Monday, February 6, 2012

Laziness and the Year Ahead

It's my birthday today, so naturally my thoughts have turned to what the next year may have in store.

And it occurred to me that, as well as thinking 'I hope I get an agent,' 'I hope I get a deal', I was also thinking 'I hope I make good decisions. I hope that if neither of my queries this year are successful, I don't rush to self-publish something substandard. I hope I can overcome my tendancy to overuse the letter S.'

The landscape is opening up for writers. I can only speak for myself, but I still want an agent, a book deal and a publishing house. If I can't get those things, self-publishing is an option I'm happy to explore. But when you're facing writing a query - which I've never done, and am quite nervous about - and then sending it off, waiting for a reply, facing rejections, and then if you are lucky enough to get an agent, facing more submission and rejection as your novel does the rounds of publishers - well, it may be what I dream of, but it's also scary as hell.

And this morning I thought to myself: 'Whether or not I have a book out in the next year could be entirely my decision. I could bypass all that and do it myself.'

A reasonable thought. Writers the world over are having the same thought. And when you look at success stories, like Catherine Ryan Howard and Talli Roland, it looks tempting (although, as I'm sure those two fabulous ladies would attest, not easy).

But at the moment, it is not the right decision for me, because I would be doing it solely because I'm a lazy cow who doesn't want to write a query letter at the moment :)

I hope I make the right decisions, but I also hope I make them at the right time and for the right reasons. Laziness is, sadly, not a good reason. . .

Are any of you guys facing, or hoping to face, big decisions in the next 12 months? How confident are you that you'll make the right choice?

23 comments:

  1. First of all, congratulations and I hope your book gets published.

    Big decisions... everything that's happening in my life is kind of big right now. I threw my entire life around by going to the gym, swearing off sugar, alcohol and fast food and applying for volunteer work. On top of that this will also be the year in which I'll get back to being employed, after so many years of being ill and a few years of being unemployed. Of course I hope I'll make the right decisions, like not taking on more than I can handle, but if anything goes wrong and I fall flat on my face I'll probably just get up and try again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sabrina, it sounds like this is a big period of change for you! Good luck with all of it, especially the swearing off sugar. I try that regularly and fail miserably, so I hope you have more willpower than I do!

      The key thing is getting back up after the fall. It's not easy, but that's the only way!

      Delete
  2. Happy happy birthday, lovely lady! And thank you so much for your kind words.

    I think it's different for every person. I'd never say one route is better than another - it's all about what works for you. I hope the year ahead brings you much success!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy Birthday to you! I like the way you're thinking about your possible options, and the reasons for any decisions. The thinking is as important as the doing, I think. (Although, sometimes I do so much thinking that I don't do any doing) :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sarah :) Thinking is definitely important - and you're right, it's a great excuse to postpone the doing!

      Delete
  4. Ellen, Happy Birthday - I hope you have some fun in addition to these wonderful reflections.
    Just want you to know I was in exactly the same place you are with my memoir. Wanted an agent and a publisher - tried for almost 2 years, then decided to self-publish. It is a very personal decision and you are right, it is not an easy path. But a lot of the work you would need to do, you would need to do with a traditional publisher as well, once the book comes out.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!! No big decisions for me this year but if you are thinking of making one - I hope you do so with all your heart and soul in it! Yay! Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inspiring words, Kitty! Thank you very much!

      Delete
  6. Happy Birthday, and best of luck in the year ahead!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Happy Birthday! It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders, so with the support of your blogger buddies who've already gone the self-publishing route, I'm sure you're gonna think things through and come to the right decision at the right time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susan, that's a lovely thing to say! I am a terrible worrier though, which can translate into lots of inaction. I hope I make a decision at all - the right one would be even better!

      Delete
  8. Many happy returns, Ellen. I intend to pursue traditional and epublishing this year. A writer should explore all options and do what is best for them.

    I hope 2012 is successful whatever you decide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Donna - I have no doubt 2012 will be a great year for you. You're always well-informed, thoughtful and intelligent and your blog is one of the first places I go for insight. I hope all of your endeavours this year go well.

      Delete
  9. Hey Sweetie!

    Actually I am...that's why you haven't seen much of me ~ I switched Genre (to one that's more 'in' right now) and have written two books in the last two months and I'll be starting a third book in a week...within 30 days I will be done with that book and will submit all three books to a publisher for a book package deal and I hope a career in writing.

    It's been a long haul but I kept plugging and kept reminding meself of my goal...that's how you get through the query (but if you need help with that write me and I'll send you a sample of the query I send) and all the other stuff connected to the business end of our creative business.

    The big thing to remember is: NEVER GIVE UP and SUBMIT
    those two things will get you published.

    Good luck darlin' my blog has my private e...drop me a line if you need anything.


    hugs
    Hawk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, two books in two months! That's impressive Hawk :) Good luck with the submission process.

      I'm still a bit away from submitting myself, probably three or four months to go yet. . . plenty of time to get used to the idea!

      Delete
    2. Yes, I finished book two of the series yesterday and I'm doing the edit my Cp send this morning and I'll finish the story board of book three late today or tomorrow...then I'll submit them for a deal. Actually I got it done in three weeks over 3500 Word Count a day (average) - it's work but no one said chasing a dream was easy.

      Good luck to you sweetie! I'll keep me fingers crossed for you.

      Big hugs
      Hawk

      Delete
  10. BTW HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Belated as the wish may be it's given with a warm heart! My B-day is at the end of the week! LOL...no wonder we get along so well!

    BIG CYBER HUGS!!!! I hope you had a great B-day celebration!

    Hawk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Happy birthday in advance to you too!

      Irish Aquarians - clearly we're brilliant :D Hugs!

      Delete
    2. LOL...I'll drink to that, darlin'...Memosa for everyone!

      Big cybers hugs
      Hawk

      Delete
  11. A belated Happy Birthday to you, Ellen! I wish you the best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hope you had a lovely birthday!

    I hear you re the publishing issues. I wanted an agent/publisher to represent me when I submitted Discovery at Rosehill, but after a few months of rejections and total frustration, I decided to self-publish. It's been hard work and I'm re-launching the book on 20th Feb, but it's sold and received many great reviews that I'm proud of. Being trad-pubbed these days is just as much hard work as doing it yourself. And not a lot of publishers offer the advances anymore.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    CJ x

    ReplyDelete

I love comments!