Of Writers and Prose: When obsession is incomplete.

For years, I was obsessed with acquiring a literary agent. I thought it was the only way to become a published author, but shortly after I sent out my first short story, self-publishing became a thing, so I went with it. In the years that followed, my drive to acquire an agent has waned, but the idea did not.

This whole agent thing, it pokes at me, especially when online events happen. It’s almost as though I need this assertion that my writing is good and the only way that can happen is by landing an agent. I know that’s not true, but it’s this little chunk of doubt that persists, and if I don’t act on it every now and then, it festers and becomes toxic.

I’ve written three books that have been turned down. One I eventually put out myself and the other two (which includes my most recent novel) I will probably do the same. I truly thought I had something with my magical realism novel, even got a nibble, but in the end, it wasn’t meant to be, and I must face facts that agents can’t connect to what I write. Am I sad? Maybe a little, but the biggest problem I face now, is accepting this and moving forward.

A small part of the reason I haven’t put out any books over thee last seven years is because I hung on to this idea of having an agent. I’ve worked on other projects, but in the back of my mind, the notion that none of these were any good depleted my love for the project to a point that I had convinced myself that a better idea would come along, and I would put all my energy into that project.

I wrote five novels in the last six years; Down Finnegan’s Hollow, The Possession of Mercy Moreau, two zombie novels, and my magical realism, plus I started umpteen others, but it wasn’t until Eva and Skye that I felt I *had* something and threw my energy back into writing, solely on the hopes that THIS would fulfil an agents wish. Now that it hasn’t, how do I break this obsession? How do I stop lingering over a dream and just start writing for me again?   

Oddly enough, while writing out the first draft of this post, Hubby and I went out for breakfast, and a crow flew across the street in front of us. When I looked up what that meant (because I am superstitious), the information on the web site coincided with what I was writing about.

            The crow is trying to bring attention to unhealthy behaviors that are holding you back. The crow is literally trying to stop your tracks to metaphorically give attention to self-sabotaging behavior that is holding you back. It could also mean that big changes are about to happen in your life, but they will lead to long-term happiness and success. 

So where do I begin? How do I break this mindset? I’m not sure, but this last story is strike three and I’m not going to try again. I love all the stories I’ve written, and plan on publishing them. I’m not sure when, but you will be seeing them in the future.

Hopefully.

Wish me luck.

About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms of Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal is to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing, she spends her time collecting crystals, knitting, gardening, cooking and listening to very loud music.

2 Responses to Of Writers and Prose: When obsession is incomplete.

  1. Dale Sproule says:

    Hey Darke,
    If you don’t know about them, Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith have been doing anti-agent posts for years. They both think that agents are an impediment to a writers career. https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/killing-the-sacred-cows-of-publishing-agents-know-markets/
    Like you, I searched for agents anyway. Ended up contacting about 30 of them. Only 6 or 8 were even professional enough to respond. I’ve heard from other writers that contacting 100 agents before finding one that will take you on is not uncommon. I tend to think that by that time, you’d have to be scraping the bottom of the barrel. A bad agent is definitely worse than having no agent at all.
    Sending directly to editors is actually faster and more encouraging. I know several professional writers who do things like question the agents decision. As a consequence, some of them have trouble keeping agents (and have reached they point where they can’t be bothered).
    Good luck with your writing career. Lets both go out and prove that the agents who turned us down are blind and senile…haha.

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