It's a simple silver bracelet with the word PERSIST etched across the face. This single word seems to be my motto as of late. No matter what life throws at me, I keep persisting. Anyway, last night I heard that song "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers. If you don't know it, you can listen to it HERE. But there are some lyrics in there (You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away and know when to run.*) that got me thinking...
In terms of chasing a dream (~cough~publishing~cough) how long should you persist before you say enough is enough? Is there ever a point where you should "fold 'em" and walk away? I've been stewing on this a lot lately because honestly, I'm tired. I'm tired of people telling me no. I'm tired of people telling me what I'm writing isn't good enough or that it won't sell in the current market. I'm tired of taking three steps forward only to be knocked back four steps. This business is hard, and I often question my sanity for getting involved in it. I think all writers do at some point.
While giving up and walking away has never truly been an option for me, I've personally reached that point where I need to do something different because what I'm currently doing isn't working for me. I'm stressing about things I know I can't control, and it's affecting me emotionally, mentally, and even physically.
And so I've made the decision to finally say, "enough is enough." I'm not going to quit writing, but I am adjusting my goals and expectations. I've always written because I like it--it's an escape from the real world--but I've come to realize that the things I like to write aren't well-suited for the traditional market. And that's okay! I'm okay with that. So, as of now, I'm no longer pursuing traditional publishing. I won't be querying agents or publishers, but rather I'll focus on the joy that comes from writing. I'll do a lot more reading. I'll continue to work with my authors at Anaiah. And when the time comes, I'll reassess, but right now I'm leaning toward throwing myself into self-publishing. Because at the end of the day, I write for an audience of one: ME! Self-publishing will give me the freedom to write what I want and how I want, and if even one person reads and loves my book, then I've done my job as an author.
I hope you'll stay tuned and follow me on this journey of self-discovery :-)
(*Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to the quoted lyrics and all legal copyright belongs to the writers, Kenny Rogers, and his team.*)