can’t use rejection to drive yourself and you start hating writing, isn’t that a sign I’m not meant for this industry? It used to crush me, at the start (like everyone, of course), but with time, I kept going using it as determination. Now, it just sends me into a really deep depression every time.
- There’s always self-publishing or Wattpad
My dream is to be published traditionally. Don’t misread this: there are many different paths to publishing, but the rest aren’t for me – they’re not my dream, they aren’t the path I want to take.
So that’s pretty much most of it – I think some is a little repetitive, but it comes down to why I’m taking a break. Once I’ve stepped back long enough, I’ll then make a decision as to quit writing or not, but I’ll be honest, it’s looking to lean in toward quitting. I deleted my manuscript section on this blog, and all it did was remind me that whether I had left them up or not, it wouldn’t make a difference – they’d most likely never be published anyway.
On all my writer friends – I wish you the best on all your projects, and hope that, at least you, will be published soon.