This Market and That Market and all of my Money

I know I am not alone.

At some point I think everyone who has ever thought of being a writer, who has wondered if maybe they could get something published somewhere, anywhere, has went out and bought at least one of these books. These books promising to give you every place imagineable to submit your work and to provide easy to follow instructions for submitting your children to these unseen judges in the most beauty pageant spotless and combed fashion to encourage being Chosen.

At some point I think we all allow ourselves a moment to dream.

And then we plop down twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five dollars for The Writer’s Market or The Poet’s Market or one of the numerous siblings and printed shirt tail relation that offer page after page of addresses, contact information and preferences. It’s a weird personals section in reverse where the confident simply post an ad saying, “Please Me” and we jump to our feet to submit our pained, inadaquate selves for their judging.

I have a couple of these books on my own shelf. I have went through them all, trying to comb out the ones that look most promising. I have used different colored post-its, paperclips, hi-liters, and corner folding. I have typed countless web addresses, some still working some never having worked, and these books still sit on my shelf. And every year I consider getting the newest edition, as if I would ever be able to pick up on the updates.

Now I use pw.org and look for projects/requests that fit me or which I think I can make myself fit. Things with deadlines and clear requirements. Things that are set up closer to how personal ads should be set up or at least closer to how they should feel. Sending these emails feels productive.

But those books on my shelf, with all of their creases and paper clips and many colored hi-lites, are still there and they still represent the first time I really looked at the idea of not just writing but of being a writer…and dreamed.

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2 Responses to “This Market and That Market and all of my Money”

  1. Selina Jane Says:

    oh god i am such a disgruntled writer!! i am on my 4th book and still no publisher. i have writers market, how to become a famous writer before you’re dead, on writing, seducing the demon – writing for my life and countless other books about the craft of writing or compiled writing resources. joined lit match (good site btw), and have sent out queries to both publishers and agents for each of my books.

    it’s really hard not to get discouraged… i know it’s often a numbers game, but still… i don’t wanna be 60 publishing my first book, with 35 other unpublished manuscripts waiting in the wings.

    i feel your pain… but the dream is still alive over here too (despite my obvious disgruntlement). i’ve heard great things about pw.org!

    btw… i was tag surfing and found this post. had to comment on it!

  2. charlieblizz Says:

    It might be odd but the best advice I ever heard was from an extra feature on the Reservoir Dogs dvd. They were interviewing Eddie Bunker, the guy who played Mr. Blue, and he talked about being in prison and how he started to write while he was incarcerated. He wrote I don’t know how many books before he finallly got one published and then he went on to lead a pretty solid life as a mystery/crime writer. But he said that perseverence trumps everything. It beats talant, it beats luck. As long as you keep plugging away at it, sooner or later you get your chance.

    I just hope neither of us has to wait until we’re 60. Good luck on finding a publisher.

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