Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sam Cooke on Loop

These past two weeks have been and will be I want to thank those of you who have sent me e-mails and messages to keep my chin up regarding last week's fiasco that is still ongoing (which was capped by yet two more rejection letters from agents. Oh, it was a good week last week, yes lol). Shame on me for not realizing I would have the kind of support I'd received, but that was a singular blessing during that entire ordeal. I don't believe in coincidences, despite my reluctance to go to a church every Sunday, but I'm constantly reminded there's someone bigger than I looking out for me, and I'm eternally grateful. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning; and while I don't particularly feel joy, I do feel more at peace than I had before, and I'm definitely grateful for that.

I had my last day at work on Friday, and my coworkers took me out to lunch and gave me a really nice card. I knew about the lunch; I'd even expected a card because I'd been at my job long enough to know that's just the type of great people I work with...but I was still touched by the nice things that were said about me and the genuine well-wishes bestowed upon me. I'm going to miss them, even if I won't exactly miss Boston per se. I've met and known wonderful people up here, and thank goodness for Facebook because we'll be able to keep in touch much better than we would probably without it. But it's going to be weird not getting up before the sun rises to go to work. It's going to be weird not to contend with ice and snow for the majority of the year (or how it seems to me anyway!). It's going to be weird to step out on faith and do what I need to do...what I've wanted to do since I was a junior in high school. Write. Scary, scary, scary. And maybe one of these manuscripts will be something an editor/agent will want to represent; but until then, I'll be self-publishing, which means no guarantees of success. SC has the 3rd-highest unemployment rate in the country, and I'm moving there with no "job" prospect in sight. And yet, I'm excited as well as trepidatious about the entire thing. This is the first time I'm going to do something for me, something that's not safe...something that has a real chance of blowing up in my face regardless of how much planning I've done to safeguard against it. I believe I am resilient enough to withstand whatever comes--even success. I hope lol.

I am procrastinating like crazy with packing. I have so much junk; I didn't know it could accumulate so quickly in three years (well, 7/8 years if you count college). I load 'em up and ship 'em out on Monday and Tuesday of next week, but it's hard to let go of routine; of that safety net. But I think I need to do this in order to go where I want to be. I'm scared...really, really scared. The first thing my uncle said when I told him I was doing this writing thing two years ago was how unlikely it would be for me to be successful. That wasn't the most encouraging thing I could've heard, especially when his (and, hell, the industry's) definition of successful is one I haven't met yet. According to agents and editors, I only have one publishing credit (if that, since it's with an e-publisher and it's a short story) and those three other novels and that one novella doesn't count. Except it does to me. That's blood, sweat, tears, sleepless nights, hungry mornings, me in those books. To say that doesn't count don't do much for the ego, I can assure you.

But I'm doing it anyway, because it counts to me. I'm choosing to look at the ending of my contract as a new beginning instead of dwelling on the horror of not having a "proper" job that pays benefits and a 401k (that...has gotten smaller, *eyes economy*). And I have to believe I'm smart enough to pull this off, and dare I say it, talented enough. And God willing, lucky and blessed enough. And I have to remind myself about all those e-mails and notes I got last week from people who are rooting for me, people who are farther along in their publishing journey who are cheering me on. It's very disconcerting to have people selling you to yourself, because I'm so used to focusing on what's not right with me that I disregard what is. You are often your worst critic, after all. I wonder if I had a book signing would people come--I'm so scared they wouldn't, you know? That's why I like those multiple author signings because maybe someone will mosey on over from a more established author and give me a shot.

I say this because I plan on releasing Trolling Nights in the next few weeks. The last time I had a book signing it was for Being Plumville, and considering that was my first book, I wasn't expecting many people to come outside of family and a few friends, but I am also...shy. But that's something I'll use these next few months to work on, trusting that people want to hear what I have to say, even if the majority of my experience thus far says otherwise. I don't get many reviews or responses (which goes back to why I was surprised by the e-mails from last week!) but that doesn't mean people don't know who I am or haven't read my work. But the's easy to live in one in Boston. When I go home, it'll be slightly different.

Change..."Yes We Can!", eh?

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