Monday, April 25, 2011

Useless (Minstrel Mondays)

"Every successful writer has a stack of rejection letters this high... but so do all of the unsuccessful writers."

I've had more than my fair share of rejection letters in recent months, and it's dragging me down. It seems just when things were looking up, I'm back to square one in the publishing industry. I was on the right track last spring, with The Guns of Mars hitting the market, and sales of my self-published works on the uptick, but the vim and vigor of my career has now slid into a slump. I'm sure the crumbling economy is partly to blame, as people can't afford to buy books, though I can't help but feel this is simply a continuation of my own failed existence. At the very least, it's a reminder that I have a long way to go if I want to achieve anything, and nothing seems to be getting me very far as of late.

It comes down to luck, in a lot of ways. At least, it does for those of us with honed writing skills and quality stories to tell. It is no longer a question of whether I'm "ready" to enter the commercial marketplace, but when (or if) I'm going to get noticed. In the current world of publishing, there are plenty of talented people who get overlooked because there isn't enough room for everyone who is worthy of success.

This has nothing to do
with today's blog post,
but it is Easter Monday.

There is also the horde of amateurs to contend with, and this has a major impact on my self-published book sales. To be blunt, 90% of self-published manuscripts from unknown writers aren't ready for publication. I've heard other, more professional, people say the same thing, so don't bring out the ropes and pitch forks because I dare to speak the truth. Nine out of ten wannabe writers are just wasting the time of readers with rough drafts, so the quality works get drowned out in the sea of sludge.

Sitting back and sulking about the dystopia of my writing career, I threw together this little poetic piece. It might make a good folk song if anyone wants to drag out the acoustic guitar and strum a few chords.

Do what you want to do
See the world come flowing through
And you'll find the way it is
For all who try and live to lie
Is it any wonder
We're spinning in the mud?

How can you hope to advance
In a race where the winner finishes last
And the best of the worst are waiting in the wings?
Those pedantic little things

Weaving, working, worrying, wailing,
It all falls down in your hands
Sitting on the weathered end
Of your life's ambition

If I had any good sense
I'd throw it all out
Start a new day
Fresh without doubt
Forget the fantasies
That flow through my mind
And see the life that's waiting for me
To come alive
But where would that leave
My soul to drive?

I bust in
You bust out
We try to keep on going
In opposite routes
You'll never meet me
Halfway all my life
You only want the flashy flasher
Without a knife
Never trying for that profit venture
Hiding in plain sight

Whatever I do
Wherever I go
It all seems useless
To fight the status quo
Do the same old drudgery
Week in and week out
Can you really tell me
When they'll disprove my doubts?

Is something happening
And I'm just sitting bare
Aching for the next step
To get me out of here?
Why aren't I moving
Sitting on the curb of my life?
It's not the ditch anymore
But how much longer must I wait,
watching traffic go by?
Switch off the idle
And kick me into drive

But it seems useless
Every time I go
Out to make a difference
Writing witty prose
It's like fighting in the night
Nobody's listening to
The story of my plight
It lies in cobwebs,
Waiting for prescient sight
Don't leave me wanting
For a fading light

Can I let go?
Is there no one I remember?
Rusting away,
The days are getting longer
As the universe expands...
Destroying my plans...
And I'm left stuck with gibberish from
Unavenging angels, laughing at my life

It is useless, useless, useless
To try to make it alone
But nobody's offering
To get me to the throne
I guess I'll sit here
Wallowing in disgrace
Boldly going where everyone's gone before
In this metaphoric race

Won't someone help me
Get the hell out of this place?

1 comment:

  1. I'm stopping by via A to Z.

    Rejection letters...ugh. I hope things turn around for you soon!

    Love the cartoon.