If you know anything about me, you know that I’m a tiny bit obsessed with craft books on writing. I own several, and have checked out many more through our library’s digital app, Libby. By far, my favorite craft book to date is “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg. I own it, but it is on Libby, for anyone who may be interested. I highly, highly recommend.
But I digress, I’m currently reading a craft book, that I will leave unmentioned, that has left me a bit disappointed and I’m only on chapter three. You see, as a writer, it’s fairly typical for one to pick a genre. Those can consist of: young adult, romance, sci-fi, historical fiction, literary, children’s literature, etc. My particular genre is literary, because my favorite authors have always been JD Salinger and Joyce Maynard. Now, if you know the story behind these two, don’t worry, I’m not ignoring it but that’s a blog post for another day I’m afraid.
Back to my disappointment, this particular craft book goes on to say how successful new authors will be in all genres as it goes through each of the genres I’ve listed above, leaving literary for last. When the author of this specific craft book finally gets down to talking about the literally genre, he/she basically breaks hearts all over the world by saying that there is a slim to none chance of reaching any sort of success in the publication of a literary work (please excuse my passive tense here, but I’m frustrated and please excuse all my adverbs too while you’re at it. I’m not going to be successful anyway, because I’m a literary artist). The author goes on to say that the market is flooded with literary works and that it’s exceptionally difficult for a new author to break in.
Well isn’t that just a kick in the pants? 26,020 words into my literary WIP (work in progress), over halfway done, and I have a needle in a haystack’s (excuse the cliché also, but again, success chances have dwindled) chances of ever being published.
There are two ways I could go about this problem. 1) I could wallow in my sorrows, give up on my WIP, and cross genres, despite my love of literary or 2) I could keep plugging away, put my entire heart and soul into this WIP, revise the living heck out of it once it’s done, and polish it to it’s very best before submitting it to agents, despite the craft book having yee of little faith in me.
I think I’m going to go with the second option.