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Becoming a Rogue Planet (When You Lose Your Publisher)

Photo Credit: “Planet” -fotomanu_93

Where have I been?, at least one of you may have wondered. Well, since one of you asked: I’ve been here, there, and yonder! Traveling the metaphorical Universe. Dodging wayward orbital obstacles, sliding down moonbeams, burned by the sun, cooled by away-from-the-sun.

I’ve not written one word of fiction since my hiatus from Writer Unboxed five months ago. I’ve been working extra hard for another goal. But even before my hiatus, writing days for quite a long time now have been fewer and fewer. Some of that is just life circumstance, but some of that is due to no longer having a publisher.

My publishers and I worked well together through five novels and a novella, but we traveled off in different directions.  Because of my publisher-less-ness (and without those definite deadlines), I’ve been drifty and aimless when it comes to my writing life.

During the time of my published books, I was with another income source along with mine, and my little world was nestled in the Writing Goldilocks Zone around the Mother Star (my publishers). Now I’m a Rogue Planet, drifting amok.

Rogue planets don’t have sunrises and they don’t have sunsets, because they aren’t bound to a star—like Earth has our Sun. They’re often described as lonely or orphaned—geez, I don’t know about that; I rather imagine they are waiting to find where they belong. Perhaps they settled somewhere that worked for them at the time or found a perfect spot only to grow bored or perhaps they were usurped from their coziness by chaos or a change in direction.

These Rogue planets travel around the Milky Way’s core. They were cast off from their Mother stars when their solar system went all crash-a-boom-boom in its creation. Earth’s beginnings did some crash-a-boom-boom, too, but somehow Earth found Sun and the sister/brother planets joined. And around Earth goes, roundy round, in that Goldilocks zone. As an aside—can you imagine that? Just one planet in front and one planet behind, just one step to the left or one step to the right, just a little over there or a little over here, and everything would be different because Earth would not be Earth.

Scientists have discovered many of these Rogue planets—some as big as Jupiter—wandering through space, seemingly lost and without anchor—let’s hope one doesn’t decide to make Earth’s spot its home. I mean, it could be drifting by and glance over and think, “Saaaay! That looks like a cozy spot! I want it and nothing is going to stop me.” Well with that go-get-um attitude, maybe Buh’Bye Earth?

Listen: there is always someone who will take your place; there is always someone who will appreciate what you no longer appreciate; there is always someone who will rise up where you fell down; there is always someone who is better at what you aren’t so good at. That’s life. (And of course, you sometimes are that “someone who ….”)

The thing is, y’all, we can be happier when we accept what truly IS instead of what we wish it to be. It is free’ing, and empowering.

Figure out who and where you are in your Writing Life (and outside of writing life). State strongly: “I am …” not “I wish to be ….” State strongly: “This is my reality …” not “I wish this would happen so I’d be rich and famous ….” Nothing wrong with dreaming and hoping and wishing, but if that’s all we do, then we’re going to be unhappy with what IS.

I recognize that now I am a writer who can’t always write; who doesn’t always make time to write because I’m frustrated over only having an hour here or there or at 4 in the morning or late in the night; who often watches TV instead of writing because I’m exhausted from work-that’s-not-writing. I understand the concept of “a writer writes” because I said it, too, in those writing prolifically days; I said it with fervor and smugness. And the very idea that I’d not be writing prolifically until the day I died was inconceivable (can many of us think of that word without saying it ‘that way’—you all who saw the movie know!).

What I found, and you may too, is I restructured how I think about writing and books and the business of books. This time of Roguery can re-set our brains—whiirrrr whirrrr click whiiirrrr!

Distancing ourselves and drifting out of our Comfort Goldilocks Zone can set us free to see what we’ve already accomplished, how we accomplished it at that time has changed, and where we could possibly go from that to something else—the mysterious dark universe before me no longer scares me now that what I feared so much to happen has already happened.

If we go Rogue’ing about, we can’t cry and complain if our book isn’t completed because we haven’t set a firm deadline for ourselves. If we hate branding and marketing, we have to accept that the royalties we still share with our publishers even though we won’t or can’t write for them any more are falling faster than a gravity-pulled meteoroid.

Being a Rogue Planet, you can redefine what and why and where you want your writing life/career/whatevs to be. There is absolutely nothing wrong with spiraling out and becoming a beautiful Rogue Planet. For as long as you want: forever, or not forever. For the time being. Until you figure out what’s next for you. Why define it until you are ready?

Rogue it.

I’m supposed to ask a question here pertaining to my post, but really all I want to ask is: Are you happy?

(P.S. – It’s good to be back. And that WU wanted me back when they had the chance to be rid of me – haw! Yeah, boggles my mind, too! *skips happily off into the no-sunrise-no-sunset-rogueness*)

About Kathryn Magendie [2]

TENDER GRACES, Magendie's first novel, was an Amazon Kindle Number 1 best-seller. As well as her novelist life, she’s a freelance editor, personal trainer, and former Publishing Editor of The Rose & Thorn. Her short stories, essays, poetry, and photography have been published in print and online publications. Her novels are available in print and ebook. Along with her freelance editing, she's website editor for Edge of Arlington Saw & Tool. She lives in the Smoky Mountains in a little log house in the Cove at Killian Knob in Maggie Valley, Western North Carolina with her wonky-toothed little dog named lil Bear. Sometimes there is vodka in the freezer. Critters love her. Some or all of this is likely true.