I'm going to do it. I'm sending out my first query letter to a literary agent on Monday. And now that I blogged about it, it must happen. Sure maybe I'm not totally and completely happy with the fiction novel I've been writing, but by Monday, I'll be happy enough with a brief synopsis and the first five pages to send it off to someone in New York who may or may not actually read it. Yeah, the lack of feedback can really suck. That's why I REALLY appreciate your comments (hint, hint).
Of course this won't really be my first rejection. Like anything else, being rejected is a skill that you can get better at. Or perhaps it would be more fair to say that persisting in the face of certain rejection is a skill that you can get better at. I submitted a short story to a magazine and a contest a few months ago. Rejection. But some of the form letters that come back are actually quite supportive of said recipient. These little things matter. One day when I somehow lack the energy to write something new, maybe I'll post the story.
But back to my main point, I am going to actively pursue becoming a published writer. And doing so does make me feel a slight twinge of hypocracy. Why you ask? Well, in writing as well as in so many other creative fields such as art, music and film, there lies the concept of being discovered. Stars are made by the chance meeting of a famous producer. If only this hot-shot from the record company or this famous publisher saw my work, I'll be signed to ABC records or We-Make-You-Into-JK-Rowlings Book Publisher. That's just how stars are made.
But I'm a self proclaimed futurist. I love the shifting of paradigms, and the road towards stardom is being repaved by the democratization of the arts. It is both becoming easier and cheaper to create works of art (photoshop, garage band, digital film) as well as much easier to distribute your works to the audience without going through the publishing industry (youtube, ebooks, free mp3 websites, facebook, blogger, etc.) I can imagine a day when the sharing of creative works is less corporate and more viral. And with so many other paradigm shifts, catching that revolutionary wave makes history.
And so I should "discover" myself. I should self-publish and self-market in a devastatingly original digital campaign over facebook, youtube, and mobile apps. I should even write a book in a new format to fit the new reading habits of today's readers.
But alas, launching a revolution takes a lot of time and focus, and I don't believe that this one is ready yet. There are other changes coming which I care much more about, and my voice is not yet strong enough to shift its direction. Above all, I yearn for a voice with which to influence this future. For some, their voice comes from the dollars they invest, the celebrity they wield, or the groups they govern. For me, I hope it will come from the readers I influence. I have a voice. But until people can hear it, I'll be throwing pebbles at people's windows, hoping to be discovered.