Quitters Never Publish (for Real)

I’m a spaz.

I’m a wacko. I’m a dork. I’m a loser.

I have serious issues. I know this. Not ashamed. Even though I’ve only just sent out a couple queries yesterday and the day before, every time I look at my email inbox I’m like a contestant on Deal or No Deal waiting for the next case to be opened. It doesn’t help that I look at my email inbox ALL THE TIME. Those who know me know that the second I receive an email, they pretty much receive an answer. I just love connecting with people. I take it personally and begin to doubt myself and my relationships when people don’t get back to me on Facebook, email, and texts as quick as I get back to them.

“The t-shirt vendor hasn’t gotten back to me about our designs in more than seventy two hours! I wonder if they hate me for choosing that hard-to-find color!”

Sad, I know. So when I send out any email, including queries, my mind still hasn’t come to grips with the fact that the rest of the world isn’t filled with spaz-wacko-dork-losers like me.

And then I got a smart phone…

Why am I confessing this? Why am I telling the world how pathetic I am? Well, like I said, I’ve just started spinning the big wheel that is agent querying. After two straight books of rejection, I’m putting myself out there again, ready to have my heart broken upwards of fifty times, no after no after no. Everything from the form rejection that means they have no desire to talk to you at all–the “I have to go to the bathroom” bar rejection of queries–to the “I love your writing and this story, and someone will definitely publish it, but it’s not the right story for me at this time” rejections.

It’s not you; it’s me.

I’m pondering this upcoming psychological torture as I hear more and more about self-publishing and Amazon.com. I see writer friends trying it. In fact, they have customers on Amazon writing reviews of their work and giving them stars and everything. They’ve made some pocket money (not much more). So why not? Why do I keep querying, getting my heart broken, and creating mini emotional events every time I open my email? Okay, mini kind of downplays the reality of the torment I inflict upon myself.

I can’t do it. I feel like going that route is giving up. I don’t give up. Ever. I can’t remember the last time I failed at something. If I do, I just keep going until it’s fixed. How can I give in? It sounds self-aggrandizing to say these things, but it’s more a problem with stubbornness and insecurity. If I publish through Amazon on my own, then they win! All the doubters and nay-sayers get the last laugh. I can’t bring myself to admit that I’m not good enough. And as a former anti-establishment punk, and a current anti-establishment member of the establishment, I feel like I need to beat this arbitrary, soul-crushing, emasculating system of publishing.

Even if I were sixty five years old, on my fifteenth novel, and had a good one hundred rejections piled up on each one, I can’t imagine giving in. I imagine thinking, I still have a good twenty to twenty five more years to try. I can’t quit now!

So I’m making a new plan as of today. If I remain unpublished, I will Amazon self-publish under the following conditions:

I’m about to die.

There it is folks, a commitment from me. Right before I die you will be able to go on to Amazon and download for free every novel I write from now until then. If you’re older than me, you’ll probably miss out. Sorry. But the rest of you will have some pretty damn good books to read in your retirement homes. You can thank me in Heaven.

As for right now, I have to go. I haven’t checked my email in twenty four minutes and might be missing out on my future. I only have about fifty or sixty years to get this crap published, or I’ll have to give up.

That would suck.

Down with the man. Power to the people. Party on.

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