Friday, November 20, 2009


Caveat: please keep in mind that this post is written with the utmost hopes for eventual writerly success (Writerly success? Who's penning this blog anyway?)

This morning, while my mind hovered in a semi-conscious state - you know the one where you're aware that you're no longer asleep, but you can't really move yet? - it came to me.

I don't get many flashes of brilliance, so when they do hit, I try to sit up and pay attention (umm, except that I didn't literally sit up because, like I said, my body hadn't quite woken up...)

I've been going through a bit of an identity crisis as a writer (I discuss my multiple novel personality disorder here), and even though it was brought to the forefront by a post earlier this month by Aprilynne Pike, it's something that I've been struggling with for a good year and a half. Of course there's nothing wrong with struggling, as it fosters personal growth, but frankly, I was getting a little annoyed with myself for not being able to figure it out.

It's not like it's the end of the world or anything, but I'm looking at this in terms of a future career, so it's important to have a plan and a platform. Also important, is the ability to self-promote. Even if I manage to swing some huge book deal (hey, it could happen) with a budget for publicity (umm, too much? Just go with it, k?), I will be expected to do as much as I can with whatsoever resources I have at my disposal. And yes, I'm aware of cart-before-the-horse syndrome, but I promise that in pondering the possibilities, I was only trying to discern what I was capable of doing (or willing to do, for that matter).

So, what does this have to do with my early morning epiphany?

Well, this morning, I saw things more clearly than I ever have, and I understood the path that was going to lead me to eventual success. {Remember, we're working on the assumption that if I'm any good at all, I will be agented and published at some point in time.} Obviously I don't know the exact time frame, but now that I've seen the way all of my different projects fit into the larger picture, I have peace of mind* and can focus on putting my best foot (pen?) forward.

I'm one of those people who needs to know why they're doing something before throwing myself into it, and this little identity crisis was getting in the way of my writing. I've been torn as to which avenues to pursue, which made the writing in my current WIP lack focus and clarity. This new knowledge has left me free , and I can stop standing in my own way!

Okay, so what about my YA novel that I've got with several agents already? Well, I have to admit that I was blown away by the amount of requests I did get, especially considering that it was a genre I never even thought I could write in.

I'm still waiting on a few responses, but I'll really be surprised if they amount to anything because agents are looking for the promise of Next Big Thing, and this book is a little quieter than that. Which is okay. I have two more projects that are high concept, but they're a bit of a departure from my usual interests, and I haven't been sure I'd want to break out with them, nor have I quite got the chops to write them to their full potential yet, so it doesn't matter anyway.

Pre-epiphany, it bothered me to be so choosy - after all, just write any book worth publishing because an agent is an agent, and a book deal is a book deal, right? But I don't feel that way. There's a time and season for all things. Even books. And, um, agents. (Work with me, people.) That said, I've been very careful in selecting agents who represent multiple genres (you know, since I've got multiple novel personality disorder), so even if someone does see something great in my writing and wants to take me on, I'll be in a good place. I don't just want any agent; I want the best agent for me.

On a lighter note, I was telling my hubby about my epiphany and he had the oddest look on his face the entire time, so I was starting to feel really self-conscious and prepared myself to hear that he thought I was stupid and should maybe just forget about my dreams of becoming published. So I asked what was wrong (cringing internally at the possible answer), and he said, "I think this is the most you've ever talked since I've known you, and I'm not sure how to process all of this information. But it sounds good to me."

I had a good laugh, and took it as a good sign that I'm this excited. If nothing else, it makes me feel good to dream a little (okay, a lot). I love having something to work toward, and honestly, the reward is in the writing. It has to be, because it's a tough, subjective business, and I understand the reality of it. Still, I hope for the best. What else can I do?


P.S. Is anyone else tired of reading the word epiphany? I really should've consulted a thesaurus. Sorry 'bout that.
P.P.S. I reread this post, and thought (in my most Heath Ledger Joker voice) "Why so serious?"
P.P.P.S. This has to be pretty boring, but I hope you'll come back to visit my blog anyway!
*Love that song by '80s Canadian group Grapes of Wrath, except for that one swear word I wish they had left out. Why do bands do that?


Sliding on the Edge said...

Epiphany. Epiphany. Epiphany. There, I've out done your epiphanies. Besides I love the word. Here's an almost synonym for your next huge wake-up-in-the-morning-and-know-something moment. Satori. I love having those.

Thanks for the great story.

Tracy said...

Ooh, satori. That's a great word - thanks!

And how surprised will people be to click on the comments and read more of made me totally lol (but perhaps I'm easily entertained?)

Aubrie said...

Hey I just joined as a follower on your blog. Good luck with your writing. Anytime agents express an interest in your work you know you're doing something right!

Tracy said...

Thanks, Aubrie, and welcome to a blissful life!

Terresa said...

You know what? One of the biggest reasons I love reading & visiting your blog is that I love that you have this inner passion that just doesn't quit. That you know with enough writing and editing and effort, You Will Get There. And I can't wait when you do!!

Tracy said...

Terresa, thank you for that.