I’m in a quandary over what to do next. In the past six years I have taken two online writing classes through a major university, attended three big writing conferences, finished and submitted various articles and short stories with a variety of success, and finished three novels that have all been rejected in some form or fashion.
Time to move on to the next project. But the decision is daunting. The quality of my writing has risen over the past six years. Now it’s a matter of story—and timing. I have several ideas in my head, but which is the right one? I continue to pray about it, but have no clear direction. Do I work on the Young Adult novel that spins in my head occasionally? What about the historicals? I have two or three ideas there. Contemporary? A strong romance element? Suspense? Mystery? Women’s fiction? Literary fiction?
See what I mean? Do I just pick one—eeny, meeny, miney, moe—and jump in, or should I be more intentional?
I read an interview with Ted Dekker. He also wrote three novels that didn’t sell. The fourth one did, but he wrote it more intentionally for the market. Is that what I need to do now? I know publication is not necessarily the be-all and end-all, but it sure seems like the Lord has moved me closer to that in the past few years. So do I ignore all that, or do I take it into consideration as I ponder the next book?
I’ll strategize with my market-savvy critique group, Life Sentence, on Wednesday, but I’d love to hear some other general responses, too. What do you like to read? What do you see a need for in fiction—besides something well-written? (Okay, so I’ll rant more on that later.) If you know me at all, is there a certain genre you can picture me writing and promoting?
Meanwhile, I’ll grind out some more newspaper articles for our school. But I’d rather be writing fiction . . .