Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Posted by Liane Gentry Skye
By the time I sold my first novella to Red Sage Publishing, I had a pretty good inkling they were going to buy it. In spite of the buzz my acquisitions editor put in my ear that "the call" was coming, I got an awful lot of joy out of knowing someone out there loved my work. While "the call" actually ended up being "the email", I'll never forget that moment of realizing for the first time that my dreams of writing publishable fiction had come true.
Writers are conditioned by the info highway to believe that their first sale is "the one" that will, like the first of a line of Dominos, trigger a chain reaction of more sales. We yearn for it, long for it, work our fingers to the bone for it. That first contract is lauded as the one that will get our name out there, the one that will mark us as professionals, the beginning of the career that likely took a dozens of rejections to earn the rights to.
But you know what? There's a flipside to that first sale.
It begins with the quest to turn that first sale into a second. As I spoke with other writers, most of them reported that they struggled harder to make the second sale than they did the first.
Before long, I began to fear myself a one shot wonder. I wasn't just writing for me anymore. I was writing for publication. And that changed everything. What if I was a no-talent fake? The fear was so paralyzing that for weeks, I spun my wheels, agonizing over every (abominable) word.
In the end, the only cure for one-shot-wonder-itis turned out to be writing, even if that meant writing badly. One line, and then two. A paragraph and then a page.
Before long, I found myself in love with the craft of writing again. And the other day, I got confirmation that I'm not a one shot wonder. My novella, Believe, will be published by Red Sage Presents in December 2008.
But you know, I might still be a two shot wonder. I guess its time to return to my keyboard before that thought gets out of hand...
Do you have your own second sale story to share? Please plug it...and your second "baby" in commentts.
Tomorrow I'll put up an excerpt of Believe. Until then, I'll leave you with a hint of what Believe is all about:
If you find yourself looking for some mighty fine company tonight, join me at 9:00 pm EST at Writerspace for the monthly Red Sage Reader/Author chat.