Monday, June 17, 2013

Uncertainty Looms

Sorry for the grumpy post last week, but it did feel great to get my crankiness out.

The week got better, then it got terrible again. Potentially lost a big client to stuff outside my control, and then I got news about my writing career.

I don't want to discuss anything yet about what's happening, but let's just say that everything is very uncertain at this point. I've been talking about my debut novel, Dragonfly Warrior, for so long now...and when I signed my contract back in January of 2011, I was all high on life.

But six months later, when the publisher shut its doors, I crashed and burned. For those of you that were there, you know how down I got. But I got my rights back and signed another contract with a new publisher last year. Dragonfly Warrior is the first of three books in my Steampunk series: Mechanica Wars. I signed a second contract with the same publisher for the second book, Shadow Warrior. My niche for these novels was Asian steampunk.

I have plans on writing a second trilogy in this series, where I would go beyond exploring Asian myths and inject some African and South American mythology as well.

Oh, I had big plans.

But now it's just a waiting game. And I keep thinking, why do I put myself through this? Writing books and getting them published is really just self-abuse. I won't lie. I've thought about quitting (again). My last hiatus lasted a good 10 years. If I hadn't gotten into blogging back in 2005, I probably wouldn't have started writing again.

So I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I'm Type-A, and pushing myself to fulfill a lifelong dream just doesn't seem to be working. I'm thinking maybe I should just sit back and just let things settle first. Wait and see...which is so very not-me.

Uncertainty sucks.

29 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not sure what's happening, but I hope your plans don't crash and burn again. The waiting is tough. So is publishing in general. That's another reason my third book will probably be my last.

Riann Colton said...

You know my thoughts on this. But damn, Jay, seeing posts like this for you suck hard.

Pat Dilloway said...

Uncertainty does suck. It seemed to take forever for my publisher to get their crap together and put the book out. Another publisher I worked with was much better with that. They actually had a plan and carried through with it.

Michael Offutt, "Johnny on the Spot" said...

I hope things work out soon for you. There's a kind of negative stigma associated with self-publishing, but I for one really enjoy it. I put out a book a week ago that's an R-rated fantasy and did the cover art myself (it was a ton of fun drawing it) and then having all the control was just awesome. And sales have been strong, despite not doing any cover reveal or blog post or blog tour. I just signed up for KDP select with Amazon and threw it on there for $2.99. Hey I get 70% royalties on anything I sell which is a hell of a lot more than I get with my small pub (twice as much).

When I think of it, I suppose not doing a cover reveal is kind of a lie. It has a really sexy cover so I went on tumblr and submitted it to pornography sites. I've been getting a lot of traffic from doing that (and a lot of reblogs) plus fan mails. Fan mails are kind of cool :)

Anyway, I guess what I want to say with my comment is you could always self-pub and get paid a hell of a lot more and probably be more satisfied with your book.

Veronica Sicoe said...

I've been pondering a lot about the writing world lately too, though for entirely different reasons.

I believe the main cause of unhappiness is that it sucks to depend on others when it comes to fulfilling your dream. But you don't have to. You don't need to depend on anyone to guide you, accompany you or approve of your every step. If what you really want is to create fiction you'd love reading, and to spend time in a complex, smart world of your own making (preferably share that with others who feel the same), then no amount of industry bullshit ought to dim your shine. Really. Fuck them and their expectations and business models and whatnot.

Do what you love to do because you love it. Period. There's no insecurity in being truthful to what you really want when you disregard what's "expected".

Robin said...

If you truly love writing and are a Writer, then you won't quit. You might spend some time hating it, but you will figure out a way. If this is one of many things that you love, then you will move on to something else that love. That is life. You just have to figure out what is right for YOU and move from there. Your heart will tell you what to do:)

Jay Noel said...

Alex: It does wear on you for sure. Not sure if I'm waiting for the crash and burn, or just the announcement of the explosion.

Riann: I know. This hurts.

Pat: Some publishers have their shit together. Many don't.

Michael: Huh. That's very interesting.

Veronica: I might have to take more control over my own destiny after this.

Robin: I'm in the "I hate publishers" side right now. Pretty sure that'll change.

Ciara said...

Keep the faith, my friend. It's a tough business, for sure. I'd love to read your steampunk books. I know I'd love them.

jaybird said...

Don't give up. I think I only know of one author who had an easy time- signed deals right away and everything just worked out. But she is as rare as a mother who feels no pain during child birth. It happens, but not very often. I'm not sure what's going on with you and in your writing world, but I'd hate for you to give up on your dream. Hang in there!

M Pax said...

I promise you, you'll be fine, and everything will work out. You'll get that high back. Don't crash and burn. You've been really busy lately. So mull things. But however you mull, I believe you'll be just fine. And you've lots of friends to see that it does work out fine. :)

Jay Noel said...

Ciara: Maybe someday...this is killing me!

jaybird: I've heard of such women. Not sure if they're telling the truth!

Mary: Hopefully, if things go south and the inevitable happens, I'll get my rights back right away.

Phats said...

Sorry man this sucks :( Hang in there!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Take some deep breaths and take care of yourself. Being patient is not one of my strong suits, believe me, so I know it's easier said than done. Sometimes stepping back a bit gives a new perspective on a situation. It might not fix anything, but it might help you see a way around or a different way through it.

DEZMOND said...

the situation in the publishing industry is horrible in my country too. Most of the publishers aren't publishing anything due to the horrid world crises because the first thing that people stop buying when they are in financial crises are books.
I myself haven't had a new book to translate in many many months, but I hope the situation will become better for both of us.

Emily R. King said...

Totally understand. You look at all the time and effort and you feel like you're treading water waiting. Agh. Hang in there, Jay!

Morgan said...

Uncertainty DOES suck. I'm going through a bit of that myself right now. Pleeeease know that you're not alone though, Jay. You clearly have talent and you're being tried right now. I hope you can see the light soon!!!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Man, that sounds rough. No wonder you're down. But Alex is right even though it isn't easy.

Christine Rains said...

Uncertainty is rough. My fingers are crossed for you. I hope your patience brings great rewards. I can sympathize about the waiting game and the publisher let down. I had an incident in 2009 with a publisher, and I felt I was starting at square one again and I still haven't fully recovered.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Despite the uncertainty it's great that you're still writing and blogging. Hang in there.

Elise Fallson said...

Oh nooo! I don't know what's going on at your end but I really hope things pull through for you. From what little you've described here, your books sound like they need to 'get out there' they sound great! Hang in there.

farawayeyes said...

I hear what you're saying, I really do,but I'm for sitting back and letting things settle out for a bit. Who knows what's out there for you.

Ashley Nixon said...

First - your books sound amazing. Secondly, I know it's so hard and everyone says it, but you have to make yourself think positive thoughts even though things are glum. Think about what you have--a publishing contract, books written, IDEAS. Some people have none of that, some people don't even have ideas. The hardest parts along the road are just the struggle before the success.

Brinda said...

Jay!!! No, no, no. I can't see you quitting.

And I'm saying that to you and I've had to give myself daily pep talks for a year now. You have so much talent, vision, creativity, skill...everything it takes.

I need people like you to inspire me. Come on...

Mr. Shife said...

Sorry to hear this Jay. Keep fighting the good fight and don't give up on your dream. You have worked too hard and too long to sit back. Get after it buddy, and have a good weekend too.

The Desert Rocks said...

Just self-pub the Dragonfly Warrior and move on....
You have excellent grammar so that book is ready. Maybe you just need to write something new!

Cynthia said...

Uncertainty can be frustrating, but hey, you've come this far, much farther than most people have who want to be authors. Hang in there.

Sometimes I think of the writing journey as surviving the labyrinth. There are so many promising leads that sometimes lead to dead ends. And we just have to keep moving, keep hoping, and just be grateful that even though we encountered a road block here and there, at least we're not being gobbled down by that crazy Minotaur yet. =)

Jay Noel said...

Thanks everyone! It's been rough, and I'm still down. But just trying the wait and see approach.

It's tough, but I'm forcing myself to go into "business as usual" mode until I'm told differently.

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