It's a strange thing to have a genuine existential crisis, but I want to thank you all for your kind words last week. I've spent the past week doing a lot of thinking, both on what brought me to this point and what to do next. Talking about it with friends helped a lot, as did last week's therapy session, wherein my therapist tricked me into realizing that I do in fact believe in my work.
Yeah, she's good.
A big part of the problem came from my own projection. Seeing a whole lot of agents looking for everything but what I like to write made the whole querying task feel like I was being rejected before I even applied - like querying them would be pointless, because they wouldn't want anything from me. Like I said, projection. But it's easy to start thinking like that when I'm depressed.
Another part of it came from dreaming big, which is usually a good thing. I've always hoped to make writing my career, so I thought it was best to shoot for the same sort of thing my favorite writers have. But that's not an easy shot to make. I think we all know that, whether we've taken it or not. And part of the problem is constantly aiming for that one thing makes every other possible way seem lesser.
I have a distinct problem with putting all my eggs in one basket. A big part of the advice I got, both from friends and my therapist, is that I need to rethink what I'm doing, since I've been banging my head against the same wall for so long and nothing's come of it.
Granted, none of them used that metaphor or put it so dismally, but hey, it's me.
So, instead of continuing the agent hunt, I'm going to start looking into small presses. The general consensus is that they're more open to stories that fall too far outside the mainstream for the big publishers, and the stuff I come up with is only getting weirder, so who knows, it might work out. I'll need to wait a bit, as I've heard it's bad business to try querying agents and editors at the same time, and I do still have queries out for STARWIND.
But that's all right, as I need to do some edits on that book. A common comment from my beta readers was that they didn't find one of the two POV characters as interesting as the other, so I have some plans to make some significant changes to him. Besides, I like the idea more of having only one crew member come from Earth. ^_^ This will take time, but I think it'll be for the better, as it'll give him a better backstory and more appropriate development without changing the overall story. If anyone wants to beta-read the updated version when it's ready, please let me know.
So, yes. I'm not quitting, not that I ever really could. All I can do is keep going and hope someday it'll all be worth it.
Next week: if what I'm reading continues to be good, it'll be another Recommended Reading. If not, it might be just a bunch of random tidbits. We shall see.