Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Dream

When I first started writing (all of two and half years ago), I didn't go into it expecting to be published, I did it to see if I could write a book. It wasn't until I wrote the book, and was told it had potential, that the niggling idea came to life. A dream of being published was born.

After polishing it and polishing it, I finally got enough nerve to submit that first book to contests. Results were mixed. I polished it some more. Then I went to the Romantic Times (RT) Convention and actually pitched it. Shortly after, I started querying agents.

Writing the query for that book opened my eyes. Some thought my book sounded like Twilight (it's not Twilight – not even an adult version of it) and I realized that maybe my book wasn't all that unique. But how was I to know? It's not like I read tons of vampire romance novels. I'd only read a few.

I've read lots more now. I still think my first book has unique aspects to it and I have numerous ideas for a series. It's just that my first book won't make a good first book in the series. Neither will my second, since it's a sequel to the first.

So I wrote a third. One that could kick-start a series. It really was my best, yet. Even the query was easy to write! And while I've had requests (and some requests are still in process), somewhere along the way the urgency to get an agent has diminished.

It's not like I've given up my search for an agent. More like I've slowed down to consider. I've heard the reasons I should continue. I've heard the reasons it's not necessary.

Self-publishing is a tempting apple, but I'm not ready to go that route. It requires a lot of work and time. Time I would rather spend writing. Maybe once I have several books under my belt, it'll be time I can spare.

There's still a part of me that wants that agent, though. Someone on my side who loves my writing. Helping me get better, helping me fulfill my dream. I don't know if that part will ever vanish completely, but I know I don't need an agent to fulfill my dream.

In the meantime, I will keep writing. And I will continue to query, because you just never know. It's like the lottery. You can't win unless you play. And while I do dream of winning the lottery (so I can quit the paying job), at least my dream of being published is a whole lot more realistic. With or without an agent.


Anne Gallagher said...

As a self-published author, the dream of wanting an agent never really goes away. I think it has to do with validation -- That you're actually good enough for New York.

Don't let that quest for an agent stand in your way, however. Do what feels right for you.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

LOL - your story sounds familiar! I wrote my first book 12 yeats ago "just to see if I could do it." Good luck in your quest to publication, whatever path you wind up on!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Thanks for stopping by ladies! And commenting. Always enjoy those.

I envy those who are brave enough to self-publish (you two being in that group). But that's not the route I wish to go at this time. I'll still hope for that agent. It just might take a few more books!

Maria Zannini said...

Self-publishing is a LOT of work. And your only validation comes from your readers.

When I turned down the last two agents who queried me, I knew I had my answer (for my circumstances). But agents are still useful, especially if they can get you the big money. And that's the part we all want. :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Hey - thanks for stopping by, Maria!

While "big money" sounds awesome (but not very realistic), I just know the bigger publishers have more clout and are seen in more places. That's what I want - the ability to be seen by lots of readers. And I know the only way to get that is through an agent.

I'd like to think if I'm persistent, it will happen for me. So I'll keep at it.

DL Hammons said...

What a similar path we walk upon! Keep querying! Keep writing! :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

I will, Don. Thanks for commenting!

Melissa Sugar said...

I have weighed the pros and cons of both. I am just now beginning the query process so I have no idea how it will go. From what I have learned thus far it appears to be a very competitive & often heartbreaking struggle. This is not going to sound right & I can only pray that no one takes it the wrong way and that I don't offend anyone:

I know how hard it is to land an agent & to eventually become a published author through the traditional publishing houses & I get it, I do, but sometimes after I finish a book or many books I say to myself, "If that author made it, I know I can". That was not directed at anyone I have met through blogging and really not at anyone. It is just something that goes through my head sometimes. I will probably view things differently after I wallpaper my house with rejection letters. But until then, I am not willing to give up or give in. I admire authors who are brave enough to go the self publishing route, it is just not what I want. I am sure that can and might change at any time.

I am not too proud to say this either, I do believe that validation comes from the traditional publishing route. I would like to receive that validation. However, I would choose self pub over never becoming published. I guess the question is how long do I hold out?

What do you call a writer who never gives up? a published author? I heard that somewhere and love it.

Good luck. Only you know what is right for you. I am sorry so long, but this is a topic of great interest & concern for me right now.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Melissa, The question - "how long do I hold out?" is one I question myself every day! As well as "how do I know my book is finished?" I think as long as we keep asking the questions, then we keep at it. I'm definitely not ready for self-publishing. I'll search for a publisher on my own first.

I still want that agent. Like you, that's the validation I'm looking for right now. But if I can't get it, it won't stop me from going other routes.

Thanks for stopping by. And any comment length is welcome here!!

Todd R. Moody said...

Keep your dream alive Stacy! I believe in you! I don't think there is any shame in self-publishing, but I understand the desire to be agented and traditionally published, at least once. I will be following in your footsteps, so we'll see how it goes. =)