Last week I sent out six query letters. It’s something I’ve been doing, on and off, for what feels like a really long time, and while I’ve had some hopeful moments I’m not a published novelist.
The reality is, I might never publish a novel, at least by conventional means. I can hope for it, work for it, and continue to improve and learn to up my odds, but at the end of the day it is out of my control. And yet, even if I knew I’d never be published I’d still continue to write. Why?
Because it’s essential to who I am.
I can’t not makeup stories in my head. When I was a little girl I did what a lot of kids do, I imagined myself as Han Solo’s sidekick or tagging along with the Pevensies in Narnia. Eventually, though still inspired by those stories, I wanted to create my own characters, my own worlds.
I write for a lot of reasons; one of those is to tell myself the story. That’s also why I’m terrible at outlining. The actual process of visualizing the scene in my head and then writing it down is how I discover who my characters are and what they are going to do.
This knowledge can be a powerful weapon against the discouragement of getting a rejection letter or some brutal feedback on my work. I want to write the story – if something more comes of it down the road, great, but even if it doesn’t I still have to keep working and keep improving if for no other reason than to see how the story ends.