Publish or Perish

It’s true in the academic world, and it certainly feels true out here in mid-list land. It’s true that you’re a writer even if you don’t get published, but being published is nice. It’s like being allowed into a club, and if you don’t get in, you feel like you’ll just shrivel up from sadness and ineffective effort. You feel like you can’t do a single thing, otherwise you’d be in the club, right?

I realize that having complete fear of whether you can actually do anything is essential in the creative life. However, the terror that accompanies my job is at times problematic. It’s like having night terrors all day long. I find myself in the middle of making a snack for the kids, drifting off and feeling like screaming my head off. That can’t be good.

Sometimes I think it might have been better if I’d never been published at all. Yeah, that would suck, but then I wouldn’t have this lingering hope that I could actually be successful.


Still, the stories keep coming. The current book, untitled, is still hanging on despite my abandonment for Christmas. And a new one has even appeared on the horizon, teasing me with exciting new characters and many possibilities. What am I supposed to do? I’m just going to have to muscle through my paralyzing fear and get back to work. It’s 2009 after all. New beginnings and all that good stuff. Maybe numerologists and astrologists are right about new dates bringing new things into your life. Maybe 2009 will be the year I finally make it out of mid-list purgatory. I’ve already hedged my bets by making a few preparations. I’m taking the f1rst pages┬ámid-winter writer’s boot camp. Maybe they can help me write my way out of the mess of consonants I’ve gotten myself into and get me back on the good side of a publisher.

If not, I’ll just die.


5 thoughts on “Publish or Perish

  1. yecarth says:

    I read your post too. Good to know that I’m not the only one bashing my head on the keyboard from worry. But you seem to have a plan going there. Good for you. Thanks for the encouragement.

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