Ten years of trying to get a book deal
“So after 16 years of writing books and 10 years of failing to find a publisher, why do I keep trying? I ask myself this every day.”
Many of us ask ourselves this question, if not daily, than multiple times a month. Anjali Enjeti’s concerns will resonate with most of us even though she’s not exactly representative of most of today’s struggling, unknown writers.
First, she isn’t unknown inasmuch as her work has appeared in prestigious publications. (This essay is in the Atlantic!) Second, she’s trying the traditional route by trying to find a publisher by going through agents. Not a bad route, though most of us don’t do this.
However, we can identify with this” “Some of my resolve to get published stems from my ego. Aren’t my words important? Isn’t there something of value here? Wouldn’t this story bring joy or peace to a reader? Another part of me craves having a visceral connection to an audience; it’s isolating to keep these stories to myself, to experience them alone.”
We have stories to tell and a lot of people who love reading stories and who are demanding and picky when they choose what they read have said they love our work. Yet, whether we’re self-published or part of a small-press catalogue, we still wonder why things never quite match our dreams and expectations.
This essay is food for thought. Perhaps it will help us question what we’re doing and/or whether we ought to be doing it a different way–if at all.