Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I Am A Little Blue

As per Monday's Kafka quote, I've been busted by one of the anonymice in the comments section; it's true that I am a little depressed.  I'm sitting here on a pile of manuscripts (just finished a new collection of literary essays to add to the unpublished novel and short story collection), and though I'm waiting on a few muckety-mucks who could decide in my favor, sometimes I feel like I won't get any of it published unless I pour lighter fluid on myself the manuscripts and light us all on fire.  

Here is the most recent email I received from somebody who has read and published my work before:

"I'm sorry but we've had a very hard time marketing essay anthologies so I think this isn't the best fit for our current list. But the best of luck with it."

Mind you, this is someone with whom I have a fairly substantial connection. Also, note that, these are literary essays that have enjoyed mainstreamed publication in anthologies and have won several awards to boot.  But whatever.  Light the match? Depressing.

7 comments: said...

I'm having similar blues and just haven't posted on my blog for a few days while I've upped my consumption of sugar and french fries.

Your work sounds wonderful. I'm sorry the market sucks.

The only answer is to keep writing (well, there's booze, and sugar and fried food), but still... it just sucks sometimes.

You have my sympathy.

Stay away from those matches though. I want to read your essays and if you play with matches, I might not get to.

Elizabeth said...

Unselfconsciously upbeat message ahead.

But but... but! Memoir was a non-starter 12-15 years ago. And lookie what happened in the last 24 hours in this country (the last 16 months... the last 60 years...). The thrilling screamer headlines today are proof that things change, change, and change.

W,R, your literary essays will certainly sell. They will. You're fortunate to be able to work in different forms; not all fictioneers can pull off essays; not all essayists can write short stories; not all writers can be published in multiple venues. What that contact of yours said was so fifteen minutes ago. The essays will sell.

Bloglily, I've been following your SS submission efforts, and your unfailing good humor and generous support of other writers, and I just think your good karma will win out. You've only been at the SS submitting thing since, what, January, right? It will happen, and when it does, another one will happen, and another.

Please, no angry anonymice; I am not Pollyanna, just been around long enough to know -- to know -- that for every agent or editor who tells you it won't sell, there's another to disagree. The market changes because demographics change, technology changes, interests change, culture, the cost of fuel, the tides... it all makes the planet spin.


Anonymous said...

Stories. Whether in essay or fiction form. It's what sustains us. Our souls. Keep on rockin', W,R.

rmellis said...

There's something liberating about burning your stuff -- just make sure you have copies. I know, I know, defeats the purpose, but not if your purpose is to make a kind of burnt offering to the writing gods.

You have a really strong and compelling blog voice -- we can't stay away! -- so if your essay voice is at all similar I say it's only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

elizabeth, I couldn't agree with you more. I think there's every reason to be optimistic.

At the same time, it's natural to get the blues once in a while. I'd go with the flow if I were W,R. They're bound to clear up. Give it a couple of days.

Anonymous said...

Would you please tell us, WR, what authors or books are the subjects of your literary essays? I'm very curious, and maybe others are too. I don't think a few names (four?) would blow your cover. It would give us an idea of where your interests lie.

KATE EVANS said...

I feel for you.

I, too, am waiting on numerous mucky mucks. Feels like waiting for Godot.

And the only thing that keeps me going is focusing on my projects... remembering that it's about the art, not the business transactions.