December 20, 2013
Here’s the link for this week’s Q&A with Pikes Peak Writers. (Note: it goes straight to the video.)
I recently had a thoughtful moment: Around this time, maybe a week or so ago, was the tenth anniversary of the day I almost quit writing. Well, maybe not quit writing, but quit trying to get published. I’d had a really rough year, writing wise, and was coming to realize that trying to make it in this business was never going to get easier. I’d always have to send things out, I’d always face uncertainty and rejection, there would be dry spells and moments when I thought I was useless and my career was done for, and so on. At the time, the rewards for all the work seemed so little, and I had begun to think I’d never get a novel published. I remember calling my mom and crying, telling her that I couldn’t do this anymore. She answered, Well, what else are you going to do? I had put everything into writing. Could I really just give it up? Well, no, of course not.
As it turns out, the month before, in an ultra-motivated fit after attending the World Fantasy Convention, I sent out a big batch of submissions and query letters. I couldn’t have quit writing, as I’d threatened to do, because a week or so later one of those queries came back, asking to see the book. A month or so after that I landed my agent, who sold Kitty and The Midnight Hour the next summer. So, it all worked out.
Even if it hadn’t worked out, I don’t know that I really would have quit. The habits of writing and sending things out were too ingrained by then. I’d already started writing Discord’s Apple and I doubt I could have just left it. But I definitely mark that as the lowest point, the moment where it all seemed hopeless. Ten years. Seems a lot longer, given all that’s happened since then. I wonder what the next ten years will bring?