First things first, no, I didn’t sign a contract with an agent. My queries are still sitting in slush piles somewhere.
But I did sign a contract for a short story forthcoming in Fiyah Lit Magazine’s 6th issue.
I found out a few days ago that my piece had been accepted. I was very excited. Still sort of am because this will be my first publication in 4 years. I also wrote the story in one day, which I think is pretty impressive since I haven’t written a short story since my last workshop 2 years ago.
But my joy over this publication was soon eclipsed by the realization that I still haven’t heard anything back about my novel. Now I know I said I was going to wait until March before I start getting worried but I’m worried now!
Last night I followed up with an agent whose reading time frame had passed and then I queried 5 more agents, minor tweaks to the query letter.
I have around 15 queries out now. If none of these result in a partial or full request, I’m going to have to rewrite the first chapter. I can’t imagine what else the issue could possibly be.
I’m also reconsidering the kind of agent I want. Originally, I submitted to the big names. Agents with a track record of YA success who represent black authors. And while I do think my work is up there, I’m not sure how smart it would be to sign with an agent with several high profile clients. How much attention would I get? How much effort are they going to put forth into my book and my long term career as a writer?
An agent only gets big because of their client and their talent. I just need someone who is experienced in the market and values me as a writer and my work and long term goals.
Now, onto the TWITTER IS EVIL part.
In the last year, I’ve found that social media in general takes up too much of my time and makes me feel significantly shittier about my own life. I try to stay off it but I also have a twitter, instagram and bookstagram so that I can have a writerly presence when the time comes.
But I was unfortunate enough to discover the #novel19s tag on twitter today. This tag is for authors debuting novels in 2019. Some are actually debuting in the winter of 2019, so almost 2 years from now.
If these people with agents and sold books are waiting this long to see their work in the world, who knows how much longer it’ll be for me? Even if this round of queries is successful, I could be looking at a pub date in 2020 or 2021. And if this round isn’t successful, which very well could happen, it could be many years that I continue to go without publishing my novel.
And what exactly am I going to be doing during these years I’m waiting to publish my book? I’m hoping to get a fellowship or into a PhD program at some point but this particular novel is fairly timely. Five years from now, I don’t know if anyone is going to care about this movement.
So that’s why I say Twitter is evil for me. I love keeping up with authors and the lit community but I hate being reminded of the long road ahead of me that just seems to keep getting longer and longer.
Let it be known that the road to publication can be a very crappy one. I usually try to end with a little positivity or silver lining but I’m honestly just trudging along through it. I don’t have much choice but to keep moving forward but I’m not happy and I currently really effing hate writing.
That is all.