Thursday, July 14, 2011

Publishing Paralysis

I finished transcribing Riftworld (although after doing some research, I've discovered that I have to change the name since apparently Stan Lee had it first). It was a chore and an adventure at the same time. The world has a lot of potential, and it has a couple of interesting characters, but it needs serious rewriting to fix lame dialog and plot holes. I'm not quite ready to write the book yet, though. I need some space from it so I can start over without it being so fresh in my memory. I've taken copious notes for additional scenes and even made a detailed outline for what was already written, but I'm still not in high fantasy mode. It may not be a bad project for Nanowrimo in November.

Now that that's done, you'd think I'd be doing the happy dance, right? That I'd be excited to actually write some fresh material and not have to do any more mind-numbing typing.

In fact, the opposite is true. I'm miserable. I was able to hide behind transcription and could still say I was working on writing without having to think. Now I'm back to trying to decide what to work on next.

I am drawing a complete blank. Again.

After some soul searching, I think I figured out why.

I am suffering from what I've decided to call Publishing Paralysis. I've been putting the cart before the horse lately by doing research about publishing and agents and if it's possible to make money as a writer...and it's causing me a lot of anxiety.  A few of my writing group friends have had some publication success lately. It's all very exciting and cool and I wanna do it, too! But it seems that the pressure to come up with something publish-worthy is oppressing my creative drive. I suddenly have to be brilliant, and it's taking the fun out of it. I can't be brilliant on command. I usually fall into brilliance unintentionally. And really, it's more like quasi-brilliance. Miniature brilliance babies adrift in a sea of uninspiring crap.

So, as much as I am in awe of my successful writing friends, and wish I could be where they are at, I know I'm not ready. I need to work on creation for awhile. I'm thinking about putting a minimum two year restriction prohibiting myself to even think about publishing and just write as much as I can. I need to keep building that body of work (as a sidebar, does anyone else automatically think of Dexter when that phrase comes up?) without thinking that every sentence has to impress an agent or editor.

I haven't written a book (or even a short story) that I feel is publishable quality yet. I think I need to get out there and experience life a bit to enrich my ideas and find my own unique perspective. Not to mention, I need more practice. I do have a bit of natural talent when it comes to writing, but it is still unrefined, underdeveloped. I've learned a lot and my writing has matured over the last few years, but I have a long way to go yet.

Once I have a few more projects finished, I will be able to pick the best ones and maybe then, after much cleaning and polishing, I can start the querying process.

I'm counting on you all to hold me to this! If I start talking about publishing or queries or even editing, please yell at me. Feel free to throw things, or, in extreme cases, punch me in the face.

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