A lot of poetry publishers don’t take horror collections, and I have one. Months have gone by in my search for ANY publisher who will take a look at it, not even considering if they’re someone I wish to work with. It is also at an odd length: Too large for a chapbook and too slim for a collection.
The publishers interested in horror poetry are closed due to excessive submissions (shock).
After much consideration, I made the decision to self-publish it. I have no money to spare and I’m not good with things like formatting and graphic design. So, my decision would take a miracle.
I won a “fastest finger” trivia competition from a small, reputable self-publishing company! I was positive I didn’t get it. I almost didn’t try for it. But it came and I was giddy… and nervous (because I’m not good at promotion and lack self-confidence in general). I was going to go for it, damn the fears I harbor. This was something that wasn’t EVER going to come around again.
Then, a day or two later, I received part one of a two-part-minimum diagnosis. I was under immense stress. Things around me were tense… and the company wanted my manuscript within a week.
I couldn’t. I was barely able to function during that period, much less extensively edit (I seem to edit forever, even when unneeded) and start the engine that would promote my first published collection. I had to turn it down.
There is no waiting until I’m better. Nothing deferred until I adjust to my reality and undergo (yet more) tests. It’s just gone.
I’m angry with myself because I didn’t take the chance, regardless of how scattered I was. I’m disappointed because I really wanted it, and chances just don’t come my way often.
I want to believe there’s a good reason for my once-in-a-lifetime chance to slip from me. I need to. Too many blows have rendered me sore and teary-eyed. Maybe a small press will come along once my health is sorted out. Maybe I’ll learn how to format, design a cover, and everything else it takes to self-publish, falling so in love with it that it will be my primary way to get my poetry to my readers. I don’t think everything happens for a reason but, right now, I need one. A good one.
Have you ever had an amazing chance for your writing career slip by you? Did something better come along later on?