On #Writing Wednesday: Gut Instincts

I haven’t been blogging regularly and for that I’m sorry. I keep thinking I will get back to it and have a least a few posts a week but something always seems to get in the way or I get sidetracked.

Fall is a really busy time of year for us with the high school boy and marching season. His schedule has been brutal. But now that marching season is over, we can breathe a little. Except his high school team is headed to the playoffs. Go Rebels!

Anyway, this week I’m talking about gut instincts when it comes to writing.

Everyone has gut instincts when it comes to making big decisions. Every time I’m faced with one, I try to listen to my gut. And every time I haven’t listened to my gut I’ve regretted it. This applies to writing as well. I’ll give you a for-instance.

Several years ago, I had an urban fantasy I was shopping around. I thought it was a pretty good book. It took me a long time to write the book and I really believed in it. I had been rejected by every agent that accepted urban fantasy. My initial thought was the book was worthy of being with one of the Big 5. I’d gotten several requests for partials from agents but they always ended in rejection.

Reluctantly, I started looking around for a publisher to sub to. I knew I didn’t want to go with my current publisher because it wasn’t a good fit (and that turned sour anyway). I had subbed it to one small press that was close to making an offer but ultimately it was rejected. I found another small press that requested the full. Despite my reservations, I sent it.

It was accepted. I should have been elated. Instead I was mostly meh about the whole ordeal. Nothing against the publisher at all. They have a great reputation and are well liked. I just didn’t think it was the right way to go with the book. I eventually decided not to go with that publisher.

The book is still as-yet unpublished and sitting on my hard drive. Even so, I feel like not signing the contract was the best decision. I still believe in the story and that it’s good enough for a big house, but I also think it could use a good revision before it goes on the agent circuit again.

I’ve still gone against my gut in decisions regarding my writing and I have always regretted it. I think I have finally learned to start listening and worry about where I want my career to go and not where someone wants to push it. So…my advice for anyone who is aspiring to be published is to listen to your gut instincts when it comes to your work. It’s your name, your book and your creative integrity.

Happy writing.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.