Dear Llama

I’ve been distracted. This month I’ve written very little.

The first distraction has been home improvement projects. It feels tedious to go into the details. At least the house improved.

The second distraction has been insecurity and indecisiveness. That’s tedious too.

The important point now is I’ve made a decision! Again! I usually have to make the same decision several times before it sticks. Do llamas ever have this problem? I suspect not.

I’ve been conflicted over self-publishing (have never wanted to) and traditionally publishing (have never felt deserving). And yet I still want to have my work out in the world. (Conflict? What conflict?)

I’m going to say the answer is both. I’ll still finish polishing up the short story collection I’ve been working on (and mentioned before), and when it’s ready (hahahahah!), I’ll self-publish it. And I’ll keep looking for an agent for my manuscripts. These days it seems possible to live in both worlds, don’t you think so, Llama?

In other news, I am very happy about Halloween. My costume is almost ready.

What does a llama do for Halloween, anyway?


Thanks for reading!

7 thoughts on “Dear Llama

  1. I have a queasy feeling that I’ll never again be as optimistic as you are right now about my “being published” (whatever that means). I’ve all but thrown in the towel. And I’m tired. And trying to stay creative in other ways. But jeez louise it’s hard to “keep the faith” (or whatever the contemporary equivalent is!).

    1. If I’m honest, I’m not optimistic at all. This is actually really hard to write about in a way that sounds reasonable and not whiny or delusional. I made some comment many months ago over at Writer Unboxed about coming to terms with the reality that I may never be a “successful” author. I wasn’t trying to whine. I just wanted to be honest about things. Donald Maass himself replied! I can’t quote exactly but it was along the lines of “Why would you feel that way? There are many agents out there.” And he’s right. There are are. And I get the point. Don’t give up.

      I’m not giving up, but that’s not to say I’m optimistic. I am not. I watched Jane Friedman’s Great Course on getting published. Have you seen it. She mentions (as I’ve heard others mention) that becoming a published author does require–along with the good book, dedication, and so on–luck. Well, luck wouldn’t be luck if we all had it. Then it would be the way things are. So…what am I trying to say?

      I’m rambling.

      I’m not optimistic but I’ll keep trying.
      I think our culture insists that we express optimism every damn minute of the day, which means trying to talk about not actually having that optimism is impossible.

      I feel queasy too.

      1. Have not seen the Jane Friedman course — thanks so much, I’ll look for it!

        I always thought I was a writer because (a) I loved writing and (b) I felt compelled to tell my stories (both fictional and otherwise). I do love writing. But in the face of all evidence of recent years, I have to admit there must not be any true compulsion. It still comes over me now and then, and I’ll do a looooong travelogue-type email to my family, or post something which I imagine to be entertaining and shaggy-dog-storyish on FB — or (ever so rarely) an honest-to-gods blog post. I think I’m not so much tired of telling stories as I am tired of trying to rearrange my life so I can tell them.

        Maybe retirement — real retirement, once I’m not only done working (end of March) but have all the traveling behind me — maybe that will relight the spark, when I again have large blocks of unscheduled time. We’ll see!

    2. Not sure where WP is going actually post this comment, but it is in reply to your comment starting with Jane Friedman and ending with thoughts on retirement.

      I understand how you feel about being tired. I’m not tired of writing. Not at all. But the juggling of time, keeping hopes up, and trying to get my work out there–you know–are bloody exhausting. I feel like I’m supposed to have great writing skills, endless determination, marketing know-how, and inexhaustible optimism. I must be amazing at all the things! Whew. I’m tired just thinking about it.

      Good luck with all you’re doing, JES. Safe travels. Relit spark. And a reminder that you are an excellent writer.

      1. Well, obviously this conversation has lodged in my mind… It’s more than possible that the dream I had this morning sprang from it. The dream was so vivid and (to me) so bang-on relevant to this thread that I actually wrote a real honest-to-gods blog post about it.

        Crazy, no?

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