There are so many writers.
I love to write. I write for the pleasure of it, to create books I want to read, to go places that no other author takes me. I'd write if I was the only person in this world, or if everyone in this world told me that I was unreadable. But there's no point denying that being published is the cream on a writer's cake. The affirmation, the (tiny amount of) money, and most of all the books on the shelf.
Getting published is work. To write well, to write what's marketable, and to beat out the nameless hordes all wanting the same as you. I've chipped away at that mountain occasionally, but I can't claim to have nearly enough rejection slips to wallpaper anything of moment. I'd rather write than distract myself with the business of publication, and so I let things slide.
But I want my books on my shelf. I want them to be tangible things. Self-publishing is a too easy temptation. All I have to do is sacrifice the affirmation, pay instead of receive money, and I will get the book for the shelf. I won't be eligible for author's guilds, or for book prizes, but those things matter to me considerably less than the book on the shelf.
Rather than give in quite yet, I've decided to set myself a goal and a deadline. October this year is the anniversary of an outstanding submission, one which has dragged on far too long. Until then I will submit to agents (an important area of the publishing industry which I've only sporadically engaged) and bring a little more dogged determination to the business of getting published.
Step two: create author's blog. Step three: research and submit to appropriate agents.
Step one is writing the stories themselves, but I'm always doing that.