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Be Honest: Why are you Really Not Published Yet?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Philip Overby, May 8, 2012.

  1. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I think this has to be a question most beginning writers sit down and ask themselves at some point: Why am I not published yet?

    Have you tried? Have you been madly submitting with no results? Have you just decided it's not worth pursuing with so many self-publishing avenues available?

    I'll add what I've been reading a lot recently that may seem like a "duh" answer: I don't finish anything.

    With the exception of one novella and a handful of short stories, I've never actually really finished anything I write. I'll venture to say this is probably most everyone's problem here. We all know the publishing industry is selective and sometimes it takes years to get picked up. Some people probably never make it to a publisher of any kind. I can't see how that's possible if you have at least some talent, a unique vision, and a lot (I mean a lot) of time at the keyboard/pen and pad.

    Is getting published really a Sisyphean climb? Or is the world too clouded with distractions to get something done? That's my problem. That's why I don't necessarily claim to be a novel writer since I haven't ever finished a novel.

    I don't get writer's block. I just quit.

    Do any of you have this problem? Do you want to do something about it?

    Here's your chance.

    Let's make a blood pact (digitally). Who wants to take up this challenge? Which of us will get published first by 2014?

    I don't want to be a failed writer anymore. I don't want anymore aborted novels. I don't want to keep going on to a "shinier idea." I want to finish something. So at least then I'll have a chance.

    So here in this thread. Make this oath:

    1. I will finish something.

    2. I will get it published by 2014.

    3. Even if this isn't realistic, I will still try.

    4. I'm tired of failing.

    5. I will submit it to (insert publishing house here) and if they don't want it then I'll try (insert publishing house here) and then if that doesn't work (insert publishing house here). Then if those three don't want my novel, then, and only then, I'll start writing something else.

    I hope this at least motivates someone else.

    Let's tell our stories come hell or high water.
     
    ValkyrieMist, Devora, Ruby and 4 others like this.
  2. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    1. I will finish something.

    2. I will have it ready to send out by London WorldCon 2014.

    3. Even if this isn't realistic, I will still try.

    4. I'm tired of failing.

    5. I will submit it to Gollancz London and if they don't want it then I'll try Harper Voyager Australia and then if that doesn't work Orbit, perhaps. Then if those three don't want my novel, then, and only then, I'll start writing something else.


    ---

    I changed mine slightly as I plan to have something ready to take along to WorldCon 2014 in London, as conventions are generally much more relaxed and I'm hoping, if I have something I honestly believe is ready, to convince someone to read the first page.

    My problem until recently is I've been writing without much of a plan, without much of a world... just with a vague idea. I'm currently in a critique group of about 30 who are working alongside Brandon Sanderson lectures and I'm taking everything to heart. I've put aside my massive seven book series and I'm focusing on one book, with two POVs, in one (or two) countries with one shared goal.

    I'm in with you, Phil. Let's get our novels finished!

    (Until now I've only tried submitting two short stories, to the same person at the same small press for anthologies. I'm far too shy for anything else as of yet. As for how many books I've finished writing... I have no idea, which isn't a good sign. I've finished NaNo and Script Frenzy since 2004 and 2007, though I'm not sure which of those were finished works.)
     
  3. gavintonks

    gavintonks Maester

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    I have finished but I am still working as I want to be 110% that its my best
     
  4. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    Don't have anything finished. Not going to rush and force it.

    That's my problem. Well, I say problem, but I think its a valid "thing". There's nothing worse than forcing yourself to finish something when you know you don't have the inspiration or drive to make it something truly wonderful.

    I think I probably will have something done by 2014. I mean, hell, that's like most of two years. Easy. Already got a first draft under my belt (admittedly that novel is being largely rewritten, so that draft doesn't count...)

    I don't know who I'd submit to, I'd rather finish something first.

    So there's my pledge ;)
     
  5. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I think my attitude for a long time was not to rush anything. Well, not even that. Just to take my time. That's why I haven't finished anything. And by finished, I mean even a first draft. So having a sort of long-term goal doesn't hurt anyone. But not having any goal definitely hasn't worked for me. It just makes me keep delaying to actually try to do anything.

    Not to say what I'm offering is a "rush job." It's just a call to arms to quit making excuses for those of us who haven't put our good foot forward yet. And I haven't. I can't say in the 10 something years I've been writing aborted novels that I've ever really, really tried to get something out there.

    That's my inherent problem. "I'll do it later."
     
  6. Writer's block. I have had a terrible tendency to run into a wall or get distracted once I reach the second chapter or so, and in recent years I haven't been actually writing much at all. It's sad but true.
     
  7. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Truthfully, my editing is not completed.
    I finished writing three books, and have edited them alot.
    I will make my first submission to a contest end of next month. (SS)

    I won't submit my books until I know they are the best that I can do.
    I wish I could focus on one, but like when I wrote them, I got tired of the one story, so I switched to another.
    I think this will be the last edit for two of the three. (I have focuses on two, rather then all three)

    I wish I could find a writer's group for crit. There is one in Dayton, but is not genre specific and twenty minutes from work, which is 45 minutes from home.(1hour 5 minutes to drive home)
     
  8. zizban

    zizban Troubadour

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    For me, writing is my hobby. Publishing something that is secondary to me. That said, sometime this year I'll be published.
     
  9. gavintonks

    gavintonks Maester

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    you can submit to critters if you wish to have your work read and critiqued, I have learnt a huge amount from the feedback saved me a lot of school fees
     
  10. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I'm in the process of finding agents for my first finished novel, but I'll still definitely take the pledge.

    1. I will finish something.

    2. I will get it published by 2014.

    3. Even if this isn't realistic, I will still try.

    4. I'm tired of failing.

    5. I will submit it to Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency, and if they don't want it then I'll try Nancy Yost and then if that doesn't work FinePrint Literary Management. Then if those three don't want my novel, then, and only then, I'll start writing something else.
     
  11. Aravelle

    Aravelle Sage

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    Well, every other idea I had before the two I have now sucked. They sucked badly. Now, I don't have any of either story written, but that's because I've been doing concept work and stretching it out. I confess, I am afraid to write, and afraid to go further... So I will make the pact.

    1. I will finish something.

    2. I will get it published by 2014.

    3. Even if this isn't realistic, I will still try.

    4. I'm tired of failing, of having an excuse as to why I don't have writing to show to people who want to see.

    5. I will submit it to Penguin and if they don't want it then I'll try Simon and Schuster, and then if that doesn't work Greenwillow. Then if those three don't want my novel, then, and only then, I'll start writing something else.

    [Ohmygawd I'm scared. X.x]
     
  12. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    1) I will finish something with my new perspective and rapidly increasing skills in editing.

    2) I will be published by 2014.

    3) Even if it isn't realistic, I will try, and along my journey, I will offer my help to others and encourage them along their paths as well (especially Phil who really needs to finish one of his very promising books).

    4) I'm tired of spending all my time treading water and feeling like a failure.

    5) I will submit to Ethan Ellenburg Literary Agency (who rejected my first attempt to submit several months ago), and if they don't want it, I will submit to Nelson Literary Agency, and if they don't want it, I will try Spectrum Literary Agency. If those three don't want my manuscript, then I WILL TRY MORE!
     
  13. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    I set my deadline when I start writing a Fantasy novel, and I work with passion and discipline to keep writing: I have three novels finished in my first series (planning to expand it to seven) I finished my second Fantasy series of five short novels in April 16th 2012 after five years of work and I have finished two of my Joan of England novels and half of the third, aiming to finish this trilogy before 2012 comes to an end =)

    1- I am not sure whether I want to have my stories published or not, maybe it's not so wonderful to be published after all.

    2- Most of my stories are so strange and crazy that they are not what publishers can sell in an effective way.

    3- My Joan of England story is more likely to get published, but first I want to finish the trilogy and then re-read it like twenty times till I am sure that it's exactly what I want it to be.

    So, that's why I am not published yet =)
     
  14. Talespinner

    Talespinner Dreamer

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    For me it's been a mixture of writer's block and being lazy that's stopped me from finishing anything. I'm sick of it so I'm with you on this.

    1. I will finish something.

    2. I will get it published by 2014.

    3. Even if this isn't realistic, I will still try.

    4. I'm tired of failing.

    5. I will submit it to Pyr and if they don't want it then I'll try Orbit and then if that doesn't work Firebird. Then if those three don't want my novel, then, and only then, I'll start writing something else.
     
  15. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    I've submitted short stories, but they were rejected. Haven't submitted a short story in a bit.

    I'm editing my second novel. I believe if I get my edit's right, it'll be good enough to be picked up. Crossing fingers, in a couple of months it's going out. But before now. I can honestly say I wasn't good enough. With all humbleness, I think I am now. I've been studying and working very hard on my craft. I no longer have trouble finishing. It's all about making stuff good now. So lets see if I'm up to snuff, or is it back to working hard and studying. :p
     
  16. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    As of this morning, a query for Winter's Queen is on its way to Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. I should hear back from them sometime in June. Wish me luck!
     
  17. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    In a warped way, this pledge thing something like what brought me to this site. I've done a lot of writing down through the decades. Very rarely finished anything. Probably hundreds of fragments of stories and novels, with the fragments ranging from a few pages scattered throughout the course of the work, to as much as half the whole. A few times I did hit writers block, of sorts. A couple other times, I realized I didn't know enough about my own fictional setting to properly tell the story. And other times, I did just stop. And...a few times I did finish stories. A few offbeat stories that appeared in a forum dedicated to religious debate of all things (trying to make theological points) to fairly good reviews. A novella or two...(though in dire need of a rewrite).

    So...a few months before showing up here (after having my computer wiped and reloaded), I hunted through my piles of past material, and picked the stories that I figured I had the best shot of finishing and might actually be interesting. Since then...I've started two new works. One is not exactly finished, but does come to an ending of sorts, and still needs a bunch of editing. The other I've only made a wee bit of headway on, I undertook it as a sort of favor to a friend (he had a idea, and I told him I'd see what I could do with it - unfortunately, half of his idea was plagerized from a well known author, so....)

    Anyhow, because it accords with my purpose in coming here:

    1) I will finish something.

    2) I will get it published by 2014.

    3) Even if this is not realistic, I will still try.

    4) I'm tired of failing.

    5) I will submit it...somewhere.
     
  18. Ghost

    Ghost Inkling

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    I also have a problem with finishing things, and a fear of failure plays a big part of it. I decided in March that I was tired of failing. To push myself, I decided to write 52 first drafts for short stories. That's one story for every week of the year. Yeah, I started late, but I still think it's doable. I begin things but never reach the end of the story, so the reason I'm focusing on first drafts is just to reach the ending. I can always edit and revise later, but recapturing the momentum from when I first started the story is my downfall.

    Short stories are easier for me to wrap my head around. That problem of abandoning current ideas for the new shinies? Well, it's easier to stick with it if you know you only need a few thousand words rather than a 80,000 word behemoth. I've finished shorts before, so it adds to the feeling of "I can do this!"

    You can see by my signature I've only got 8 stories so far. I plan to use Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo to catch up. :biggrin:

    My oath will be slightly different. I need to get into the habit of writing because I'm tired of saying "I want to be a writer" instead of "I am a writer." I want to prove to myself that I can be published and what I'm doing is worthwhile because there are people out there who will read my stories.

    1. I will publish a story by the end of 2012.
    2. This is a realistic goal, and there is no reason not to try.
    3. I'm tired of failing myself, so giving up or waiting it out is no longer an option.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  19. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    Wow, I'm glad so many people have commented on this. I was starting to think I'm the only one who is tired of not finishing anything. It's not so much about getting published I guess, but about having the guts to finish something to submit it. And getting published should be every writers ultimate goal one way or another (if it's your hobby then just enjoy what you're doing).

    I'll say this. Everyone who has committed to this blood pact, please, just make the effort. It seems strange to say this, but I think if I see a big group of other people committing to something, it inspires me more. And I think that's one of the ultimate goals of Mythic Scribes is to inspire and motivate writers.

    So Ireth, congrats on sending something out! Here's hoping it works out for you!

    I want this blood pact to be something where we can share our successes and failures and further motivate each other. I'm not a motivational speaker and not someone who normally says stuff like this. I think it's just time to do something. To really make the effort. You know?
     
  20. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    I think it would be nifty if we could have a place to report on our progress, to cheer each other on, and encourage each other when it just doesn't seem to be working.

    I wonder if we could have a place on Mythic Scribes, or if we would like to create a group especially for it, or something similar. Or if we just wanted to then use this thread?
     
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