A Writer’s Breakup

I really thought he was the one.

Oh, I’m sorry, did that give you the impression that I am talking about a person? No, I’m actually talking about the second-to-last novel that I completed. My beloved manuscript, now reduced to the state of, well, a permanent manuscript. Someone get me gallon of ice cream please.

Ever write something that you think is so awesome that you imagine yourself living on its profits for ever? It’s the honeymoon period. You think that it’s so genius, perhaps so divinely inspired, so relevant to whatever cultural movement is taking place, that suddenly you will be sitting down for TV interviews about it. People in their living rooms are talking about you. That’s right, all those years of struggle were well worth it.

Or maybe it’s just me. But don’t worry, the fantasy does come crashing down. Pride always entails a fall somewhere down the road.

And then you look at it again later down the road. Perhaps you are the wiser for having written/read more pages or survived a real life crisis of some sort. And then, the work of art that you once so foolishly imagined would bring you validation, fame, and riches seems like nothing more than a lousy, amateurish… Thing that is just taking up valuable space on your hardrive.

That is essentially what just happened to me. I came back to this book I wrote called “Three Rainbow Chasers,” and tried to come up with a new marketing strategy for it. And by marketing strategy, I really mean, a more exciting first 10 pages and a less-sucky query letter. And then I actually read the thing, and now I understand why all those literary agents rejected/ignored it. Because it’s lame. It’s contrived. There’s too much of myself in it- and not in a good, refined, master piece-ish way. In a sophomoric, confused late night blog venting session way. Some people may like that style- but I don’t even think I did it right.

Yet, I still wonder if I’m giving up too soon. It would be a lie to say that I’ve completely renounced my feelings for him… it. We had our good times, that’s for sure. I wonder if I misjudged it. I wonder if he just needs to get his priorities straight… I mean, if it needs more editting.

I wonder if God wants me to try to publish this thing.

What if I never write anything better? What if I just keep giving up and moving on, and I never get anything published? Maybe there is an audience for it…

Or, I could just start writing, and stop writing about it. Oh these decisions! Why can’t I just trust God and be happy?

The moral of the story is, don’t daydream about making money off writing. Making money off writing is like… Well, it’s like something really hard to do. See, I can’t even make an analogy for writing, maybe that’s why I don’t make money. And if you write Christian novels, don’t imagine being interviewed on TV, it will never happen. Write because you love it and because you feel like you’ve got something to say that God wants you to say. And if you do that, even if literary agents ignore you and your electricity gets shut off… Well, you’ve won in your own little/amazing way.

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