Thursday, February 18, 2010

Turns out published dust, like pixie dust, is exceptionally hard to come by.

I attended a reading tonight in my hometown.  It was hosted by the local library and provided an opportunity for aspiring authors to put their talent (or lack thereof) on display.  I attended it because I plan on reading at it next month, but I wanted to, I don't know, scope out the competition I guess before I committed to anything.

There was one author who presented that had the magic word 'published' tagged on after his name.  At the conclusion of the evening every author there, even the thirteen year old girl with the oddly poignant short story (and yes, me too) flocked to him, surrounding him like a bunch of pecking, pestering birds eager for our own bit of bread.  It wasn't bread that we wanted though.  It was a little bit of his magic to rub off on us, a little bit of his published dust to transport us to that magical land of advances and royalties and loving readers and displays in Barnes and Nobles' windows. 

I got my chance to hector the poor man and in my five minutes of conversation with him I quickly realized no published dust would be forthcoming.  His road, like mine is turning out to be, was a hard slog of queries and rejections, mistakes and discouragement and questioning his sanity for ever taking a single step down this path. 

When I walked away, however, I wasn't disappointed, because if I'm on the same road he traveled, chances are I'll end up at the same destination. Maybe just maybe the next time I read at one of these things, I'll be the one with the single magical word after my name and everybody there will be clamoring for a little bit of my bread.  If not, I've learned in the last year that I truly love to write and no one, not even an uppity New York literary agent can take that away.

1 comment:

Craig said...

I had a similar experience. I wanted to get one of my photography books published. So, I took a seminar on getting published.

Turns out the publishers wants a sure thing before they publish you. They want to see all the other places you have been published. Even if those places are local newspapers, magazines, and contests.

I think you have the best attitude, Angie (something I've always admired in you): you are one step ahead of the game if you are doing what you truely love!

Craig Hansen

P.S. I used Blurb to self-publish my own book!