Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

The Life of an Author: Two Years Later.

In June two years ago, my then agent stopped representing me.

I wrote about it because it helped to write about it. I had always been honest about my life as a writer, but mostly, it just helped to write about it. It was a rough time and I did not know what was going to be the outcome.

I certainly did not believe that I would be where I am now. I have a new agent, a nice deal, and I honestly don't know what the future holds, though this time, it is positive unknowing.

I am not sure why, exactly, I want to make a post about the reversal of my fortunes, today. I originally wrote in 2011 that I thought that the experience ought to be educational to someone, and I reckon it is still the case, to people pushing that stone, trying to get their break.

It can happen.

You just got to hold in there.

It can be hard, though. If you haven't lived it, you might not know what exactly holding in there means, and the choices you have to make. A lot of the time, it is hard choices. Don't get me wrong, it helps to be supported by your partner, family, friends, but at the end of the day, you are making that choice. It can feel selfish. It can feel foolish. It can feel as if it is all just one long hustle that will never result in anything. I am entirely lucky that when I made my choices, I was supported, but that's not always the case. Partners, family, and friends can begin to doubt you, but more than that, they can want things as well--things you want to have with them, even, and holding in there can sometimes be the choice between your desires and your desires with those around you. I am lucky that it wasn't the case, but for others it is, and holding on is even harder, then. I can't honestly tell you what I think is more right. Anyone who promises an easy and simple answer is lying, I suspect.

There are now, more than ever, more ways to get what you want from publishing, but that doesn't mean it is easy. Hell, two years from now, after I have finished Incarnation, I might be writing an entirely different story than what I am writing now. I hope not, truly, but nothing is written in stone, and one break doesn't mean you can sit back and not continue to work for what comes after. But I am here, and things changed for me one way, and it is not the only way, and I would like for you to remember that. My way is not the only way. There's choices. Use them all.

Truthfully, I wish I could tell you that there was an amazing, insightful way to get from no agent, no publisher, and no prospects to the complete opposite. Myself, I sat down and wrote a new book. It was, at times, hard to do that: hard because of the previous experience, hard because I stopped writing short fiction for the most part, and didn't have the little rewards that that brings in to help me along. It was hard because I doubted myself--doubted that it would work out, doubted that I was doing the right thing, doubted it all and everything. At times, I stopped writing for a month or two, and finances saw me begin a new business, which highlighted the fact that, if I wanted, I could do something different for money. Finding the belief to stay with what I wanted in fiction was hard in this situation, a lot harder than I think I can convey to you. My friends and I often joke that my alter ego, Dr. Peek, who is a strangely respected and well paid individual, but for a while, it was hard to say no to that.

But I did.

I stuck it out.

Despite all the doubts, the concerns, the offers to go do something different, I held on to what I wanted.

And two years later, everything looks different.

There's a lesson in that, somewhere.

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