It's hard not to blame failure on other people. It really seems to be their fault at times. After all, those reviewers don't know a good thing when they read it, right? Neither do the publishers...or the agents or anyone else who has read it. I used to have that attitude as well until I realized that the biggest thing that stood between me and success was really me.It's true that reviewers can be downright mean. Sometimes it's hard to find someone that loves your book as much as you do. It can be near impossible to find an agent that believes in you or a publisher that will take notice of your work. But the one guarantee that I found is that if you don't try, you will NEVER find success.
Someone Always Loved YouWhen I wrote my first novel, "Someone Always Loved You," I got shot down by dozens of agents and I have to admit, I got discouraged. I figured my book wasn't as good as I thought it was and it would be my first and last attempt at writing a novel. Then I stuffed down the desire to write and went about my normal, every day life.
The problem was I had been bitten by the writing bug at a young age and when you catch that particular disease, there isn't much you can do to get rid of the desire to write. Eventually, I HAD to write again and I made a career out of freelance writing gigs for a number of different companies. Oh boy did I write the articles and web content! If you have any interest in cabinet refinishing, traveling to Florida, bathroom remodeling or a variety of other topics it's quite possible you've read some of my work. I enjoyed freelance writing, but my true passion has always been fiction. The problem was that I was standing between me and success. I wouldn't allow myself to try again because I might fail. What was the point?
When I wrote my second novel, "Beyond the Bars" I was inspired much in the same manner as with "Someone Always Loved You." I started it because I had the first chapter in my head and it wouldn't go away. Once I had the first chapter down, I HAD to finish it. Once "Beyond the Bars" was complete I again approached agents. This time, I got many "send me more" requests and I felt like I was really close to securing an agent a few times.
I got between myself and success again because I once again gave up. This time, I don't fully blame myself, but also my situation...motherhood. I had a second daughter and simply didn't have time to spend on emails to agents. When I had free time, I wanted to be writing. And so I wrote "God in the Kitchen," "Taxi Delivery" and so on and so forth.
Because of my freelance writing success, I got into contact with Blue Ribbon Books, an online book publisher who ended up taking four of my novels, three short ones and one full length. All of those novels are published online and I felt very happy about that. I was paid upfront and don't receive any royalties from those books. When I sold the books I didn't care. I got paid to write, I was happy. Now I realize that was just me standing between me and my success again. Had I held out, who knows what I could have done with those particular stories. They are still dear to my heart and they are still part of my work, but I have to let them go now.
When I wrote "Wrong Place, Right Time" I vowed to really do something with it. It was my first attempt at a true romance story and I really wanted it to go somewhere. I initially submitted it to a specific publisher and was determined to wait until I heard from them. My impatience got the best of me when I didn't hear anything at all long past the time length they specified. Since I didn't have time to query a bunch of agents and get a bunch more 'nos' I went straight to a publisher that took manuscripts directly from authors and I got the answer I had always wanted. YES. WE WANT IT.
It would have been easy to sell the story outright to another outlet and just let it go. It would have been easy to keep it on my desktop as something that could have been. It would have been easy to print it out for family and friends to oo and ah over. But as an author, I have finally learned that when I take the easy road, that is simply my way of standing in between me and my success.
I hope I have learned from my past. I hope that when "Wrong Place, Right Time" comes out in December 2014 I won't stand in my own way any longer. I'm not very tall. Perhaps I could at least jump over myself.... That's a thought for another day. :)