As I sit here, finishing up another writing session, I can't help but feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Writing is a taxing effort, and all the more so when you're dealing with a day job, a family and a myriad other time consuming activities.

You see, I'm a novelist wannabe, which means writing isn't paying the bills. Hell, I'm not even sure if being a published novelist would pay the bills. Anyway, I'm sure every one of you reading this, if anyone takes a moment out of their busy lives to indulge me, knows how I feel right now. I'm tired with a capital T and then a few more capital T's followed by the I-R-E-D. I'm scared, I'm overwhelmed and I'm doubtful. Then again, I'm happy, I'm peaceful and I'm hopeful. Such is the dichotomy of pouring your heart and soul into a project that may never see the light of day.

Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my time, but I keep plugging and chugging, hoping to reach the hallowed ground of PUBLISHED NOVELIST! I often find myself wondering if it's all worth it, but just when I feel the most disheartened, my unpaid editor will send me an e-mail saying, "I just finished Chapter 8 and it is amazing!" Isn't that what we're all looking for? A bit of acceptance. Some praise. Don't we all just want to reach out and touch one person? Would it be so bad if I never got published but five people who I respect told me that my work was fantastic? Once again, such is the life of a writer.

Lest you all think I'm some dark and brooding individual hiding hermit-like in my dank cave, nothing could be further from the truth. Believe it or not, I'm a normal functioning societal unit, who just wants to finish his first novel and see it in print. Is that so wrong?

In the meantime, I'll just be happy that my wife loves me, my son thinks I hung the moon and my daughter tells me I'm funny. You would think that would just about do it, but boy, would I like to enter the ranks of the published.

Kudos to the published! I'm sure you've each endured more than most can fathom and reached dreams you only imagined. Keep on keeping on.

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Comment by Joan Hiller on March 30, 2007 at 2:50pm
Scott,
Don't even think of giving up. I'll buy your book!
S.J. just spoke about how hard it is to get published, and I am so sorry for all the wonderful authors I may not get a chance to read.
Comment by David Terrenoire on March 30, 2007 at 6:17am
I remember saying to my wife that if the second book didn't sell I was going to quit because it was just too damn hard. The second book didn't. Neither did the third. Finally, with the fifth major rewrite of the first novel, I got a deal.

Keep your chin up. But really, don't quit your day job. No, I mean really, don't quit your day job.
Comment by E Scott Johnson on March 30, 2007 at 2:54am
As usual, a fresh day brings a new perspective. It doesn't hurt that I was out driving around this morning in 80 degree weather with my windows open and ESPN Radio keeping me company.

It's true that misery, and in this case misery is a subjective term, loves company. It's just nice to know there are others out there who can truly understand the writer's life. Yes, we're sometimes an angst-ridden bunch, but that's just part of our nature.

It dawned on me today that my stress is not with the writing itself, but with the business side of the process. As I near completion of the manuscript, and as more people tell me it's good, I fear failure. I KNOW how to write. I KNOW how to tell a story. What I don't know is how to get an agent. I mean, I understand the theory and everything, but it's not like relying on no one but yourself to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be. I can determine my creative destiny through sheer persistence. I'm hoping my search for an agent and eventual publication end up the same way.

Thanks everyone for your kind words and comments. Time to get back to the day job.
Comment by Julie Morrigan on March 29, 2007 at 8:26pm
I'm plugging away at stuff too, Scott, keep going, mate. I read somewhere that the writers most likely to get published are the ones who are the most persistent. If this one doesn't catch a wave (although I hope it does), the next one might. A word to the wise - take care if you sign with an agent, as the wrong one can be worse than no agent at all.

Good luck!
Comment by Novelist's Boot Camp on March 29, 2007 at 1:10pm
Concur with J.D., we all go through this and some of us go through it again and again. Here's the good news--you're more likely today than ever in the history of the US to get published. Here's the bad news--it's harder than ever to make a living at it. That said, here's the number one thing you must do to be published, the "secret" of publishing: finish the book. Sounds like you're well on your way to doing just that, so you're well on your way to your goal.
And don't quit the day job.
Comment by J.D. Rhoades on March 29, 2007 at 12:29pm
Hang in there, brother. We've all been where you are now. It can happen.

Of course there's still no guarantee you'll get to quit your day job...

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