Monday, July 04, 2005

Moving slowly

I don't know if it's the fact that I haven't had a drink in over a week, or the long-term effects of the drugs I take for my hayfever, or maybe being alone for longer than I can remember, but I seem to be having slight motivational problems.

Abundance, the SF epic, is now somewhat slimmer. The final word count was 131,000, or a cut of just under 11%. I don't think I've lost too much colour - it's still a big book, just not as bloated as it was. I've started the tooth-pulling task of writing a synopsis and soon I will begin the terrible game of trying to sell my baby to the publishing monster.

I say soon, but then I'm supposed to be doing the same with Benfro book one, and the reason I've suddenly found an interest in Abundance is probably me trying to avoid tackling the selling issue. I could even move on to the rewritten Benfro book two and do a major edit on that, but there's only so much avoidance I can do before even I realise that I'm not fooling anyone.

I hate selling. I hate that I have to sell. People should be battering my door to buy my words. I should have to beat them off with a shitty stick. I shouldn't need to go through the hell that is preparing submissions, sending them off with heart in mouth and then waiting for the rejections slips of doom to come winging back. I hate it, and I'm scared of it, and because I'm a coward, I have four completed novels which have yet to be properly tested in the marketplace.

In truth, only my first two books, Pedalling Uphill Slowly and Running Away have really been pushed hard. And both of them have caused me untold pain. I've already blogged about the vanity agents who destroyed my hopes of getting Running Away published. With Pedalling Uphill Slowly, I was days away from signing a deal with an Edinburgh publishing house when a change of owner and new editorial policy took them away from publishing travel writing. These early setbacks have scarred me, and so I hide in my corner, typing away, finding other things to do, ducking the issue and moving very, very slowly.

I'm sure I'm not the only person out here who has these problems, and really it's a bit pathetic when you think about it. But this is my blog and I'll whinge and moan on it if I want to. And wear my heart on my sleeve too (which always struck me as a very messy thing to do).

So I turn now to those few people who regularly stop by here. Even if you're only interested in the Sheep of the Week, drop me a comment. Harangue me. Badger me if you must, but keep on at me until I can truthfully blog that I've sent my babies out into the wider world to try and earn their keep.


Blogger Aldo said...

James, my man, stick with it. I for one am waiting, growing a beard, in support of these efforts. If you can't do it, I will be forced to fly over, get you rightfully pissed, and then talk some sense into you......

July 05, 2005 1:56 am  
Blogger Stuart MacBride said...

Finger out Oswald! Them novels isn't going to sell themselves.

Courage of your convictions and all that. You have nothing to lose, but your SAEs.

If you don't try you'll never know.

And this might help: Directory of Literary Agents by genre

July 05, 2005 10:53 am  
Blogger John R. said...

Badger you?

Oh-ho! I think we all know what that means!

*rolls up sleeves*

July 05, 2005 2:43 pm  

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