As anyone who’s ever read this oft-neglected little blog can tell you, I’ve spent the past few months navigating the often unrewarding, at times exhilarating waters of querying, as I hope to eventually land an agent and a traditional publishing contract for my young adult novel. In the meantime, I’ve seen two writer acquaintances of mine see their work published through very different means, and I’ve got to say, their experiences have really given me some serious food for thought. I mean, I find it amazing that, while we all graduated from the same writing program (only a couple of years apart), our approaches to seeking publication have been so wildly different–and with wildly different results to date.
Three main things go through my mind when I think of these two acquaintances of mine–or let’s just call them ‘friends,’ just for simplicity’s sake, even though it’s not like we’re super close or anything:
First off, there’s the requisite, unavoidable, extremely human prickling of jealousy and impatience. I mean, why them and not me, right? Why can’t it be my time already, dammit?
Secondly, that all-to-human jealousy is often tempered by a surprisingly honest glow of happiness that at least their efforts have not gone unrewarded. Hell, I know what they’ve been through to write and then publish their stuff, so you bet I’m happy for them! Their books are already on my shelves.
And last, but not least, their recent book releases have me questioning the whole process I’ve been putting myself through, and whether I may just be going about it the wrong way.
You see, neither of these friends of mine have put themselves through querying on the same scale as I have. One of them self-published; the other’s been recently published by a small, very well-respected literary press.
Over my next couple of posts, I’ll tell you a little about each of their experiences and how they’ve given me some perspective about my own.