Mr. Procrastination

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I admit it I am Mr. procrastination. I always tell myself that I’m going to do something and then I forget about it for the longest time. Today I am drafting a list of all the things I want to try to do in 2008. I won’t put the pressure on about finding a publisher in 2008 because that’s a lot of pressure. I think the important thing for me in 2008 is to be effective.

I also tend to say I am going to do something and then eventually get around to doing it at the last minute. Although, I already have one book published “You Don’t Know Me” I didn’t appreciate the way TSAR published the poetry volume in 2005. At least I have a professional credit and the book is available in libraries. When I think about it 2005 is almost three years ago it is time to move on. I will never have that first experience again but maybe I can have better experiences the next time around.

It is time to move on from that painful experience. Just because I had one bad experience doesn’t mean every other experience with writing is going to be bad. I need an attitude adjustment ASAP! I tend to get down on myself when bad things happen. I am cognizant of having these negative feelings and emotions. Sometimes I think the negative thoughts surround me and I allow these negative thoughts to control me. I have to break the cycle. I am aware of the patterns this vicious cycle that has entered my mind and I doubt myself. I guess everyone has doubts? I will be honest I definitely think will I ever get another book published? I have this thought a lot.

I received a letter from a fellow writer in November 2007 and he told me to never surrender. Sometimes it is hard because a lot of the time a writer is waiting. You are either waiting for an e-mail or letter of acceptance for publication or a letter or e-mail for rejection. I also realize nobody owes me anything. It is harsh but true the editor or publisher either likes my work or he or she doesn’t. So it is my job to make sure my work is polished. The waiting game can be psychologically, emotionally, and physically exhausting. However, when I receive an e-mail of acceptance it makes everything worth while. It gives me the courage to not give up.

I guess everyone has doubts. Sometimes I wonder am I good enough? Why is it taking so long to receive a response? I always send S.A.S.E. with my submissions because I know publishers will throw your work in the garbage if you don’t send S.A.S.E. I also always send international reply coupons as well.

My printer is acting up again! I hate when that happens! I think I need some new computer ink.I know it sounds corny but I got to keep on trying. Isn’t that corny? So its time to move on from that negative experience and I am looking for a new publisher to republish “You Don’t Know Me”. I also have a second poetry manuscript completed and I am conducting a lot of research. Let me tell you it is so hard to get a poetry book published. Poetry isn’t considered a money maker in the book industry unless you are famous. Everyone knows that I am certainly not famous. I am just an ordinary man that has a love for poetry. For the past two years I have tried and tried to get another poetry book published only to encounter rejection. I still haven’t given up on poetry because I have a passion for it I love to sit and write out my thoughts on paper. I love to read my poetry aloud it is a very soothing experience.

I am still sending my poetry out to magazines, literary journals but I am going to focus less on poetry in 2008. My poetry was published in a literary journal and an anthology in 2007. I have decided I am going to leave poetry behind for a bit. I am now going to concentrate on a manuscript that I had written over three years ago yet it has been collecting dust in my drawer.

I have this fear about fiction writing I can admit it. Fiction is my weakness I haven’t written a lot of fiction. I only had one short story published and that was five years ago. I tend to write mostly non fiction such as poetry, essays, opinion pieces, and features articles. I feel more comfortable with this form of writing then with fiction. However, I’ve decided that I’m going to try in 2008 to find a publisher for my novel.

A few years ago I bought the Writer’s Market Literary agent book and I will be honest I didn’t find the book very helpful. One reason was a lot of the agents in the book simply were not looking at new writers. Of course, I realize the Writers Market book is only one book to find an agent.

In Canada, one of the problems here is that there are simply very few literary agents. The Canadian book industry is very small. The Canadian publishing industry is kind of pretentious in the sense it is all about literary fiction. You know the drill a lot of Margaret Atwood and her clones. I find Canadian writing so boring it just doesn’t interest me. The way I write I know that it would work with an American publisher. The Canadian book industry also has a very myopic attitude towards black writers. One literary agent told that the Canadian book industry thinks blacks don’t sell and that we don’t read.

The United States book industry has a much larger black book market. I won’t make the mistake I made a few years ago. I think the USA is the way to go! The dilemma is most of the literary agents in Canada will only work with seasoned pros because these writers are already established. So I have decided I’m not even going to bother looking for a Canadian literary agent. I am going to look for an American literary agent.I thought about looking for a UK literary agent too? I am going to think about the English language world I don’t know why I wasted so much time thinking about Canada?

I am still going to research on the internet. I was thinking about buying a book on literary agents. I think tomorrow or perhaps next week I will visit the public library or bookstore? I already know a few things to watch out for. The literary agents that charge fees for a manuscript evaluations are agents I will avoid like the plague. Also, I realize even if I do find a literary agent there is no guarantee he or she can sell my book? I am also thinking about conducting more research on small press publishers in North America as well. Also, I need to find a literary agent that is gay positive because the novel I have written deals with homosexuality. I definitely don’t want an agent that is homophobic or has a problem with gay writers.

About orvillelloyddouglas

I am a gay black Canadian male.

2 responses to “Mr. Procrastination”

  1. Baby Please says :

    You don’t sound like a procrastinator to me. You ain’t sittin’ around twittling your thumbs. You’re a thinker. And a planner. And you have persistence. Not tryna to sound all preachy (and assuming you believe in a higher power), my feeling is if literary success (commercial and artistic) is for you, nothing can stop you from claiming your glory if it is the Creator’s will. Nothing. Your efforts, your talent and your persistence will undoubtedly pay off. I just believe this.

    As a writer, I too have experienced self-doubt. I’m sure others have as well. But you seem to be moving forward in spite of this. Give yourself some credit, here. You’re making inquiries, preparing work, you have goals and dreams, you’re searching — you’re doing lots of things. I refuse to believe those efforts, if continued, will not pay off.

    Keep doing the damn thing, Orville!

    Keep workin’. Keep writing. I figure if you do, you’ll have little time for self-doubt.

    Happy New Year and I hope you can realize some of your dreams.

  2. orvillelloyddouglas says :

    Thank you The black actor for your kind words I really appreciate it! I also thank you for visiting my blog! It is nice to read words of encouragement because I do have a tendency to self loathe and be hard on myself. I think you are right I guess I am just a bit too hard on myself sometimes. I can be extremely critical of myself. I think I just wish things were moving faster? I have definitely been trying hard conducting the research, reading the books on tips to find publishers, mailing out my work making sure I send S.A.S.E. I get frustrated sometimes and that is when the doubt creeps in. I will never surrender that is the advice another writer gave me in November 2007 and he is right. I just have to keep on sending out those submissions and hopefully things we go my way in 2008!

    Happy New Year to you too!

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