As I now post my 100th piece, a reality sets in. I still haven’t been published. I wanted you all to see that I have been, am, and will continue writing. Now, you can see it. What you can’t see is what’s bothering me. Every now and then you have to face the reality of the situation. I haven’t gotten published because of me. I owe you, my support, an apology.
The road to getting published seems less confusing than it did when I walked across the stage at the University of Houston to receive my English- Creative Writing degree. You either get an agent, get a publisher, or self-publish. What’s most important in this process is your ability to have a network to rely on and a means to obtaining potential buyers. I have readers, but I must admit, I am still as terrible as I’ve always been at building a network.
I’ve never liked networking. I’ve never liked looking at a human being as a means to get a profit for my business. People are much more valuable than that. I wanted my business partners and publishers to be people I can vent to, hang out with, and call family. It’s hard to create that kind of relationship through business, and I now feel I was naïve. Forgive me for still wanting to prove that belief wrong even though society thrives off of networking. I have been using my introversion as an excuse, and I should’ve gotten better at networking by now. Yes, I’ve performed in church, post on social media, have a website, a YouTube, and a LinkedIn… but I rarely reach out for business purposes. I apologize for limiting myself in that.
Another way I’ve limited myself is believing that every publisher is out to rob me blind of millions. I firmly believe in my writing. I believe it to be ordained and favored by the Lord. I know my books, scripts, and poems can be worth millions and even billions in the right hands. That mindset, however, has made me tight-fisted with my query letters. I’ve found myself trying to not get robbed more than trying to get published. I hear it said all the time that publishers rob their writers. In an industry losing to videos, I can see why writers don’t get paid enough.
Regardless, it was irresponsible of me to narrow my list of publishers, and therefore query letters, simply because I believed they’d rob me, a new writer who has no previous publishing. I was not justified in refusing to give chances to these people. It was not a true excuse to hold off further researching. Again, I apologize.
It is not in my nature to make excuses. I spent the past 6 out of 8 years as if I was living “paycheck to paycheck”. I know I could’ve budgeted better. I know I could’ve held off on certain travels, purchases, and meals. I know I could’ve worked two jobs. Uber and Lyft are easy enough to get into. I’ve always wanted one job, but one stream of income makes outside purchases harder to do. Still, I refused to work more. I, instead, invested in many hours of video games, drinking, streaming, and other activities that might not benefit me in the future.
I also refused to receive donations to help fund my dream – a prideful choice I’ve recently let go. (You can donate to me getting published by PayPal (PayPal.Me/TheNovelistDario) or Cash App ($lrioGRANDe). Be sure to use the hashtag #BeTheWave so that I know where this money is supposed to go.) I hated the idea of people funding my dream because I would have to thank people rather than God, but God has always used people to further His will since the beginning of time. Though I wanted my calling to come about in a way that I’d know it was all God, I had to no right to limit how God could bring this about. As much as I hate receiving charity, I am learning to humble myself.
I know some of you think I’m being too hard on myself. I’ve written much, I’ve struggled with finding the right employment (until now), and I’m still young. I get that, and thank you for being lenient with me. But I know I could’ve been better, and that’s something I have to own. Grace abounds in my life. I need more discipline and greater integrity with my finances and time management.
Last year, I walked into 2019 with a dream that I had met with a publisher and came to an agreement about publishing my material. It was the first and only dream I’ve had of such an experience. I thought it was a sign that it was time to reach out. I proceeded by not submitting a single query letter until December, and I only did that because my pastor, Ikki, challenged me to.
Ikki is not the only one who has challenged me. My friend, Malcolm, has always tagged me in calls for submittals, and now that I’m writing this out, I remember there was a website he wanted me to try also. I keep forgetting. I keep looking at the $15 entry fee and getting discouraged because it’s more money out of my pocket just for a chance. I have no excuses. People have looked out for me and challenged me to submit, and I’ve either forgotten or ignored them. That’s not right.
I can recognize my wrongdoings all day, but if I do not make changes, I’ll be writing another apology for my 200th post. I don’t want to do that. I do not want people to become complacent in me just posting my writings and saying I’ve written yet another book. I want to get published, but it’s hard for me. I despise business, and I love passion. I could sit at a desk and write books until I die, but if no one reads a single book, what’s the purpose?
I won’t do silly things like make resolutions or goals. I won’t say, “By December of this year, I’ll have a book out.” I don’t want to get your hopes up like that. I know it seems I may never get published, but I will. I’m becoming more and more intentional about submitting and reaching out when help is provided. I’ve even received my first publishing contract offer, which is a huge relief for me. That was for one book. I have plenty of others to submit to different avenues. You can read a little of it all. I have made a list of publishers to submit to, and I am keeping track of the number of submittals I’m putting out. I will treat this like a hunt for a job, because that’s what it is. I want to get paid to write. I need to act like it.
All I need from you is forgiveness. I apologize for taking so long to do something that appears to be easier than I’ve made it. I need your understanding, as I don’t know if this year will be my year, but I’m going to try. I really do not want to get robbed. I really don’t want to be stuck in a contract and end up like so many people who are sharing their artwork while unable to live off of that art. I need your faith, because when those books drop, I truly believe it’ll be the start of a massive wave of change. I need your love, because that’s all I’m trying to spread, and sometimes I get empty. As you can see, I can be quite hard on myself.
If you still believe I will get published, thank you. I don’t want to let you down. If you still believe I will get that film studio, thank you. I intend to make my word good. If you believe that God ordained me to be a writer, thank you. I am ordained, and God will not let me fail. I have a promise, and I will obtain it. Thank you for waiting with hope for me during my lengthy procrastination. I have written much. It’s beyond time I get something printed. Hopefully, this will become easier the further along I get.
Your support and faith have not gone unnoticed. I will not let it all go to waste. I will not be content until I am where God said I’d be. I will not be complacent with the blessings I have received up until this point. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I’m building daily. God willing, you all will see the fruits of your faith in me soon. God willing, we all will see me getting interviews on TV for films and shows and books I’ve published. God willing, this will not fail. I press on. Please keep coming with me. The wait won’t be much longer, and it’ll be worth it in the end. Believe in me, as I believe in what God will do through me.
I love you all,