Wednesday, September 5, 2018


Hi All,

Can you believe it's already September?! Where did this year go? I apologize for missing the past two months, but moving back to Chicago did throw me for a loop. I was sick over a moth with allergies and a terrible cold. I guess my body just wasn't used to all the pollens and pollution in this city compared to Orlando.

Last month I spend finishing up the remaining remodeling projects of my condo. I am happy to say, they are almost finished.

Many of you know I had a great start on a wonderful memoir. I hadn't written a word on it until yesterday because of what's been going on in the rest of my life. It is tough getting back in the grove! Don't you think? The words practically wrote themselves for the first half of the book. Now that I am in Chicago and away from the person I am writing for, it is so much tougher. Has this ever happened to you? Able to write in one home and not in the other? Odd...

I did manage to get some pages written AFTER reading the previous thirty of forty pages. This does work. One does have to immerse themselves back into the story if there has been a long hiatus. I am hoping I can get through this angst and continue to capture this amazing woman's life with all the gusto she had when she lived it.

This month's question is hitting home for me. 
What publishing path are you considering and why? 

For me, I always strived for traditional publishing...get a top NYC agent and move on from there. Well....after ten years of trying, I am still not published. I have come so close to nabbing a great agent, especially on my second book. My query is strong, my pages are clean, they request the full, and sadly pass on it. Not much feedback is given. It has happened about ten times for me so far this year on this particular story. I am tired of the rejection. How many more should I get before moving on to possibly self publishing? I have thought long and hard. I may shelf it for another year and concentrate on the memoir. It has a very good chance of enticing the right agent. Then...if that pans out and the story gets published, I can go back to my second novel and it may have a better chance. 

Your thoughts?

Sorry for the "Loaded" questions today, but I am at a sort of crossroads. Ten years is a long time. Many of you know how hard I've tried and how tenacious I can be. I know we all have our own roads to take and we all have different times. I have honed my craft and still strive to improve. I guess that is all we can do.

Thanks for listening. You are all truly wonderful friends and even though I tend to disappear from time to time, ALWAYS remember you are in my thoughts. We are an amazing community of incredibly talented people.

Thank you Alex for all your support and kindness throughout the many years I have known you. To all of the co-hosts and administrative talent in the IWSG... you know who you are... My sincerest THANKS for all of your hard work and caring for our community. You all deserve a golden TROPHY!!!

For those of you who are still on the lurch of joining the IWSG, don't hesitate to sign up here.

I hope everyone is well and I'm sending you all a HUGE CYBER HUG!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ten years is a long time. Have you considered querying publishers instead? There are a lot more of them out there than agents.
Glad you are back in the groove with the memoir.

Jennifer Hawes said...

I felt like waiting four years to get an agent was a long time. Don't ever quit. You are so close!! I got dozens of full requests on many books by top agents. Always a no. Until two weeks ago;-))))

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Don't give up hope. Your writing is wonderful. Focus on the memoir and see where that takes you.

Tonja Drecker said...

I'll chime in with the rest...don't give up. It took years before I landed my first agent. The publishing contract took much longer. When the time is right, it will come.

Crystal Collier said...

Landing an agent is like waiting to land an airplane on the nose of a whale in the middle of a storm. Okay, not quite that bad, but they have so much crazy happening, it's difficult to get their attention, and then even more difficult to keep it--especially when they already have a full list of stories they love and contracts in negotiations... I suppose what I'm saying is, it's crazy-hard to find the right person, and the same person who would gladly represent your work one day may have no interest or sanity to even consider it the next day. I suppose that's why they say to shop around multiple books and keep on writing the next. No path is easy, but if you're set on this one, just know it's going to be a long haul. Meanwhile, you should get yourself back to the fresh air and sunshine, eh?

Yolanda Renée said...

I landed an agent once. She had my book for almost 2 years and failed to move it, although she loved it and made some great changes to it. I eventually moved on to a small publisher. Wrong again, and now I'm back to self-publishing. After so many years it pays to get your feet wet with a self-published book, learning the in's and out of publishing will give you insight that's valuable. It's worth the efforts and knowledge is never a bad thing, plus you won't feel like you're wasting time. Lot's of authors have been picked up by a publisher after self publishing. I was. It didn't work out so great for me but it might for you.
I'm so glad to see you back online. And thrilled to learn you are writing again, although a change of residence can throw a monkey wrench into the plan. It did for me and I'm struggling too to get Stowy's next book written.
Take care and keep moving forward. It's the only direction to go!:)

Toi Thomas said...

Happy IWSG Day!

Moving can throw you out of wack and getting sick is a pain. Glad you are back to writing.

Ten years is a long time but you have so many options to consider. Trying to get an agent is just one option. I believe some publishers accept submissions without an agent, plus there are smaller presses owned by the big New York houses you can look into.

Then, of course, self-publishing is there as well.

Ultimately you have to make a call. It would be sad for your life's work to end up on a shelf, never to be seen by the public.

Lisa said...

Yes, I agree, just how much rejection is enough? However, you could blend the two choices...continue to send out your queries, and concentrate on the memoir. That way you have movement while also continuing to be read. Indie publishing is a good choice, if you're willing to do the hard work, which, it looks like you are! I've just moved to Columbus Ohio, so can truly understand your chaos at the moment!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Packing for a trip throws me off-writing balance, I can only imagine how much a move gets in the way of the process. I do what you did- I go back and read what I have done to get back into that world.

I'm also in your same boat with the books- my last book got some attention, but they all passed. My agent suggested writing another book and using it to carry the first, so that's where I am now- waiting.

emaginette said...

Ten years is nothing in this industry. Hang in there. ;-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

David Powers King said...

Glad you're getting close to finishing the condo. You've been on that for a while! It's a tough call, publishing. I knew I wanted to go traditional since I dreamed it in the 90s, but publishing has changed so much since then. Whatever the dream, don't give up on it, even if distance might be needed for now. :)

Mel Chesley said...

You know, it just takes one person to want to get your story out there. Maybe it isn't time, maybe it is. But, go with what you feel is right. There is nothing wrong with self publishing. The stigma of it all is changing. At first, everyone thought they would make a good writer. Now it's filtering down again. Only the tenacious survive! You got this!

Chrys Fey said...

reading previously written pages does help me a lot when I need to get back into the groove of a story.

You don't need an agent. I admit that I've always wanted one with a specific project, but I recently realized that having an agent may not result in what I want. A look at many agents' "recently sold" lists show that they're selling many books to small presses, where you can submit to without an agent. And there are some bigger publishers that accept submissions from unagented authors or have special lines for them. Some have digital-first imprints. You just have to keep looking. Keep the faith!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I am going to have to reread what I wrote when I get back to my manuscript too. Ten years is hard to be close to your dream but not get it. Maybe try submitted to publishers like people have suggested. But ultimately you have to decide what's right for you.

dolorah said...

Seems any little thing can distract me from writing. I think its a self discipline issue. But a major move could certainly disrupt the process. You have so much going on.

I know what you mean about the rejections. I've also be contemplating self publishing. A lot of authors are making it work, and it seems some version of Inde publishing - called hybrid I guess - involves a lot of author marketing. YOu are resourceful Michael, I think you could make it work for you.

Reading previously written pages is so helpful for me to get back into my stories once I've been away a while. Actually, I need it even one day - seems all my ideas leak out onto the pillow during the night. I also do a bit of editing and revising as I go along by re-reading that way.

Gotta do what feels right for you.

Jo said...

Not quite clear why you moved back up North Michael. Sorry you have had a bad time of it health wise, hope everything OK now. 10 years trying to publish, yuk. Try Alex's suggestion.

Kalpana said...

Reading through the old pages to get back into the groove of writing a particular work after a hiatus is a good move. Your writing is wonderful so I'm sorry to hear you've been trying to get an agent for ten years. Keep at it, the breakthrough will happen. Stamina, stamina and courage. Also, Alex has a point about querying publishers directly.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Alex... thanks for the suggestions. I just may start querying the publishers directly. I know there is interest in my story. And for the many people who have already read it, I have always received favorable reviews.

Jennifer.. CONGRATS!!! I couldn't be happier for you.. I will keep the faith and keep on trying. News like yours certainly gives me hope!

That's what I plan on doing. Thanks L. Diane!

Thanks Tonya...

Yes, Crystal.... I certainly can use a Florida fix soon. I am aiming for Late October.

So true, Renee... Thanks!

Thank you, Toi.... I quite agree.

That's what I plan to do.... Thanks Lisa!

Good Luck, Elizabeth... I wish you all the best!

Really? Ugh... Thanks Anna.

Thanks David... This is a different Condo... I bought this one last Sept. and I was in Florida all winter.

Thanks Mel.... I appreciate that.

I will... Thanks Chrys.

Thanks Donna. You know me well... Can't wait to finish the Memoir and send it over to you. I know you'll enjoy it if you have the time...

Hi, Jo... I have two residences... I live in Florida for six months and live in Chicago the other six. Need to get out of the intense heat... BUT Chicago has been brutal this summer. It feels like I never left Florida.

Thank you so much Kalpanaa! And I agree with Alex, too.

Cathrina Constantine said...

When I don't have the time or the energy to put words to my manuscript, I have to go back and read it over too. Since I don't plot, I have to see, and figure out where my characters are taking me. You'll get back into your project, I'm positive.

The weather in Buffalo, NY felt like Florida too, this summer. Yesterday it was 94 degrees. I don't like to complain because winters are tough, but I'm looking forward to Autumn and cooler temps.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

No, I can't believe it's September already. Crazy how fast time moves. Sorry to hear your move threw you for a loop. Make sure to take care of yourself. Your angst with your memoir (method, not so much the body of work) is exactly how I'm feeling about book 2 in my middle grade series! I should have been done it months ago. But with my mom in a nursing home now and dad home alone - plus the four kids and hubby - I keep having to stop writing. Worse is when I sit back to down to finish it I can't get all the details straight in my head. So frustrating, so I totally understand. I try to leave notes for myself each time I have to stop, but that hasn't been helping lately.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Michael - coping with being ill ... or the heat of this year - does not make life easy. The main thing is - you are still writing ... and it sounds like the Memoir is a good way to go - while still giving you time and a change to ring other changes ... good luck with everything - No news re Hamlet I see ... I hope he's ok - cheers Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

Life can certainly interfere with advancing our creativity. It's been happening to me and has happened often in the past. Sorry to hear of your health setbacks, but hopefully things will be getting better as you continue to acclimate yourself.

I do prefer the publishing scenario that you paint with the big NYC publisher and all. I think it's fine to settle for lesser solutions while still waiting for that bigger dream to play itself into reality.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Jemi Fraser said...

Life does get in the way at times doesn't it? Although many things do appear to happen for a reason - maybe so other things can happen at the right time (like your publishing dreams!) :)
I'm getting closer to making those decisions about publishing, but my world is a little (LOT) chaotic at the moment so those decisions are on hold again :)

RasmaSandra said...

Moving can be hard not only on body but also on mind. My was particularly mind blowing. After my husband passed away last year I just had to leave the memories of 20+ years behind in Riga, Latvia and I sold the house and came back to my homeland the US I am a New York City girl but right now I am living in an apartment my friends have in Daytona Beach Florida. After that wild move I just jumped right back into writing and blogging because that is what helped keep me sane. Now I am here since June 29 and things are starting to gain perspective. You like traditional publishing but I would have not idea where to begin so I had my first book of poems self-published at the beginning of this year and found some help from a publishing company online for formatting. I enjoy having a book out so much I am now working on gathering material for a second book of poems which I hope to have out just in time for the Christmas rush. Hope all is well with you and best of luck in your new home.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

OW! Watch it with that HUGE CYBER HUG... I'm old, dude, and my bones break easily... :)

I don't have much new to add to what everyone else has already said. If you're determined to go the traditional route, hang in there, but know that there's nothing wrong with self-publishing, should you choose that option. It's all a matter of what's the best fit for YOU. You were a model, right? You wouldn't dream of wearing ill-fitting clothes on the runway, so why force yourself into a publishing path that doesn't fit? You've got this. Believe in yourself and keep going. Concentrate on finishing that memoir, and see where that may lead you.

Denise Covey said...

Self publishing has come a long way, Michael. I will recommend a FB group to you where I hang out every day and am learning so much. Indie publishers are raking in the money. You'll be amazed.

Moving always kills the writing temporarily. Re-reading is what I do too. You have to get back into the story. If you're keen on selling to a traditional publisher, perhaps do a synopsis and send a few chapters to someone. Those chapters I've seen are awesome. :-)

Anonymous said...

That is a loaded question! I'd say go with your gut. If you think continuing with trad is the right choice, then keep at it. There's got to be someone out there who will see how special your story is.

mshatch said...

Like you I am still pursuing the traditional path though I haven't ruled out other options.

DMS said...

I am glad you're not still suffering with allergies! Awesome that the rest of the move seemed to go well.

I always find rereading helps motivate me to write. Hopefully the creative juices will kick in and you'll be good to go.

As for the publishing path- I think there are pros and cons for both. It's important to go after your dreams (traditional publishing), but if you believe in your story and want to self publish you may find it very rewarding. :)

Diane Burton said...

It took me 10 years to publish my first book (small press/no distribution). Then another 10 yrs before my next book came out (self-pub). I had a do-nothing agent during that time, too. Finally, another 3 yrs to pub with a different small press. I've self-pubbed 9 books and very happy with that. You are in this for the long haul. Think of the journey you're on and enjoy each aspect. Good luck in your new home.

Deniz Bevan said...

Happy belated IWSG Day :-) I start dwelling on self-publishing after a few rejections in a row, too. But no matter how many years pass, I can't give up on the traditional publishing dream!