It’s that slipping grip of fear that holds me down.
What does that mean? No idea, it just popped into my head and I liked the rhythm of it.
Which is all just dodging the issue of what this is to be about. How do I follow up what seems to have been a decently received report about FantasyCon when since that point I have done absolutely nothing of note?
Originally I was going to title this “The Difficult Second Blog” and look at what famous and successful people had done to follow up their first works.
But I wasn’t sure.
Then I was going to talk about my ninja postman who dropped a “We couldn’t deliver card” through the door despite the fact that I was home. Then when I went looking for him to get my parcel before he left I found his van, saw him, followed him but he was gone. Like a will-o-the-wisp (or a ninja, as I said). I know that area of my estate, I’ve delivered newspapers there back in the day, yet he was still gone. How does that happen?
Instead I want to talk a little about fear. The fear I had when scrabbling around to find a topic for a second blog. Something to keep this beast going until it’s powering along under its own steam.
I scrabbled around so much because I keep feeling like I don’t have anything to say and if I did, who’d want to read it? Strangely, this feeds back into the fiction writing I do where the general consensus so far has been that no-one wants what I’ve got to offer.
Of course, sending a story to only one place and then giving up doesn’t aid my cause. I know intellectually that anything I write will most likely have to go through a number of rejections before acceptance. Right up until I’m known as The Rob Spalding, as in “You’re The Rob Spalding aren’t you?”
“Can I touch you?”
“If you must.”
Up until that point there’s no such thing as a guarantee of acceptance. But I just can’t bring myself to the point of submission. I love writing, sitting and creating is a great joy. Even rewriting, fixing the bits I know are wrong is quite fun, but I love it less. However, I don’t like submitting my stuff. And it’s not just because of likely rejections – though that’s a part of it – I just simply dislike the mechanics of finding the right market, formatting my work to the specific specifications of that place (it must be in this font size and font. No italics, underline not bold.) All things that are the mechanical part of the business disinterest me. Which is an issue if I really want to make this a job. Any job has parts you will dislike, it’s a question of bulling through.
Would the promise of guaranteed money help? Maybe. I’ll be honest and say I’d still treat it like the worst job in the world, putting it off for as long as I possibly could, finding ways around it.
But I was talking about fear, or at least, I meant to.
And this brings me to my current state. At FantasyCon I met an agent who said she would be interested in getting the chapters and synopsis for my novel. So today I have been preparing. Rewrites, spell checks, font changing and generally getting it ready.
But still I wonder if I should send it. Yes she asked for it, but is it ready, is it good enough? Can’t I just live with knowing the people who’ve already seen it like it? Who am I to try this?
And that’s before we get to the synopsis which is already on its twentieth or thirtieth draft and still reads incredibly dryly. I just can’t make it sing the way I want it to. So I have to hope the words of the book will sell it.
But will they? Could they sing more? I can’t make them sing any louder without help. And help is what getting an agent would be.
The Catch 22 of publishing – it needs to be better to get an agent, but to make it better needs an agent. (Not entirely true, but you know what I mean).
And so the fear sits and grips and I try to slip through.
Everything is ready, just need to print and post. Here I go.