Sunday, December 4, 2011

When to say when

Learning when to say when, uncle, enough, however you want to say stop, is hard to do, especially in this writing game. Let me clarify what I mean by "writing game." I'm not talking about the craft of writing, but everything else that comes along with getting your work out there, published. That's the game. Surely being a successful published writer (i.e., people read your work and you generate income from your publications) is easier when you know people of influence in the industry who think your work is worthy of publishing. After five years of working on my craft and at having a few moments where I've put my work out there, I've had little success. It's a tough pill to swallow: recognizing what a lonely, hard road it's been, but it is true.

I don't know many writers and the handful I know our relationships are not strong. There's much inconsistency in these relationships and they lack synergy. Read: they are all but dead. Today, I want to acknowlege this instead of continuing to hope that these relationships will turn into sudden support. It's time to let go.

It isn't easy knowing when exactly to give up hope in something. But I'm not giving up hope in myself, just in the dead relationships. Instead of putting energy into them, now I'm free to start looking for new connections. Ones that do have consistency and synergy.

Case in point. I've been hoping for several months that one of my writer friends would review one of my piece and introduce me to some of his connections. No such luck. Everytime I ask for feedback I get a lot of verbal "yes, yes, sure, sure" but then I don't hear from the person anymore until I contact them again. And it's "yes, yes, sure, sure" then nothing. Round and round we go, where we go nobody knows. My "friend" has been so touch and go with me and my work, that I'm foolish to call him a "friend."

But I have called him a friend for the last several years, not because he was, but because I wanted him to be my writer friend.

I now must turn my attention to the slush pile. That's my reality. That's my way forward right now. The odds are stacked against me, but it's still better than being jerked around in a dead relationship hoping that things will change. I'm saying when now.


  1. Brittnay, you do know more than one writer friend, you know. I'm a new friend but I consider myself one of your friends, nevertheless.

    I have been a paid writer since 1996, starting first at a New York-based magazine where I was promoted to editor. Then, I was a reporter for the Washington Afro and was promoted again to editor. I am a victim of my own success.

    I still freelance for East of the River. Do not take the word, free, literally. I am paid to write. I'm right here, and I will offer you zillions of advice.

    It is a wonderful world to be immersed. Although I do work for the District government, my very first passion is writing. I have every intention of returning to full-time writing as staff in a publication. Please check out both my blogs, embrace40 below, and

  2. Brit, I don't know how the whole writing thing goes in terms of protecting your work; but is it possible to patent the wrings and then begin to post excerpts ("traillers") online? This could generate interest/readers/fans. What about partnering with other local blogers that have large area readerhship, like Nikki Peele? I don't know, just ranting. I just figure the more places you are, the greater the chance of finding your niche.