My goal for the past few years has remained unchanged…it is to get my books published. When I received a slew of rejections for Danny in a Newfangled World over a year ago, I decided to give this self-publishing thing a try. The practice was gaining traction among unpublished writers and the odd success story was creeping into the mainstream media.
My book has done as well as I could have expected: it’s sold in many Chapters stores, I’m starting to offer author visits to schools, and kids have been thrilled with my book. Yet, my ultimate goal has not changed. I still plan to find a commercial publisher to represent my books (my sequel is ready to go, now, too). While I truly believe that one day (some day, any day) this goal will be achieved, there is no way of knowing when it will happen. That is probably the most frustrating part of being a writer. The waiting and wondering.
That’s why I run. Six months ago, when I finished my sequel and I got back to sending queries (and receiving rejections), the depressing possibility that I’d have to undergo another torrent of rejections had me hitting some serious lows. I needed another goal that was both challenging, yet absolutely achievable. At the time, I could barely run 5 km without gasping for air but I knew if I worked hard enough I could get up to 21 km – enough to complete my second ever half-marathon. The thought of running that far seemed almost impossible. But I knew I could do it. And, unlike my writing career, I knew I could do by the date I set out.
I’m now only a month away from running the Toronto Waterfront half-marathon and two days ago I ran 16 km. It was awesome. Hard… but awesome. When I’m running, I remind myself to ignore the pain. Ignore the negative voices in my head begging me to stop and catch my breath. And when I’ve shut that voice down, I turn my attention to that other irritating voice that wonders if, maybe, perhaps, I should give up on my writing. With the endorphins pumping and my legs burning, I proclaim that I will not quit. I will never quit. Because, one day soon, my goal to find a publisher who recognizes the potential of my writing will be realized.
See you at the finish line.