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12.28.2011

I'm a flop. What else is new?

I'm generally successful at things I do. I've excelled at some and been a moderate success at others. I don't give up easily and often hang on too long to projects that just won't work. I can unequivocally say I'm a bad salesman, a lousy piano player and, until the last couple of projects, a terrible carpenter.

Now I have to admit that I can't finish this novel I've been beating my head against it for almost 8 years. More, if I add in the planning and precursers I started decades ago. It's just too damn complex and slow moving and got me wound in knots. I should have stopped working on it five years ago when I took a break to write You Pedal, I'll Steer and a couple of other projects. But I was too stubborn and now I have all these years invested and nothing to show. I was on a roll as a start up writer, two novels published, 2 agents showing my stuff, a publisher eager to read what I did next. And I get bogged down in an epic science fiction story that I knew all along there is no large market for. So I stayed with it and struggled and fought and rewrote, every month thinking this would lead to the end but it never did. Here I am a thousand years later and I keep telling myself if I give up, I'll have lost all that work.

Well, I give up. Greta and Toby's epic struggle with the end of the universe will have to sit in a drawer until I have the energy, and nothing better to do with my time, to finish it. I just have to hope that the agents and publishers, who are still in business, will take another look at what I can do all these years later. Publishing has changed so much, bookstores are on the wane, and ebooks are the thing. New novelists have a hell of a time (nonfiction is always easier to sell), new screenwriters are generally a lot younger and I'm feeling my years.

So be it. Time to accept failure and move on. They say fifty is the new forty, sixty is the new fifty, and dead is the new eighty. My new project is a sitcom pilot based on Grampy's Little Acre. It's a longshot but no moreso than Circe's Daughter and it won't take eight years to write. My agent likes the idea and so does my family.

They say "write what you know". Well...this I know.