Friday, November 11, 2011

I'm Feeling Doubts!?!

....and the Nano momentum comes to a screeching halt.

I'm going to be perfectly frank; my Amazon book is unorthodox at best. It doesn't fit the style or genre of any of my other books, and it's completely experimental. Part of the reason I'm writing it so quickly is because I don't want to waste too much time working on a book that won't get published.

I told myself to focus on the writing, not the future. I have plenty of perfectly reasonable historical fiction ideas, so it's not like spending a few months on a side project is going to kill my career. I also tried to remind myself how many people poo-pooed on Sacred Fire while I was writing it and how glad I am that I pushed through anyway.  

Just write the book, I keep telling myself. So what if it doesn't get published? You're going to write it anyway. Stop worrying so much. 

But I'm tired of telling people the idea and getting funny looks. I'm tired of being reminded that I'm a commercial author, not a literary one, that an alternate-universe version of Africa doesn't make sense, and that I'm supposed to stick to historical fiction.

The other day I decided to read my husband a chapter so he'd appreciate what I'm trying to do with this book, since he's skeptical. When I was done, he said, "That's great writing, but what about the genre hopping? Do you think an agent is going to be interested in this?"

That was it for me; I sobbed on his lap while he stroked my hair and tried to calm me down. It was at that moment that I realized I do care whether or not this book gets published. I want it to get big and change the world.

The next day I opened my book and just stared at the document. I didn't want to touch it. My spirit was broken.

What now?


  1. Poor you! From my experience, these attacks of doubts are normal. (Small consolation, I know.) I go through them All. The. Time. Every writer I know does, even uber-successful ones.

    I thought what you sent me was awesome. Strong writing, compelling characters and situation. I wouldn't worry about genre-hopping at this point of your career. I'd just concentrate on writing a good book. Plus remember Harry Turtledove at the HNS? Alt-history is commercial as well as literary.

    So, get back on the horse. Take a deep breath Set a timer. Get writing. If you need to, jump ahead to a part in your book that you're really excited to write. And don't reread what you write. /advice

  2. Hugs coming your way. :( I'm sorry you're feeling discouraged. It's tough to write a book when other people aren't sure about it. Genre crossovers sometimes are hard for readers to understand-- but that doesn't mean they can't be great!

    For what it's worth, I think it's a fascinating idea and would love to see what you do with it. So if you don't finish it for anything else, finish it so I can be a beta reader. :)

  3. Doubt is one of the fearful coins you must pay to be an author. Never being accepted is another. No one is promised success.

    Impossible just gives birth to legends.

    If no one is wise enough to accept your book, self-publish through Kindle. This is the time to do with all the affordable Kindles being offered along with the Kindle Fire. Need help in that? Email me. Remember :

    Impossible just means it hasn't been done ... yet. Roland

  4. It's so tough when those meant-to-be-encouraging comments aren't. (((hugs)))

    I think (and I'm not just saying this because i don't do false encouragement), it sounds like a fantastic and amazing idea. I'd read it.

    I heard a literary agent say once, and I totally agree, it's their job to figure out which market your book belongs in. If you love the idea, write it. People will want to read it because you're a talented writer, and it's a compelling story.

  5. Ah, Teralyn. Don't give up. This is NaNoWriMo. This is your novel. This is your heart.

    The only thing my novels have in common is they're all YA, well actually, one is NA. That doesn't matter to me. Because I love each of my stories and my characters. I love writing them and the fun I have doing it. And I know you do, too.

    So buck up, ignore all the funny looks (for practice, take a friend singing through CountryMart, works wonders ;)), and get back to Africa!

  6. Lots of people write different kinds of things!

    It's great to stretch your boundaries, get creative, and try new things. This could be what separates you from the pack.

    If you love it, there are others who will also connect with it. I know this is true. The book that I wrote is crazy unusual, has no market, etc., but it sells steadily through my indie efforts.

  7. If you love it, I'm sure other people will love it.
    Don't be discouraged. There will definitely be people to read it.

  8. teralyn, i hope you are feeling better now. there are lots of folks that push you into a box, a genre, a style, etc. you write what feels right, what you think is right for you. every genre didn't exist as a labeled box at sometime, it wasn't til after folks wrote that way for awhile that the genre was "created". it is that way with anything "new". so you write what you want and then when enough folks read it, and enough begin to also write in that way, you will be considered a trailblazer. breathe and continue

  9. You guys are precious. You seriously brought me to tears a couple times. Thank you for your support! It was what I needed.


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