Here is the thing about depression: Being depressed means you don't have the same capacity for dealing with bad stuff as you can when you're mentally healthy. It still amazes me to this day that I can bounce back within a few hours of feeling down about something, whereas I know that when I was depressed, it would have been the end of the world.
(I never take that for granted, because I always live being afraid that depression can rear its head again some time in my future.)
So...it's been hard for me to deal with the fact that I've had a lot of marketing failures for my first (published) novel. But at this point, I know I have to look ahead. I'll always love that novel so much, because of how personal it is to me, but I can't force other people to read or like it. I can only control my writing career going forward.
I like making lists when I have a lot of things on my mind, so here it is:
1. Apply to new day job(s).
I'm in a bit of a pickle recently because my current employment situation has turned south very fast. This *should* be my number one priority at the moment.
2. Finish Novel #3.
As I mentioned before, I'm gearing up to use this one to foray back in the world of traditional publishing and querying agents. And I think--I *hope*--that I have something special enough to catch their attention. First, though, I have to polish this manuscript to make it shine in time for April.
3. Decide on my next big novel project.
Yeah, maybe I shouldn't be thinking about this while I'm in the editing stage for another big novel...but dammit, I want to be prepared in case Novel #3 also gets rejected by tradpub. And I have two promising ideas that should be absolutely suited for tradpub. I just have to decide which one of them I want to focus on.
4. Work on another M/M romance as a Wattpad project??
I've mentioned before that I do not see myself being able to develop my career in continuing to write queer romance.
Also, I'm wary about trying to publish a queer book with a trans lead knowing that I cannot ever be out as anything other than cis
(plus my gender is kind of a big question mark that I'm not sure I'll be able to resolve, anyway). But I've gotten an intriguing idea recently that I am interested in playing with. So, the solution I've come up with is to work on this story casually, as something to do when I need a mental break from other things, and post it on somewhere like Wattpad or AO3.
...The problem is that I am absolutely terrible at writing stories serially. X'D I'm the kind of writer who treats initial drafts as opportunities to further think through the story by writing; I'm also the kind of writer who generally writes out of order and needs to do a ton of editing to flesh out details/correct inconsistencies. I guess I could write a coherent draft and then post chapters as I edit them, but that seems like a *little* bit more of a time commitment than I'm ready for with what's intended to be a public domain story. Eh, we'll have to see.
And that's my plan for right now! (Watch a new story idea come along next week and throw a wrench into everything, though...)