Monday, April 4, 2011

In search of my Mojo

I've so much to say, and yet I cannot for the life of me think of the words with which to express myself.

Sounds like a conundrum, doesn't it? Indeed, it is.

Most of you, being the wily writer-types you are, have no doubt noticed my absence here in Blogland. Believe it or not, I've missed you all. Really, I have.

It's just that, well, I've been lost lately.

I'm not going to start in on another whiny, self-absorbed post about how much it sucks to sit here waiting on something, anything, to happen in my quest toward publication. No, I'm as tired of writing that depressing crap as you are reading it.

Still. Something, it seems, has died within me the past few months. My desire? My willingness to continue slicing open a vein only to see the fruits of my labor wither and die while still on the vine? Am I giving up?

I don't know. I hope not.

I have a confession to make: I have been seriously considering e-publishing The Devil You Don't Know, despite having two partials and a full out to agents. Why, you ask. Because I no longer believe I will find an agent. Whether it's because the book sucks, or whether the subject matter is too offensive to non-spiritual people, I don't know.

But I've lost hope for the most part.

And that's making it doubly difficult to work on my new book, even though it's a million miles removed from its predecessor in subject matter and tone.

I'm reminded of an episode of Scrubs, the best TV show in history, in which J.D. has lost his Mojo, which although I can't prove it, I suspect is a metaphor for erectile dysfunction. (I could be so lucky as to only have a flaccid you-know-what to deal with!). Unlike poor J.D., my lost Mojo goes to the very heart of what I do, of what I am.

I seem to have lost the will to write.

OMG. I can't believe I just typed that. But, alas, it's true. At least, temporarily.

I've penned several blog posts over the past year and a half on writers who give up, and why they shouldn't. I can be one hell of a cheerleader when I want to be. Apparently, I can also be a hypocrite as well.

'Cause this little firefly is burning out. Big-time.

I've been on a sort of spiritual quest for the past four years or so, since leaving journalism. I met God in Alcoholics Anonymous and, whether you choose to believe or not, He saved my life.

So I've been searching for meaning, asking the Big Questions. I've been reading theology and philosophy books, talking to shrinks and ministers and drunks and poor people and Mayans. If I wasn't so dense, I'd swear I was turning into an intellectual.

I've come to believe we all have a purpose in life. Don't ask me to explain how I know that, I just do. I've always thought my purpose in life was to be a writer. And who knows? Maybe it is.

But right now, things seem a bit, well, murky.

Perhaps the God of AA can save me yet again, for it was in AA that I learned a valuable lesson: We cannot change our lives by thinking and talking about it, but only by acting upon it. By having faith in ourselves, we act. And change then follows.

In other words, I've reached that critical point in my writing career when I have to do what I least want to do: I must sit down and write. I must quit analyzing and talking and thinking ... and start doing.

Now excuse me while I go figure out this thorny plot of mine.

P.S. Damned if I didn't just write another annoying self-absorbed whiny post. Sorry. :)


  1. I think it's wonderful that you are considering e-publishing your book. I recently decided to make that decision as well and I believe it's the very opposite of giving up.

    We write because we have words to express and it's hard sometimes when you wait and wait and wait to get those words out to people. Sometimes I lose my will to write because I wonder what the point is. I can't relate with the people who say they write for themselves. I write to communicate, and if my books aren't going out there to anyone, well then, I'm just talking to myself.

    It sounds like maybe that's what you're going through. So embrace the vast world of e-publishing! Get your words out there! And when you do, I'm definitely going to buy your book. :)

  2. It's so easy to get discouraged in the quest for publication. I don't think there's one right decision. Think about it, pray about it, and then decide what to do, whether it's to write, to query, to e-publish, or to seek another calling. The only wrong decision would be to give up in despair. Good luck figuring out your thorny plot!

  3. em and sarah said it all!
    think, pray, decide, and DO!!!!
    don't give up! keep moving along! whether you choose to e-pub or keep querying or take up underwater beebee stacking... whatever you choose, CHOSOE! and make like nike and just do it! :) and SMILE!!! we're behind you buddy! :) and we want you happy!! :)

  4. I think these periods come and go for all of us. I go through long periods where I don't write, but it seems my mind keeps building things even then and I eventually come back to it.

    Personally, I think you shouldn't yet self-publish. You should write the next book and the next, as many as you need to keep improving and finally get an agent. Then you can let that agent take a look at your previous books (if you still can stomach them at that point). You can still get them traditionally published by first capturing an agent with a later book. Unless you are truly willing to do the exhausting full-time devotion necessary to make your book work as a self-pub, you are basically just giving up on it if you self-pub now.

  5. I will email you later today. I have a lot to say about this. (Well, when don't I have a lot to say to you.)

  6. Sending happy thoughts your way, my friend. It will get better. And then worse. And then AWESOME, and then okay. And then the bottom will drop out and it will all suck, but then some little ray of sunshine will sneak in. This is life. This is the ride we are on. The thing is, as writers, we sit there staring at the track, wondering why it was built that way and trying to do something about it while we're strapped into the ride. Keep at it. And if you do e-publish, I AM SO BUYING YOUR BOOK. :)

  7. p.s. I don't know if you follow Adam Heine, but here is a link to his blog post today. He did a breakdown of the numbers for trad pub vs self pub, thought you might find it interesting:

  8. I've been in a similar state of mind. The queries for the first book have generated a few requests for fulls and partials, but no offers. At what point do I stop querying?

    For now, I'm going to concentrate on the next manuscript and send out a few queries a week. The nice thing is having all this query experience under my belt. I can avoid certain issues in the first book (multiple points of view, for one) that make querying it so tricky.

  9. There's nothing wrong with epublishing. Get a good cover, and be ready to spend a lot of hours marketing it. Read Amanda Hocking's blog. She says she discovered blog reviewers and begged them to review her novels. Go for it!

  10. You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you the Creative Blog Award for all the hard work you do!

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