Friday, October 30, 2009

Tough Call

If you come here often, you'll know I whine a lot about how hard it is to get published. Not meaning to sound ungrateful you know, because I'm sure all those Amish fiction authors are having a good time in Book Writing And Actually Getting Paid For It World, but I've been down here in Been Writing For Centuries And Still Unpublished World for a loooong time. And you know, being modest here, but I'm pretty sure it's not my writing. Ten years ago, yeah, the writing sucked. Big time.
Now, not so much.
So what's a starving writer to do? Okay, I'm not starving. Don't send food., never mind.
I've been thinking about targeting some of the 'sweeter' houses. Had an email chat with my agent about it. She knows her stuff. Thinks it might be a good idea. But I realized today exactly what this means in terms of my writing.
It means, you know, writing books for houses that publish, ahem...that Amish stuff. And the like. Not that there's anything wrong with those books, 'cause they're selling, so somebody has to be reading 'em.
It's not me. To each his or her own, don't shoot. I mean shoot like shoot, not shoot like...okay whatever.
I have a couple of stories kicking around that I can resurrect and get ready to send out. In fact, I won't lie. I've been working on one this week.
But I'm in a little trouble. Here's why.
Can't Do This
Um. Yeah. Newsflash. I don't do sweet.
I also think I'll need a crash course in Perfect Christianity 101. Apparently I flunked the first one.
Here's the thing. And I'm really talking to myself so you don't have to stick around if you're busy. I won't hold it against you.
Do I write simply for the sake of getting published?
Do I write the stories God puts on my heart, even if they're too 'real' to stand a chance in a major publishing house?
Do I ignore the common sense decision that would say write a few sweet romances, get your name out there. You can always write those 'real' books later.
Or do I continue to just write and leave the rest up to God?
It's funny though, this story is getting good, better by the day. I like it. So I don't know.
If I finish it and it sells, will I have to trade in my old crusty self for a newer, sweeter model? (That's the sound of me puking).
Will I be forever stuck in Candyland?
Dang. I thought I had a plan.
Thought it was gonna work.
Now I'm not so sure I'll be happy if it does.
We saw Oliver Twist a few weeks ago. quote Fagan, who I adore by the way, "I'm reviewing the situation. I think I'd better think it out again."


Katy McKenna said...

Girl, girl. You've got me laughing. I ask myself these same questions nearly every day. For now, I'm gonna keep working on Book Number Two, which is no sweeter than my first book. :) But I do think I'm succeeding in making sure my protag is sympathetic early on, like in the first paragraph. Ha! I didn't quite get that memo the first time around.

Keep on, friend. Something's gonna stick!

Kirk said...


I mean really LOLOLOL!!

I can't believe that list! Are you serious??? They actually made a list like that?? How are you supposed to write anything of real substance with boundaries like that?

Talk about issuing a Fatwa! Are we repentant sinners struggling to follow Christ or angel clones practicing Sharia? lol

Cathy, you know my opinion: Write what's in you, not what sells. Publication is not the end all be all of life and if you have to stoop to such means just to see your name on a cover, trust me it will be a hollow feeling if whats inside that cover is not what's inside "you".

Keep rocking what God put in you, He'll clean up what needs to be cleaned once He makes the right publisher available to you.


PS. You used "dang" in your post so you failed candyland already! LOL >;)

jenness said...

You've already written the first draft of the could-be-sweet stories, so obviously they were on your heart at some point and you believed in them. So dust them off, spruce them up, work with the guidelines but use your own unique twist. You can do it! Then you'll start to build a readership, have a sense of accomplishment along the way to your bigger goals, etc. could always write romantic suspense. Then, in between the candy, you can blow things up. :-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I've heard this story so many times. In fact, I've experienced the advice to write just about everything but what I'm writing.

Stick with what the Lord puts on your heart. I want His definition of success, not someone else's ideas.

Susan :)

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I think Jenness has given you some sound advice. Sometimes it's a matter of getting your foot in the door, some fiction writing credits under your belt, and establishing that initial platform. Once you have that as a solid base, a publishing house will be more willing to take a chance on YOU taking a chance on the deeper subjects of life.

And she's right, you've already written those old manuscripts. They were part of you at one time. It may be that God still needs some of those old stories to touch someone.