Monday, Monday

Do you think-write out your disappointments? I do. Here’s a therapeutic piece I wrote to get over something I experienced about a year ago. I wasn’t ready to admit to it at the time. I’m over it now, so it’s time to share. It’s entitled, Monday, Monday because that was the day I received the call.

"Restart Button" offered by U.S. Sec...
“Restart Button” offered by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva, Switzerland March 6, 2009. Department photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Sometimes I need a restart button. Not like the one Hillary Clinton gave to the Russian Foreign Minister in 2009–preferably something less “nuke the world”-ish. Just let me crawl under my desk and sob. I feel really worthless. I know I’m not, but rational thought isn’t prevailing at the moment.

“I received a call from a representative who wanted me to consider his publishing company for my book. Consider? Uh, yeah, I’ll consider! The question I asked was: “Well, what does that mean?” (Yeah, great question, amateur.)

“Let me backtrack just a tad. I did submit my book to this publisher, but not really of my own volition. It is, in fact, the only publishing company I’ve submitted anything to. You see, I was told I was being too much of a perfectionist in crafting my queries to specific agents I’d researched. But then I kind of sent my manuscript to show I was not being picky (which means, yes, I’m OCD and I just went the other extreme on a dare). I didn’t really expect anything to come of it. I am so, so naive.

“After the call from the publishing company, I phoned one of my best friends and had a meltdown over the phone. On the surface, I was so elated that it was positive feedback! Beneath that, I knew it was just an offer to vanity publish. (I’d read the fine print of this company’s procedures.) Then I messaged a self-pubbed writer. His was historical fiction, so I didn’t think his experience would really be the same as mine. He replied, “I was ‘taken by them too’.” *Cue the shoulder slump*

“I’m supposed to put this under my belt and continue on, right? I’m supposed to view this as a profitable learning experience. I just need a blanket I can hide under for a few decades. I think I’ll be okay by then.

“I know I’m overreacting. And I keep asking myself, Why am I letting this affect me? It’s not like a doled out the cash (which isn’t really a testament to my business savvy as much as the realization that I don’t have it to dole out). It’s not like I got burned. But it hurts, and I just need to acknowledge that.

“After collecting my shattered ego, I emailed the company, stating I wanted to look into other options. I’ve become calm about it, though I’m not over crying about it inside. And it’s a good thing that this happened. This is a clear indication I’m not ready on so many levels. I have a lot to learn.”

Have you ever had something like this happen to you–something that wasn’t bad, exactly, but disappointing all the same?

The Charm of All Vortices

“You should publish your story.”

That’s a nice compliment. It is also a minefield, when you consider what it means to publish nowadays. The term ‘publish’ has taken on totally different facets of definition and expectation. The options for publishing a book, especially when considering self-publishing, are breeding faster than rabbits. I’ve discussed the whole “self-publish or go for the gold” with fellow writers. That’s really how writers look at it, isn’t it? Self-publishing isn’t the crowning moment for a writer. I’m being honest here.In reality, the writers who’ve self-published are far superior in thought and action. It takes moxie to put yourself and your work out there. It also takes money.

The ‘helpful advice for writers’ blogs I’ve been reading continue to discuss self-publishing, and I’ve found some of the suggestions suspect. While advertisements for self-publish-assisting services flash and glisten along the sides of the article, it benevolently advises writers to opt for these services to make one’s book look professional. Does anyone want to present his/her story with an unprofessional aspect? Obviously not. Nor do many writers enter this vortex with funds in hand. Isn’t it a writer’s object to take as much financial risk out of the equation as possible, so that he/she won’t end up a Starving Writer Wraith in the Land of Author Discontent?

I’m new at this, you know. I don’t know what I’m doing. I think that’s why self-publishing sounds more like a casino game to me at the moment. Whoever doles out the cash gets a spin around the e-book world. Here and there, someone claims, “Look at my book! It hit the jackpot!”

I’m beginning to wonder if anyone really has a grip on the current publishing frenzy. But that’s the charm of all vortices, eh?