Because I’m more than a bit out of focus. I think about lines a lot. Don’t cross this line, don’t cross that line, balance on that one over there. Sometimes I feel like the lines shift, but do they really, or is it my perception–and oh! is that line on a fucking hill?
The line I’m thinking about this morning is, of course, writing and publishing. There’s a small group I’ve been spending some online time with. All talented and writing varied genres, all filled with optimism and hope. Different stages of pursuing publication, a couple who are self pubbing with thought and intention. Needless to say angst and self-doubts are part and parcel of writing, querying, and submitting, everyone takes turns pumping up whoever needs it most on any given day. Most of the members of this group are young, those who aren’t young are relatively new to the process. I don’t mean new as in still learning basic storytelling, but new as in less than 5 years of seriously pursuing publication.
I’m not young. Or new. At the moment I’m not writing or submitting. I still have several requested fulls out, but at this point any responses that come from them will be unexpected.
I don’t want any pep talks. I’m not angsting, thinking my words and stories truly suck. They don’t.
To me, worse than limping along to the battle cry of “I coulda been a contender” is the nonagenarian still waiting for their big break. Yes, I see/hear it. New York. Not that I’m ninety, or qualify for the senior discounted Metrocard, but still. I have to figure out if I’ve crossed the line from being patient and persistent to delusional.
There’s a part of my brain that will always be taking notes for future characters, will see that one moment, hear that one phrase that begins a story in my head. I will probably always write. I love blogging, I’ve enjoyed the experience of posting a couple of stories here on the blog, and suspect I will continue doing so every so often. But full length novels? Querying? Submitting? There’s a phrase I’ve heard a lot over the past ten years or so, maybe it was always there and didn’t come across my radar before, I don’t know–return on investment. Writing full length manuscripts, querying, submitting to the paying lit mags, these are things that require a lot of time, energy, work, and focus. I can’t help but wonder at this point if it’s a poor use of limited resources.