The Writer’s Map

My writing career is not going anywhere in as much as I’ve no books published and agents aren’t even walking down my street, much less knocking down my door to invite me out.

But of all the books written in the world, only a certain number can hit the shelves. Probably what I need to do is write a better novel.

Dozens of writing books and articles read and I still seem incapable of managing it.

I feel like I’m standing in the street staring at my house and I’ve been asked to draw a map from my house to a far away city I’ve never been to. And I can’t get up in the air to get an ariel view. All I’ve got to go on are a bunch of descriptions of all the towns between here and there.

What? Is this another writer whining? It’s easier than writing.

If whining were energy, we could power the world til the end of time. I’m not sure that would be better for the environment though.

Map! I don’t need no stinking map!

7 thoughts on “The Writer’s Map

  1. Something I’ve learned is that even the best writers can’t break into the industry. Above all else its about timing and finding the right person for your work. I’m in the middle of the query letter process and it is discouraging at best to be a new fish in such a big pond. I’m doing all my “homework” and hopefully I’ll hit the right agent at the right time. 🙂

    Good luck as you continue on your journey.

    1. Thank you. I just can’t decide if my problem is the industry or my writing. I understand the criticisms of the industry and see why many of them are valid. But there is always the possibility that my writing isn’t what it should be. So, I’m all for blaming the difficulty of breaking into the business, but I want to make sure that is the real reason I am not finding success and I’m not avoiding the hard work of writing a good novel.

      1. Don’t let that inner critic get in the way! 🙂 We are always growing as writers, published or unpublished we learn as we go.

        This year has been a huge learning curve for me as I learn about the industry and how it works. It takes time, patience, and a lot of work, so its easy to get discouraged. Faith in yourself and determination go a long way. 🙂

  2. WhitneyCarter

    I get overwhelmed thinking about all the books that are already out there too. As a reader, I love perusing those shelves, but as a writer there’s nothing more discouraging. I always think, “Surely to goodness every original thought is already somewhere on these shelves…” It’s a hard thing overcome.

    1. I think I could live with being not-so-original (since everything seems to have been done and I’ve no choice in the matter), but I at least want to be good at writing my done-before idea. It is overwhelming.

  3. My plan this time around was so simple. One more round of querying, then, if no nibbles, publish it myself. The simplicity of the forethought now makes me feel like a simpleton. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not too awfully naïve; I’ve been through the wringer before. I just hadn’t counted on having snippets of delaying success (like requests for partials, with 4-6 week additional waits) and consideration-worthy critique (versus form rejections).

    Of course, as the wait goes on, I find myself wondering about yet another rewrite, or if I should start another one. Funny, even when you think you’ve got a reliable map, the process has a way of scribbling on it.

    Keep the faith, Marta! We’ll get there, if only because we’re too stubborn to stop stumbling forward.

    1. Thanks, Vaughn. Those snippets of delaying success sound good though. I mean, I know they may not lead to the agent you want (but they could and I hope they do), but they sound promising. Any not-form rejection is hopeful.

      Hurray for stumbling forward. May we stumble through the right door soon.

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