Sunday, September 7, 2008


There comes a time for writers like me (unprofessional, inexperienced and only mildly talented) to choose a path. One leads down a long brambly dirt road where cars pass you at 90 miles per hour and leave you covered in dust. Ideas are as rare as black republicans and tend to make about as much sense. Your only reading along this path is a Uwe Boll book about a movie about a game he once played. Written in crayon. With no pictures. This path leads to utter disappointment, despair and complete agony.

The second path leads to your demise.

The choice is easy, right? Not so fast. Before you get gunghoe about jumping in front of the next bus, you should know that this was all just a metaphor. Yes, it seemed real, what with all the vaseline on the lens. It was, in fact, describing a common writing issue. Whether or not to abandon a novel.

So you have your Magnum Opus, all 450 thousand pages, sitting in front of you on cinder blocks because it broke your coffee table. You've been rejected by well over a million agents. You have submitted to everyone you can imagine would ever handle a novel in any way and all you received for your troubles was hate mail and restraining orders. Maybe a book about a park ranger struggling to overcome his fear of squirrels isn't worth the trouble, right?

I suppose you could consider my predicament indicative of the fictional mental struggle posted above. My book is not nearly so clever, though I may now have to write such a book (Squirrelocalypse, I'll call it), but the struggle is the same. I've unleashed my mental Indiana Jones into the Lost Temple of Literary Cliches, but he comes back with cuts and bruises and stomps on his hat. So what now?

Only hind sight will ever reveal the best path. There is no surety in our world, only discovered perspective. So I'll make my descision, right or wrong, based on complete stubborn bullheadedness. In a few years I'll look back, tilt my head slightly to the left and say, "Ah, crap."


Deidre said...

We laffed our collective asses off as I read aloud during work. You are welcomed into the loving arms of the pajama'd unshowered and unpublished masses.

Aaron Stump said...

How kind of you. It's a wondrous world in which we dwell. I guess you have to have a sense of humor to deal with all the heart ache.

Frugal Wench said...

Hey, I don't know if you'd be interested in this, but I read your thread on the Absolute Write forum about not making any money freelancing, so I thought I'd try. I wrote this blog post on my unemployment blog about a site where I'm making a little money. I'm not getting rich, but making more than I was making just blogging and beating down doors to publications.

If you decide to sign up, I'll get back in touch and help you get established. Be REALLY SURE to read the writer's guidelines. They're picky there.