I am considering putting all publishing attempts on hold.
I still have queries out, so I have not made the decision yet. But I am questioning whether, at this time of my life, it would even be a good thing to get a publishing contract. Whether I even want one at all. Sound strange? Read on for an explanation.
I am 43 years old. When I was 35, I had my first child. She has Autism. I don't talk about it much here because I consider it an invasion of her privacy. She has a high-functioning form of Autism, which means it will be possible, with a lot of hard work, for her to lead an independent life.
Assume I get a publishing contract. If she fails to become independent, do I really want it on my conscience that I didn't work with her enough because I was trying to meet publishing deadlines?
I write in my spare time, mostly when my daughter is in bed, and odd hours on the weekend. After all, I don't have to spend every minute at her side, and my Neo makes it possible for me to write and still be accessable to her. I don't think I'll ever stop writing. What I'm considering changing is my attempts to publish anything I write. Like Emily Dickenson, I'll just let my writings accumulate. Unlike Emily Dickenson, I hope I don't die before any of it is published.
It's actually a pretty exciting thing to contemplate. I could finish Metamorphosis, which is the temporary (and probably defunct) title of my Forging a Legend trilogy. I've been sitting on Book Two and Three in my brain all this time, hoping for a publishing contract--or at least an agent--before I write the rest. Were I to unleash the muse, the words would just flow from me. I could also write several books in the Starcaster series (which is the name of that series, as well as the name of the first novel). In seven years, I will be fifty and my daughter will be fifteen. How many novels can a stifled muse write in seven years? I'm thinking five or so. Add that to the books I already have, and that makes three Metamorphosis titles and four Starcaster titles. So I wouldn't have all my eggs in one basket.
And my beta readers--the ones who have been wanting to read the next books--would be able to read them as I write them.
Far from being disappointed in this line of thinking, I'm finding it oddly liberating.