It seems like every time you meet up with friends you are greeted with the news that one of them is releasing of some sort of book.
And it each time it happens your thoughts are pulled to that garret space about the garage where you have spent almost the last decade working on the next great American novel.
Lately you’ve been noticing that the neighbors keep checking up on you when they see the lights still on at three in the morning.
It’s probably to make sure you haven’t inadvertently left that old car running again with an oily rag or something stuffed in its exhaust pipe.
You’ve edited your creation again and again and then you edited it just once or maybe twice more in case you might have missed something somewhere.
You’ve researched every historical reference for accuracy, followed every story line to a resolution, assured story continuity with each character’s motivation leading to the achievement of a goal and allowed for a surprising and satisfying resolution of all of the conflicts including one or two of emotional epiphanies.
You figure your family will never recognize themselves in characters which they have inspired and even if they do you’ve prepared a response involving a convenient accusation that they are nursing some sort of narcissistic personality disorder.
You’ve never been more ready. You’re afraid of nothing and nobody. And then, a cold chill runs down your spine as you remember that you still have no literary agent and no publisher.
Your awareness switches focus to the coyotes howling under the summer moonlight and that bottomless pit in your stomach starts to churn and roll with horror as you recognize the fact that as of this moment you are just another unknown and unpublished genius.
Protecting an Unpublished Work
You comfort yourself with thoughts of how your literary hero, James Joyce, got countless rejection letters from publishers all over the world who couldn’t relate to the potential marketability of Ulysses.
The manuscript alone must have weighed three hundred pounds. Can you imagine the “synopsis letter” for that one?
And it is true that the first publishers of Ulysses were arrested and fined for their trouble. Mais avoir le courage, Aloysius, surely your work of art will inspire a far more warm and friendly reception. Right? It will, won’t it?
Here is my advice Continue reading