Log in

No account? Create an account
bear by san

March 2017



Powered by LiveJournal.com
bear by san

Advanced Writer Brain Atrophy

So here I sit, researching NYC in 1962 and wondering if I can somehow shoehorn a warrior goldfish into a story about the Beats making the Lower East Side safe for communism. Warning: do not mix Chester Anderson, trips to the koi pond at Balboa Park, Ed Sanders, and the Man From UNCLE. Contents under pressure may explode.

So, there are things About this writing gig that are hard to understand until one experiences them. And which I do sincerely wish had been mentioned in the information packet.

I'm actually experiencing one of those now: the soldierly annoyance of hurry up and wait.

This is going to sound a lot like bitching, I fear--and on one level it is, although I'm certainly not looking for sympathy, nor do I really think I deserve sympathy. I am very fortunate to be where I am right now with regard to my writing and publication, and I know it, and I'm excited and I treasure being here.

Essentially, I am in a dead spot right now. I'm pending. I can't start my third draft of Worldwired until I hear back from various readers about it, and I can't hand it in to my editor until I do those revisions (No kidding, right?), and I can't hand in my option novel until Worldwired is accepted. But, by the same token, I can't really work on Whiskey & Water too much until I know if Blood & Iron will be accepted, or if it will need heavy revisions... because it's foolish to write a sequel to a book that may change extensively.

But I have got to do something, because what happens when I'm not concentrating on a project is that I start to fret. Because, you see, at this point, how well Hammered does is largely out of my hands. I'll do a couple of signings (on my own nickel), I'll try to find whatever creative ways to market I can, but what happens next is that people either buy the book and like it and tell their friends... or they don't.

If (a), I have a career. If (b), I have a problem. A potentially very large problem.

And there is not a goddamned thing I can do about it for the next three and three-fourths months. Except try not to think about it. It's like the week between finals and the results being posted, writ large.

Which is one reason why I've been working on One-Eyed Jack, although I really need another unsold fantasy novel right now like I need a hole in the head. Because I was doing okay while I was still working like a fiend to meet my deadlines and contracts--but now I'm twiddling my thumbs.

I know, I know. 97% of the writers on the planet would kill to have this particular nugget of stress. And I'm not complaining. Really. Fretting, sure, I'm fretting like a fretting thing. And will be for the next four months. Forecast: fretting with incipient moody, and longing for distraction.

But would it be too much to ask for me to know whether my book's going to tank, already?

There. Consider that a public service announcement for everybody reading this who will someday sell a novel. Now another writer has warned you about the waiting-in-the-trenches-for-the-shelling-to-start part of the process.


Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
*kicks Bear*

Stop with the fretting.

And I know you know this already, but never, ever wish for another time than the one you're living in right this second. Things can always get worse.

"Live in the goddamn moment." --Qui-Gon Jinn (paraphrased)
*g* you're a lot of help.

Shut up and get back to writing.

(There. Somebody had to say it.)
LoL! That would be a more effective threat if I didn't already have too many damned novels finished. :-P

My agent has cut me off. She says she won't look at anything else until some of what I have on the shelf sells. (This is not unreasonable on her part: She currently has four books of mine on her desk) *g*
Seems like a bit of fretting ought to be allowed.
*g* I think it is allowed.

I think there ought to be a warning issued with the novel contract, though; none of the advice for novelistas I've seen addresses this particular issue.

I was so totally not expecting this particular fret....
I need an icon with the text inverted from this one. *g*

*nod* This is all good, calming advice, and it's sense, and it's stuff I know intellectually, and very very much appreciate hearing. My problem is that I'm one of those people who is very, very bad at sitting still, and *excruciatingly* bad at waiting. And I also know i have fall back and punt options...

I'm just a control freak, and I hate having things so far out of my hands.

I feel *exactly* the way I did the summer before college. It's remarkably unpleasant.

The hugs and the bourbon AND the empathy AND the advice are all very very very strongly appreciated....
Well, your book is available for pre-order on Amazon, so you could go hover over your sales statistics.

Or you could write more. I don't think the world would be worse off with more fantasy-novels-by-you in the hopper. Just saying is all.
so you could go hover over your sales statistics.

It'd be more useful if I broke a million. I'm down in the trenches where they only update them once a month.

Or you could write more. I could. And I am, sorta, in a haphazard fashion. I'm really trying to force myself to wait until I actually *feel* like writing again, and I have some clue where Jackie is taking me, because right now I'm sort of poking at randomly, and I suspect I'm in danger of flopping over like a dead burned out fish.

Feh. I may have to make some friends or start having a social life or something.
Your book is not going to tank.

I say take the warrior goldfish and run with it.

Signed, Been There Done That
My hero. *g*

There is so much energy in this industry devoted to talking about how goddamned impossible it is to make it into print, to stay in print, to earn out one's advances, to sell the next book...

...and I have always had a tendency to think of myself as a statistic rather than an exception. *g* So I'm braced for the worst... but I don't really want to spend the next four months expecting to fail. Because that's depressing as hell.
And come next summer, this is going to be me. Probably word for fucking word.

I'm not sure whether to hug you or just sit back and watch your brain spin out like a squirrel on amphetamines.


Anything you can do to Not Think About It--like all those blue-eyed polar bears and hippopotami dancing Swan Lake. Because there's nothing constructive to be done. Ya just gotta suffer.

I love you.

cpolk just said this to me in IM:

"It may appear that one can ease the discomfort writing causes by turning to drink, but it's not true after a while."
You could always spend the next 4 months writing bad poetry.
*dies laughing*

I will send it *all* to you!
Cryogenically freezing your head may sound like all fun and games, but just wait until someone finds your poor, unfrozen body standing in front of the fridge, its hand rubbing helplessly at your hungry belly as it wonders why oh why you couldn't have been frozen with your mouth open.

Not a pretty picture, that one.

That's when the zombies catch and behead YOUR body, for my convenience and later use.

Short stories, ladylady. Or a mystery novel. Or a comprehensive history of onions. Or whatever else it is you like to write.

I am so glad I can hear your voice when I read your prose, now.
Hey, it's worth a fret. I've been labelled *cough* control-freak master of my own destiny on more than one occasion. There's nothing more frustrating than being forced to rely on nebulous others.

So, there are things About this writing gig that are hard to understand until one experiences them. And which I do sincerely wish had been mentioned in the information packet.

Crap. There was an information packet?
Crap. There was an information packet?

I hear there's a script, too, but I didn't get a copy.
*g* Actually, selling to another publisher is what I'm trying to do with the YA/mystery stuff.

Bantam gets first refusal on my next adult SF/F book, and they don't have to look at it until WORLDWIRED is accepted. So I really am sort of writing for the trunk (or for 2007) right now.

You just keep writing the next thing, because you're in the very fortunate position where you've already done all the career stuff you need to right now, and you can write what you want to write.

*nod* I know. And I know I'm very, very lucky about things working out the way they have. This all just feels very fraught right now, especially given the amount of talk one gets about how impossible it is for anybody to be successful in the genre currently. Which is talk I don't necessarily believe, mind you, but it is worrying none the less.

It's not that I believe anything *should* be different, or I think about of it should be fixed. I'd just like the magic control-of-my-destiny button now, please. *g*

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

Yeah, that--exactly. I kind of feel like I'm breaking rocks right now, rather than chopping wood, but mindfullness still applies to breaking rocks, I suppose.
okay, so bantam wants to see your next SF/F novel, but they say nothing about fantasy.

SF/F includes fantasy, sweetie. *g*

Yeah, that's my problem exactly--I do write enough for two careers... but currently, I only have one. And the YA novel is out there peddling its little tail, but no takers yet.

*g* Who knows, though? Next year this time, I will probably be whining that there aren't enough hours in the day.

Feast or famine.
I can't remember if I told you, but every day I walk by Border's here in Ann Arbor. They have little flags with Meet author Joe Smith on 9/12, etc. I'm already looking up to see when its going to say Elizabeth Bear. I know you are going to do well.
You're a doll.


Now you have me wondering if I should try to set up a signing or three in Ann Arbor, if I make it to ACUS next year.


Don't suppose you know anybody in the Ann Arbor bookstores....

Heh. You used a "trenches" analogy. Heh.
Don't make me drown you in a bucket. Or turn you over ot the Dirty Elizabethan Poets. *g*
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>