Tuesday, April 19, 2016
I'm Taking an Indefinite Break
I'm sorry to announce that when I finally get around to completing my historical fantasy novel THE DARK AND THE SAPPHIRE (sequel to THE RED AND THE SCARLET), I will be taking an indefinite break from writing. This may mean for good, it may not, hence indefinite. I will probably still blog here, as I'm happy to share the loads of advice I've gathered and hunted down over nearly eight years of writing, but I myself will not be writing. This includes dropping my pursuit of getting published and continuing on my unfinished projects other than TDATS and a story my sister and I hope to get around to co-writing. Before y'all protest, there's a number of factors in my decision.
I simply don't have time for anything these days beyond occasionally decompressing with my friends in the library or over a movie, and that usually involves homework anyway. I'm projected to have close to twenty credits every semester except when student teaching, and y'all who have student taught know how much time that leaves you. I tried to reboot my writing habits (I went from writing a thousand words a day to maybe ten words a month) with Camp NaNoWriMo, but it's just not working. I ended up losing sleep trying to catch up with the word count goal. I'm too busy.
2. Lack of Interest
I've written nine novels, queried three, and out of them all, THE RED AND THE SCARLET is the finest thing I've ever written. Normally, every time you write something new, it becomes the finest thing you've ever written, but my recent works, though polished and possibly more advanced technically, are just not working for me at all and do not have the depth and development of TRATS. Knowing my limits, I doubt I'll be able to top the TRATS and TDATS duology. As it is, I'm struggling to keep the end of TDATS up to par with the rest of the work. That said, I've been querying TRATS and though it fits the market beautifully (diversity, female POC lead, historical fantasy in a non-European setting, upper YA, siblings and pirates and revolution and politics and slow-burning romance), I essentially have been told the same thing about fifty times: "This is amazing, but I don't want it. But don't give up on it! I KNOW someone else will love it!"
Unfortunately, despite the gatekeepers' promises, no one else wants it.
I've revised TRATS and edited the heck out of it according to people's advice, and I dare not go further trying to groom it for the market. It's as marketable as anything (I always get plenty of favorites in pitch contests and plenty of requests), and I've combed it over a span of three years now for what exactly is wrong with it, and I've found my answer: nothing. It's just not my time to get published, apparently, or it may be that it's just not in my future at all. As hard as it is, especially with people encouraging me that I'm destined to get published, it's time to come to grips with the reality that it's just not happening.
That said, it's exciting seeing everyone who has helped me out and vice versa get picked up by agents and publishers. A good deal, if not all, of my #YayYA friends, fellow contest entrants, and pitch swappers have signed deals, and I'll gladly stand on the sidelines to offer feedback and wave pompoms for those of you still looking for a bite. Personally, though, for me, it's time to hang up the towel. I do still have a couple queries out there in the blue, and if I was to suddenly get an offer on TRATS, I'd undoubtedly pick up the pen again, but otherwise I am not planning on continuing to query.
3. Next Stage
Yes, yes, I know, I'm young. But I think this moving on is just an unfortunate part of growing up. I've been writing in chapter form since I was 5 and hoping to get published almost just as long, but there's a difference between being an excellent teen writer in a world of excellent adult writers and getting attention for that and then being another adult writer in a overcrowded market. It's kind of like going from being the most top-notch student at your high school to being just another scholarship winner at your college full of other former best-in-their-school kids. Sometimes being a prodigy doesn't mean success later in life, and it seems this is the direction my talent in writing is going.
That all said, I just want to make a couple things clear :)
1. No, I'm not considering self-publishing
2. I will still be blogging on both of my blogs
3. I will still hold #YayYAs in the future
4. I'm still happy to read your work before you sub to contests/agents
5. I'm immensely grateful to everyone to put their time and effort into me and my work and trying to help me. Your efforts were not in vain. They just helped in ways unrelated to publishing (I now have a wonderful community of online friends!)
Thanks everyone, again! If you have questions, I'm happy to answer.
Happy Writing! I'll enjoy hearing about how you all are progressing with your own writing journey.
Mine is seemingly drawing to a close.