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Insecurity.

I know I'm supposed to be writing about politics, there's a lot going on. I don't feel like it. I sent a package off to an agent today for a kid series. K. and I both think it's the most commmercial thing we've produced since the series we don't mention here lest former readers Google said series and witness the horrifying spectacle of me dropping the f-bomb.

I swore I'd never go back to kid books. 150 books really ought to be enough. But then I had this idea, and I think it's hot, but nothing is hot till a publisher says it is. Here's how it goes: confidence is high during the writing, declines rapidly as we approach the point of sending the submission, bottoms out when no one calls for a few days.

I think I'm right. I won't know if I am until the marketplace speaks.

Tonight I'm sitting around thinking about alternate careers. (Mine is cooking.) So here's my message to wanna-be writers: 150 books, TV series spin-off, awards, line of toys, money, respect, and you know what? I still don't know for sure if I have it. Lovely career.
I still don't know for sure that I don't suck.

Fortunately there's Ambien.

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“Insecurity.”

  1. Anonymous Walrus Says:

    I was wondering where you had disappeared to. Post-manuscript slump is definitely a lesser of evils. Glad to see you're still around, if not chipper...

  2. Blogger Shochu John Says:

    Look at it this way. If you do suck, and even after the 150 books, TV series spin-off, awards, line of toys, money, and respect, nobody's caught on yet, doesn't that make a far better story? You're either a good writer or a legendary con artist. Sounds like a win-win.

    Also, using the F-bomb as fig leaf segue, I encourage everyone to read Lounsbury’s response to a Glittering Eye post. The concluding sentence is pure gold for those of us who appreciate eyebrow-singeing commentary:
    http://lounsbury.aqoul.com/archives/2006/09/decisions_not_f.html#more

  3. Blogger reader_iam Says:

    Ah. OK, then. I totally forgive you for not being around for chain-yanking and other purposes.

    And you don't suck, I'm sure.

  4. Blogger Dyre42 Says:

    Cooking? Thats great if you feel like standing up for 8 to 10 hours a day and have a passion for it. Speaking as a person who could churn out 60 omelettes in 5 minutes I'd rather have had as many books even kid's books entered into the library of congress.

    Relax, have a scotch and a cigar (or twenty) they'll call.

  5. Blogger amba Says:

    Here's how it goes: confidence is high during the writing, declines rapidly as we approach the point of sending the submission, bottoms out when no one calls for a few days.

    No shit (she said, dropping the s-bomb).

    Is this going under the same authorial name, so that they could put on the cover, "By the author of [the previous series]?" Sure, the kids who grew up on [previous series] are now grown up, but aren't they still selling to a new generation? That is a big draw for agents and publishers, of course -- that you have a "platform," which is their infelicitous, wooden term for a preexisting audience.

    But I'm speaking reason. I'm not speaking to the writer psyche. I'm afraid the insecurity is inseparable from the creativity. It's a manic-depressive profession in essence. Writing is and depends on hypomania, if not the full-fledged thing. Creating makes you feel like God, or a portion of the God-energy. Then afterwards you're your little human self and you're overcome by your own presumption. It's not really the same person doing the two things.

    Imagine how bad it is without the toys, awards, money, respect and cigars. You really wonder if you're deluding yourself and should just give it up and get a straight job,

  6. Blogger amba Says:

    Oh, and I really think agents love to torture us. The manuscript arrives and they put it at the bottom of a pile, and they don't call because they just haven't read it yet. They're jaded.

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