Double-whammy on the "deep-though-o-meter" this morning. First, I hit Barnes & Noble to tinker on a story I've been asked to write, (my first potential pro-paying solicitation ever; here's hoping I don't screw it up), and while taking a break, I wandered back to the Teen Fantasy/Adventure section - the genre I've pitched to a senior editor at a New York publishing house - all full of myself because of how positive the editor's reception had been. "Well now," I thought, chest puffed out just a little, "let's check out the competition."
Do you know how many titles I found back in that section that were almost EXACTLY like the one I pitched?
Like. All of them.
Now, this could be a good or bad thing. Maybe good: the editor will decide there's a market for my series, that's it a "hot thing".
Or maybe bad: because it's not different than what's out there and won't stand out. At all.
The Bible says "there's nothing new under the sun", and everyone always says "there's really only 4-5 different kinds of stories to tell" anyway. Still. Little disheartening to realize your self-styled "wildly original" idea ain't so much, at all.
Second reality check: stopped by my favorite used book store. I used to bring back books and trade them all the time, but with the advent of Amazon.com I got seduced away. Recently, I've decided to try and give the mom and pop store my business first, if I could, so I took some paperbacks to trade in and browsed the horror section.
Humbling, man. Do you know how many writers are on those shelves - probably GOOD authors, at least as good as me, probably better - that I didn't recognize?
Countless. And now there they are, on a used book shelf. Maybe they're still writing. Maybe they've shuffled off this mortal coil. Maybe they called it quits.
And that's all that's left, for all the hours of dedication and blood, sweat, and tears.
Makes me want to eat. And nap. So if you'll excuse me...