than just once every two or three years
Maybe things are moving at a faster pace than that for me already. Maybe they aren’t. With only one book under contract so far, there’s really no way to tell. But I do know that the one-year anniversary of my first contract offer is nearly here, and I’d hoped to have a second contract already.
Now, I could still be writing 50 years from now, and a book every two or three years over a half-century span comes out to quite a few books in the end. So why am I sweating over the prospect of not averaging a book a year? Part of it’s psychological, I’m sure — my dad died at 39, so I know firsthand that life is not always as long as it should be.
The main reason, though, is that I’ve got a lot of ideas that I want to pursue for fiction, non-fiction, picture books, middle-grade, etc. (This wasn’t always the case. I spent my 20s wondering, “What should I write about?”) If my track record is any indication, many of those ideas will turn out to be duds.
But I want to have the opportunity to at least give them a try, and without an agent to take on the job of selling the ones that do work, I just don’t know that I’ll have the time to get to them all. And that bugs me.
(Besides, I’ve seen how things can move faster when an agent is involved — e.g. manuscript gets e-mailed from agent to editor on Friday afternoon, editor gives agent an answer Monday morning. I am not a patient person, so having someone on my side who can suss out an editor’s interest that quickly has a lot of appeal to me.)
Plus, I love the gratification of sharing my work with other people. It’s a big motivator for me. So I wonder how inspired I would be to keep pursuing all my ideas if the ones that get published are relatively few and far between.
Next: The thrilling conclusion