It's now been just about three months since my experience at the Writer's Digest Conference in New York. After the conference, I had some back-and-forth with agents but then abruptly all that activity stopped. I still have two partials and two fulls pending, but I've not heard a peep from anyone since the end of February. I guess at this point I can nudge, at least on the partials, but I'm not feeling especially inclined to do so, figuring the only responses would be more silence or rejections. I like being able to hold out some hope.
I'm in an interesting place with respect to writing right now. I've got this first novel out there, but I'm starting to think more and more that it's nearly played out in its current form, that more cold querying is a waste of time. The novel is good, and publishable: it's not that I'm slowly getting the sense that it's just not up to snuff, or have lost confidence in it as a work of literature. But I am getting the sense that I gave it a good run and people are not going to bite right now. More work on it might help, but simply working on it for the sake of working on it and then wondering if everyone will feel differently is probably not the way to go.
I have a second novel that I have just come back to after putting it aside after I finished the first draft a few months ago. I am revising it but finding, for a couple of reasons that mostly have to do with the story and the genre, that not much needs to change, that it will be ready for prime time in the not-too-distant future. Once I'm ready, it will be interesting to contrast my experiences with this novel and the first one.
And I have a third project on which I am slowly - too slowly, but what can I do? - beginning to set down ideas. I feel like the lessons learned, especially from the first one, will pay dividends here.
And yet with all these projects - a place I've worked for nearly four years to get to, as opposed to having just one project and just one focus - there's been so little activity lately that I feel like things are stagnating and it would be so easy to just...well, do nothing and give up. Let me immediately say I have no intention of doing that, despite how difficult it has been for me to get things of my own done lately (including blogging). But it's so odd that here I finally am with multiple projects and instead of making me more gung-ho, it's just been tricky to figure out how to allocate my already too sparse time.
I know there is nothing to do about it but continue plugging away. I tell myself that I'm doing this for me and if I don't want to write anymore that is my choice. Put it aside and life simplifies, at least a bit. But I rebel at the thought. Sometimes, when you do something for yourself, the rest of life intervenes. That's no excuse to give up. Like I said, there's no other choice but to keep moving it all forward - one hour or 30 minutes or whatever I can scavenge - at a time.