Another dream that will never come true just to compliment your sorrow.The above line is the opening stanza for the song Prayer, by Disturbed, and it is exactly how I feel a lot of the time when going through the whole "let's see if we can get published" game. It's a maddening circle of events that begins with an idea and then twists and turns, returning inward for reflection's sake, and then branching out again with little or no course or direction. When you think you've made it to one level, you actually haven't, and you always--always--end up back at the starting point no matter what you do.
Like I said: maddening. But to not undertake the journey is a mistake. Each and every person, and I firmly believe this, has at least one good story in them. One tale worth telling, and worth the attempt to publish. The question is: is the current work the "one good story" or not? Hard to tell, you have to leave that up to the agents and the publishers; all you can do is write it as best you can, edit it to within an inch of its life, and release it unto the masses to see how far the thing will fly. You never know.
If you're lucky, you have more than one good tale--but even so, that doesn't mean publication is in the cards, as we all know. It's a dirty business, and it's all about sales, sadly. But this is to be expected, publishers are in the business of (a) selling books at a profit. [There is no "b".]
Yes, yes. I know. You're all thinking "Hey, weren't you all pumped up and positive not that long ago? What up, dude?"
I'm still positively charged, that hasn't changed; however, what I think at any given moment can change, and I am in the mood currently that--well--what if the scenario as depicted by the lyric I quoted at the opening of this post is the fate destined for me? What if this is all just a dream that will "never come true"?
I can only strive onward, of course, as I don't know about fate or futures, all I know is that I want to try--to see this through to the bitter (but hopefully sweet) end. Waiting to hear back from the publisher is toil in-and-of itself. Waiting is a game of which I am not particularly fond.
I suppose, I ought to inform you of what publisher I submitted. Just for your own morbid curiosity. Very well then, I sent a packet to Tor Forge Sci-Fi. Yes, the Macmillan/Tom Doherty company. Tor, if you didn't know, is a New York City based publisher that is noted for its science fiction and fantasy books. They are, in fact, one of the real "big boys" when it comes to sci-fi, and may very well be the biggest of the big boys. They have a range of titles and authors and styles like practically no other, which is one of the reasons I chose them. The other reason is that they take direct submissions from folks just like you and me. This is a handy plus, in my opinion.
On their own page it states I'll need to wait 4 to 6 months for the submission to be seen, viewed, categorized, and ultimately accepted or rejected. I'm hoping for sooner rather than later, and acceptance rather than rejection (obviously), but that's entirely up to their staff to determine. It's fully out of my hands the moment I dropped the mailing into the blue USPS box. And so, I wait, patient and impotent for the day my SASE comes back to me. That day will be the culmination of PLAN B, and I hope the wait is fully worth it.
But in the mean time, I sit, ponder, work on MINIMAL, and above all, worry. I worry that the lyric above is true in my case, I worry that I have followed the correct path; I worry about a lot of things. But strangely, I no longer seem to worry about if the public will like the book. You can't please everyone, so I only work to please myself, those I love, and those who chose to find themselves as my potential audience. I don't write "literature," and frankly I would not chose to knowingly and willfully do so--I write what I write how I write it, and that's going to be good enough for me. (And hopefully you as well.)
I just hope I don't fall into a form of depression before the whole ordeal is over. After all, this all started as just a bit of fun for me and my family. No reason to become a sour-puss about it! :)