My middle-grade novel is done. Yay! That’s cause for celebration. And, I did, especially when it won an RPLA award at the Florida Writer’s Association competition in October, 2016. I took a well-deserved break and sat back for a time to revel in its completion and success. Now what?
Well, I’ve decided to include this first novel as a series of three, so I have more writing ahead of me. Problem is, I can’t ignore the first and turn my focus to the second, and third. There’s the minor detail of finding an agent who’s willing to take on the first and sign on for the next two (and hopefully, other work after that). Then, the quest for a publisher, and the ever-increasing share of marketing my work that falls to me.
This is where I leave my comfort zone and enter the discomfort zone, kicking and screaming. I send out query letters, email submissions, and wait for the rejections to arrive. This is where I wish I could clone myself into a marketing wizard. That way, I could go back to doing what I do best (writing) and leave the business of writing to my other selves.
I don’t quite know how to navigate between these two worlds. I write when I can, then I feel the tug of my first novel, wanting its due. I reluctantly step into the discomfort zone and stay there as long as I can. It’s like two parts of my brain are battling each other. The artistic, creative side is much stronger – that’s why I’m a writer, not a business/marketing major. But my work is destined to languish on my flash drive if I don’t do something to get it out there. I know there is growth in stepping out of one’s comfort zone, but every minute I spend in the business of writing takes me away from what I really want to do – write.
I’m an introvert, and proud of it. Unfortunately, introverts don’t stand a chance in the business world. There’s got to be a way for these two worlds to co-exist and for me (and my work) to survive the discomfort zone. There’s got to be a way for the writer in me to win the battle, or at least get the upper hand. I just haven’t found it yet.