Monday, August 9, 2010

I Am A Writer.

Those are four of the most difficult, and yet easiest, words I’ve ever said out loud. My manuscript hasn’t been accepted yet, and I’m not upset or surprised by that considering I’ve only sent out three queries so far, but with a very lengthy piece of fiction that hasn’t been published, I’m finding it hard to own what I do.

When people ask me what I do for a living I always say some variation of “I run a company that focuses on decorative faux finish treatments.” It sounds great and all, and it certainly helps pay the bills so technically the ‘for a living’ part is satisfied. The ‘what do you do’ part however…well, what I really want is to utter the words ‘I Write’, it just feels awkward right now.

When I do find myself saying it to a random stranger, I feel like a fraud. Is that weird? I don’t know, maybe it is but I just don’t feel like its real.

I started querying Literary Agents about a week ago and it has been exciting and fun to research their current clients, titles and information. While researching I have discovered a few authors in my own genre (Contemporary Women’s Fiction, or Chick-Lit) that I plan to check out of the library this week and read. If they have a similar enough plot to mine I can mention the titles to the agents I query as proof that I’m a ‘do your homework’ kind of writer.

As a first time author, the stakes are much higher in getting published. Or so I’m told. I don’t know how true that is considering my library holds thousands, upon thousands of books and all of those authors had to be published for the first time too, right?

Not to mention, the times they are a-changin’ and getting published, touring a book and having some agency roll out a red carpet for a quality author’s book signing have fallen away in the face of social media marketing and modern technology. I bet there are even web conference style book readings nowadays where there is a link for the viewer to purchase a signed copy of the book direct from the author while they listen. And if there aren’t yet, I’m sure it’s in the works.

This isn’t to say I will give up querying, far from it. I’m not dejected after a single rejection, and two additional well crafted letters that I haven’t heard on just yet. Please. My skin is far thicker than that.

It just seems like a lot of the marketing and whatnot falls on an author these days so why shouldn’t I just self publish and market it through word of mouth or social networking? Isn’t that what I’d be doing after a publishing house releases it into the wild in a year (or more depending who takes it) anyway?

So if I do self publish, buy my own ISBN, choose the artist for my cover art and spread the word either through this blog or other sources, what difference does it make? Is it more secure to have an agent? Does it really have that much stronger of a chance at being noticed by a lot of people if it goes through a house? Do I even want it to expand that wide?

Ugh, too many questions.

I guess I’m just anxious to be able to own it.


Bridgete said...

I can't answer any of your questions, that's going to have to be up to you. But you are a writer, even if that's not how you pay the bills right now. Just like I'm a lawyer...even if I have to work in retail or waitressing for a while. ♥

joan said...

Your writing is so good. Keep believing in yourself. Everyone else will too. You are a writer!

spottedwolf said...

and I is puhrowd ub yoo Jinnirenjenn..

Just keep givin' er....somethin' will come to acknowledge you.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks friends! I wish all of you were my agent :-) And thanks for not trying to answer my questions, I know its gotta happen my way in my time so its most appreciated that you just listened to my rant & offered encouragement & all that happy crap!

And yes Bridgete, you are a lawyer ♥

pastrywitch said...

You are a writer because you write. Getting published, that's a whole other thing.
I admire the way you're going after it; I haven't even really begun to think about it.

Suldog said...

Owning it, yes. That's what it's all about. No matter what you do, you need to feel you can direct it and make it happen. That's the secret to happiness, I think. Being someone else's success story plays a weak second fiddle.

Rosebud Collection said...

I always remember reading the author of "Three Wives Club"..I hope I got the title right..Anyway, she was rejected many, many times..When it became a hit, she had a party and all the rejection letters were displayed around the room..Just suppose she gave up..You never know what is around the corner..
Keep at it, but I know you will..
Wishing you always the best..
Enjoying the weather with family..more are coming this week.
Love it..
Take care Jenn/sending you love and best wishes..Carolyn

Almost Precious said...

Yep, to be able to own it...means a hell of a lot. Guess the less hands involved the less likelihood that your work will be put through the blender and changed beyond recognition.
Reminds me of an old, though odd song; "Look what they've done to my song ma", of which my favorite verse is:
"Look what they've done to my brain, ma
Look what they've done to my brain
Well they picked it like a chicken bone
And I think I'm half insane, ma
Look what they've done to my song."