So. . . I guess I’m gonna lay it all out there

by failingatwriting

Why not?

This is an anonymous blog with no followers.

I’m going for it.

I’m an author who has been trying for over a decade to “make it”. It’s important that you understand this premise going forward.

Some people will say that, by definition, I have “made it” because:

  1. I have  been published.
  2. I have an agent.
  3. I’ve won a handful of writing awards.
  4. I’ve been featured in major writing magazines.

Honestly, none of that shit matters when you get to the real thing I want, the real thing YOU want. The real thing EVERY SINGLE WRITER wants: A major lucrative fucking book deal. And we all will take a non-major, non-lucrative one, too. We writers are not picky about that.

I/you want a book deal with a major publishing company that offers an advance. Not a small press that is essentially a self-publisher that doesn’t charge you. That, to me, isn’t making it. Making it as an author is being offered  a contract, a multi-book contract with an advance—doesn’t matter how much.  Where someone pays you for your work, when someone who is important in the industry WANTS YOU, that, my friends, no matter what bullshit you tell yourself or others tell you to make you feel better, THAT is making it. And every single writer wants this. Even the ones who bullshit themselves that book deals aren’t really what’s important— what’s important is the work, the craft, the love of writing.

Those people are lying.

I want to make it. YOU, who is reading this, YOU want to make it. No, don’t turn away. You know you feel the same f-ing way.

I want to make it in a big way. In a Harry Potter, 50 Shades of Grey, Stephen King way.

And, I have been trying in every single prescribed and out-of-the-box way possible for over 10 years.

Yes, I have an MFA.

Yes, I created a platform.

Yes, I’ve been published in literary magazines and anthologies.

Yes, I write from my heart and bones and not for the market.

Yes, my work is marketable and good, hell, it’s more than good, it’s fuckin’ rockstar awesome!

Yes, I’ve been to countless conferences, entered countless contests, had meetings with countless editors and agents at said conferences.

Yes, many agents and many editors have liked, more than liked, LOVED my work.

On paper, if you saw my CV, my platform, you would say, yeah this writer is going to make it. Hell this writer is so close, this writer is like one small, teeny tiny step away from making it. So very, very close.

I’ve been “this close” for ten fucking years.

The myth is that if you keep going, eventually IT will happen. I cannot tell you how many fucking people say this to me. Countless. And I know they tell you that too and you, like me, you cling to that silly little lie, that silly fucking treat me like a child lie because letting go means all of your hard, bloodied knuckles work was for NOTHING.

The truth is:

No matter how hard you try, no matter how great your craft is, there is a very high probability that you, YES, YOU, won’t make it.


I mean EVER.

I mean no matter how long you wait, no matter how many agents you go through, no matter how many good rejections you get, no matter how tightly you hang on or how many conferences you attend or how many times you revise or—fuck it— shred manuscripts and start from scratch, it is very very likely that it will never, EVER happen.

And yet—

I, and YOU, keep trying.