Yesterday as we were getting ready to leave for church, my spouse commented on my blog piece about Martha, whose feast day was Saturday. He said, "I really like the way you talked about micromanaging the miracles. Is that idea original to you?"
I said, "I wouldn't be surprised if someone else has also come up with it, but I didn't get it from anywhere else."
He said, "You should write a book with that title."
"I should figure out if I've already written a book where that title could apply."
I've since been thinking of my long-neglected collection of essays that is part memoir and part devotional meditation. One of the things that long stymied me was finding a good title. Perhaps now I have found one!
I went back this morning to make sure that I used the essay about Saint Martha that used that idea, and I did. I'm trying not to beat myself up for how many years I've been working on this project.
I have so many book-length works, and so little progress towards publication. I remind myself that it's not for lack of trying--although I do get to a certain point, often after 15-20 unsuccessful submissions, where I am too discouraged to keep going. And yes, I know all about the works of literature that were submitted so many more times, only to be published to eventual success. I also know of many more equally worthy works who have never found publication.
I don't feel as discouraged about submitting smaller pieces, like the individual poem or short story. Is it because I am less invested? No one ever expects to be able to leave their day job after a poem is published. But most people I know who write have dreams of being able to leave their other work so that they can devote themselves to creative work.
Maybe it's time to start thinking about an alternate approach to submissions. I tend to make a submission here or there during down times during the day--maybe I should also submit larger works. I know I don't want to self-publish--I'd like a mainstream publisher who already has some resources, especially in terms of distribution, in place.
As we head into autumn, let me think about my goals, just to make sure that I'm still on trajectories that can serve me well.
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