I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can

My writer’s journey has been more like a Dancing with the Stars episode, two steps forward and many more backwards. I’m dancing as hard as I can and still get the of steps wrong. I’ve had articles published in magazines and newspapers. I’ve been short listed on anthology competitions, and I even caught the interests of a couple of agents.
After working with an agent for over a year, I now find myself without a dance partner. I’m facing a dilemma now of which way to go. Do I become a solo act and self-publish or do I take another chance with an agent and hope we can learn to move as one, or do go straight to a publisher and dance the choreography they already have in place?
My greatest fear in working with another agent or even a publisher is giving up control of my story. As much as I learned while working with my agent, there were changes we made to the story changed so much that it is barely recognizable as my original story. I know that I was blessed to have such a conscientious person honing my skills and molding me into a more productive writer but after all that work, my misstep landed me back on my butt with nothing published and no agent.
What do I need to do to succeed as a writer? I have good friends who have found success with traditional publishing and others who have succeeded with indie publishing. What is the right path for me?
My main concern with self or indie publishing is the cost. While it’s true, as an independent publisher I have complete control and will reap total rewards but it also means that all of the cost, all of the decisions and all the risks are mine. The past ten years since deciding I wanted to be a published author, I have learned a lot about the publishing process. I have attended workshops, programs, watched YouTube videos and taken online classes. But I know there is no knowing like doing.
I had about made up my mind to self-publish when an opportunity to pitch my story to an agent came knocking at my door. What do I do? Part of me wants to take the plunge and see what I can do and part of me says, you’ve been down that road, let’s try something new.
My first step in this new dance is to read my story with fresh eyes and see what I want to keep and what I want to change back and even what I want to make new. I still hear my agent’s voice in my head, guiding me, but I know whatever decisions I make are mine. So, whether I dance with the stars or fall on my butt, the choice is mine. Whatever I do, I’ll sing and new song and make up the steps as I go along. I’m still dancing, but for now, I’m dancing to my own tune.

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2 thoughts on “I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can

  1. Sherri,
    I really like this piece. It speaks to most of us on one level or another. You hit the mark. Thank you for opening up and sharing your questions, thoughts and fears with us. You are not alone.
    Hugs,
    K

  2. Sherri, you are experiencing a crossroads; the one thing I sense in your present condition is that you wish to continue to write. So I say, continue to write – answers to the the rest will come, sometimes from the most unexpected source. Best wishes in your writing journey – Linda

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