It’s Just Publishing
I was recently on the phone with one of my friends from college. We don’t get to talk much anymore because our busy schedules and time differences make connecting difficult. So, the conversations we do have tend to be long. This last time, we were laughing over the creative writing classes we took in college, and she mentioned that she had this short piece that she really wanted to turn into a novella over her Christmas break (she’s a law student).
I encouraged her and said that publishing that length is easier than it used to be. Then she said that it would be nice because she needed the extra money she could make from selling it. That’s where I just sort of stopped. She kept talking, but I no longer had anything good to say.
Why? Because as great as my friend is and as awesome as the piece sounds, I know it isn’t that easy. What are the odds that she will just write it up, send it off, and get paid for it? I’m thinking pretty low. Now, I’ve been fairly lucky in my publishing ventures. My stack of rejection letters isn’t nearly as high as I sometimes think it should be, but it also isn’t all ups. I’m reminded of this every time I send off a submission. The editing process is brutal, then the waiting starts. Just seconds after I hit send, the instinct to hit the refresh button on browser kicks in, as if an editor is going to read the first line and email me back with an answer.
I often tell my cousin, who is a budding musician, that if something was easy, everyone would do it. In case you had any doubts, writing is hard. Just doing the writing part is hard, but once you add in the editing and the promotion, and the query letters, and the synopsis, things get even harder. The best advice I have is to keep trying, keep writing, and try not to check your email too often.