There’s a little corner of Seekerville known as Unpubbed Island, and a few of us have been stuck here a wee bit too long. We try to keep stiff upper lips, and we wave and cheer like crazy when one of our sisters gets picked up by a luxury liner headed toward Contract City. But each of us is secretly hoping we won’t be the last woman left husking coconuts.
Still, we’re survivors. We know how to crack open contest critiques and boil out the meaty parts. We’re expert plot menders. We’ve tossed out endless manuscripts-in-a-bottle hoping to be rescued by an editor or agent. We can shinny up the tallest palm tree and spot every new publisher on the horizon.
It takes faith and persistence to stick it out on Unpubbed Island. Some days I dream about building a raft and escaping. Life has got to be easier in Volunteer Village or Church Committee Condos. I could learn to garden, spend more time cleaning house, cook a meal that takes longer than ten minutes to prepare.
Or, like several of my Seeker Sisters (both pubbed and unpubbed), I could keep the sharks at bay with a job that actually offers a return for the hours invested. Necessity or not, a “real job” means sacrificing time and creative energy for our writing.
The truth is, even our sisters already living it up in Contract City aren’t shark-proof. Unpubbed Island is a mere stone’s throw away from the Post-Contract Perils Archipelago: Lousy Reviews, Second-Book Blues, and Still Haven’t Paid Your Dues.
Here in Seekerville, though, it’s all for one and one for all. The Three Musketeers times five. The beaches of Unpubbed Island and Post-Contract Perils are strewn with care packages. Hugs. Tears. Prayers. Chocolate. When anyone makes it off the island, she tosses out buoys, life preservers, and signal flares every chance she gets.
If you’re a visitor to Seekerville, we hope you’ve connected with your own community of support. A critique partner, local writers group, online loop. Writing is a lonely business, made even more desolate when the inevitable disappointments come and we’re left to face them alone.
Whom do you look to when discouragement strikes? Who’s your lifeline on this turbulent journey toward writing success? Just remember, here in Seekerville, you’ll always find a seat in the lifeboat, a steaming thermos of cappuccino, and plenty of friends to help you navigate through the fog.