Despite the title similarity, this has nothing to do with last month's IWSG entry. This is about getting ready to delve into the submission process and why that scares me.
The title comes from a U2 song, one that I've heard dozens and dozens of times. Why? Because I wrote two different books while listening to the album it's on. Those books, Skyborne and The Accidental Warlock, are the last two books I tried to query. Hell, I started this blog a bit over three years ago for a contest, and Skyborne was my submission.
It kind of hurts to look at that entry now. I thought that was such a good way to start a book, but I cringe when I re-read that. Also, that book was 128,000 words? Yeah, there was no way that was ever getting published. And it was a rewrite of a book that, judging by the file size, was half again as long. >_<
Anyway. Since all of my non-IWSG entries last month were about queries, it's pretty obvious that I'm about to start that process again. And it scares the hell out of me.
I know that I should try to look forward, not back. I believe The Book of Lost Runes is a better and stronger book; there's a reason it makes me feel like I'm finally getting the hang of this writing thing. (I'm crediting the move to Washington with that, whether it's warranted or not.) But it's hard not to reach this point and consider the most likely conclusion: another long series of rejections and silence.
I know that isn't a guarantee. I have more resources now, as I've been holding onto recommendations and websites and all kinds of things that will help me find an agent or publisher that's looking for the sort of stories I like to write. I have a better way to keep track of things now, mostly because I remembered that I actually have a spreadsheet program. (I only ever used it for D&D and RoleMaster character sheets, so using it to track submissions didn't occur to me.) So it's possible that things might actually go the way I want them to.
However, I know not to count on that. So I'm prepared (in theory) to find myself at that unfortunate place of hearing back "no" or nothing from everywhere I send the book. From there, I'll face the same familiar question: now what?
I don't want to self-publish. But I also don't want to give up on this story. I could trunk it for a while, but that also feels like giving up, and I know it'll end up feeling like every other project I've set aside intending to go back to someday. I'll look at it, think about picking it up again, and just shrug it off, figuring there's no point.
It's probably for the best that there's no way to know what will happen without trying. Because despite all this, I am still going to try. I'd rather not spend my whole life never actually doing what I want to do. And there's only one way to prevent that. No matter how much it scares me to go through it all again.
Besides, if things don't work with BoLR, if it goes the way of literally every other book I've written, then maybe I'll start this whole mad cycle again with the crazy dream book. Who knows, it might actually sell. That would figure, wouldn't it? Pour my heart and soul into books that go nowhere, and something I write as a "must get it out of my head" fluke turns out to be what gets me started.
I think I'll stop now, I'm depressing myself. >_< Next week: names.