Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So why am I angry?

First off, let me assure you I haven't run off to some Pacific island. Nor have I been in prison.

No, I have been writing my second novel. Every single day. When I wrote TDYDK, I didn't have a blog. I started it once I was revising, and it was easy to find time in the day to knock off a post several times a week.

But since I'm writing hot, the very idea of stopping for the day only to come here and write even more is, well, exhausting. Not to mention that it feels like I'm wasting words that would be put to better use in my manuscript.

So, sorry about the lack of posts. I do love you guys. :)

The other thing, and it's perhaps more perplexing, is that I have been in a state of low-level anger for months. It's not something I can explain, at least not well. But it has something to do with writing. And publishing. And agents. You know, that kind of stuff. Writer stuff.

Part of it is me being a baby. I worked my butt off for three years on my first book and, with a few exceptions, it garnered no interest from agents. In fact, more than three-fourths of the queries I sent were never answered.

Now, I know that's the way things are in today's publishing world. A no answer means no. But really, how hard is it to set up an auto-reply? Just so we know that we're not shouting down a bottomless pit.

I can think of two writers who have blown up big-time on the Internet in the recent past. One guy went down on, I think, Nathan Bransford's blog. And man, it wasn't pretty. The dude went bonkers and when he exploded, he likely took his career down with him.

Another woman went batshit crazy about a review of her self-published book, and wound up calling her readers all kinds of profane names. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion. I've heard nothing from her since then, either.

Lesson learned. So each time I call up this blog to write something, I think about how angry I've been and I just close it. Why make things worse than they already are?

But still. I have my moments. Moments like yesterday when I not only want to never write another word, but want to BREAK MY FUCKING COMPUTER too. Really.

And I'm not sure why. I suspect I'm afraid. I'm afraid this next book will sink, too, like its predecessor. I'm afraid I'm wasting my time, chasing a dream that will constantly elude me, no matter how hard I try to catch it.

But I keep at it. I keep writing. I keep reading and studying my craft in an effort to get better. To get published. Because to quit now seems even more unthinkable than keeping going.

So why am I so angry?

How about you guys? Anyone thinking about giving up? Are you angry at the current state of publishing? Are you afraid? Talk to me, people.

And let's all have a nice day.


  1. I hope this doesn't come off sounding like empty encouragement, because it's not. I haven't read much of your stuff, Terry, but the little bits you've posted are good, solid writing. There's nothing wrong with it, and I'd imagine that's a good bit of the frustration factor. If there's nothing wrong, then there's no conceivable reason things shouldn't progress, and I honestly have no explanations or reasoning to figure out why an agent hasn't leapt on your book other than to say YA seems to be devouring everything these days, edging out the more adult-centered fiction in the market.

    I've had stretches where I've felt angry at everyone and everything for no apparent reason. It's the crop that springs up from all that frustration, I think, and without a concrete target it spreads out like kudzu choking everything in its path. You have to kill it quick or else it will destroy everything you've worked for.

  2. Ditto to everything you said. I recently finished a manuscript. Haven't tried to market it yet ... for the same fears that you mentioned. It took me four years to write, and I cannot bear the thought that it might be four years of my free time, and many personal sacrifices, down the drain. But I will begin querying soon.

    As to blogging, a few weeks ago, I had to take a break or else I was about to go ballistic on the net which is, as you said, not something a sane person should allow themselves to do.

    I think that, the older we get, the deeper the fears about how we're spending our time and, ultimately, are we wasting it on writing when we could be doing any number of less masochistic pursuits?

    Yet, on the other hand, we're (you and I) are at an age where we have absolutely nothing to lose (except time). We've got everything we ever wanted in life, or at least, I do, except for a publishing career. So, why sweat it? Why not make a game out of it instead?

  3. I let all the feelings you mention prevent me from even trying a novel. I know I could write one(sure he does), but I don't have the cahonas to put several years into something that fails to bear fruit. At least you've gotten past my problems and written something. Good luck getting over your next obstacles.

  4. I think the first novel is so much easier to write than the second. Once you've experienced the disappointments of querying, you can't help but wonder, "Why bother? It's impossible."

    I am writing my second novel and it's difficult. What keeps me going? I guess the artistic drive to create something even if only my friends and family see it. I could be earning a good salary if I went back to teaching, but I wouldn't enjoy it like writing. Plus my household (with two young daughters) runs so much smoother with me at home. I'm always available for driving errands, doctor's appointments, kids-home-sick duty, etc.

    Publishing is such a crap shoot. For your sanity, it would be better to fall in love with your story so that you want to get it down for your own sake. In other words, change your goal from publishing contract to: best damn book I ever wrote. I know, easier said than done.

  5. Stop getting angry and educate yourself about the turmoil in publishing.

    Read this:

    And this:

    And this: