I don’t know if it’s my pesky cold, the dreary weather, or just life in general, but I’m feeling pretty bleh about things lately. About my writing in particular. This is usually the time of year I get a rejection letter, so I have a reason to feel this way. So far, I've heard nothing from the agent I queried, but I still feel bleh.
I’m just tired. Like a hamster on a wheel, running, but never seeming to get anywhere. I'm tired of forcing a story that won’t flow. I'm tired of feeling guilty for not wanting to write. I'm tired of revising books that no one is asking for. I'm tired of rewriting lines with passive voice because I can't seem to get it into my head not to write that way. I'm tired of worrying about my character arcs or lack there of. I'm tired of query letters and synopses. I'm tired of entering and agonizing over contests that mean nothing in the long run. I'm tired of judging contests. I'm tired of submissions and self addressed stamped envelopes. I'm tired of waiting to hear back from someone who is so unethusiastic about my work they haven't bothered to write and tell me so. I'm tired of rejections, even the good ones. It never ends.
Like that hamster, it’s always on to the next book, next submission, next idea...running, running, running, yet still just spinning on some little plastic wheel. Being published is not a magical cure either. I know if I sold a book, it wouldn’t be any better. Yeah, I’d get paid, but I’d also have the pressure to deliver, even if I was tired. But maybe, just maybe, I’d feel like I had leapt off my little wheel and actually had something to show for all the spinning. I feel like I’ve accomplished a big nothing. I haven't even earned activity points for all the aggravation.
I’ve been writing, seriously, since 2003. That’s five years and 4 completed manuscripts. Five years of plotting and writing and submitting and failing and writing some more. And I've been halfheartedly working longer than that. I started piddling around with my first book in 1997, finishing sometime in 2000, then started fudging around with the sequel for a while until I got serious. If you count that, you've got 11 years at writing. And what to show for it? A flash drive full of rejected manuscripts and a couple lovely conference tote bags. At least it feels that way.
And yes, before you say it, I do stop to fill the well. I have plenty of fun, watch plenty of movies and read books and whatnot. I go on vacations and have other hobbies outside of writing. I know I've made strides in the industry, meeting people, making a name for myself. I know I'm making progress, even if I feel like I haven't. If I got my butt in gear, I could very well be on the verge, or I'd like to think I could be. I'm just tired. I feel as though I'm a marathon runner on mile 23 of 26. I'm vomiting on the roadside, every muscle screaming in me to stop. I'm close and yet, today at least, those last three miles might as well be thirty. I mean, given that agent turns me down today and I query a new one tomorrow, say, it takes them three months to request a partial. Then another three months to read that and request a full. Then six months with that before they ask to represent me. Then a year of shopping the book around until they find a house that wants it. Then a year of revisions, etc. Then a year before the book actually hits the shelves. Best case scenario, that makes me a published author in oh...2012 or so. And that's if I work quickly.
I’m not giving up, so don’t jump on me. I’m just feeling wore down. Mentally fatigued, I guess. Anyone else feel this way or are you all hyped up on that New Year's Rush of enthusiasm? Maybe I'm just one of those winter depression people. Pity I can't get in a tanning booth for some 'sun therapy.'