I just want to share my good news. My novel has been picked up by a publishing company. I still don't know how to order my emotions, because when I think of all the pathos I put into trying to get it published it doesn't seem real. I still feel wary about telling anyone because I'm worried it can still be taken away from me at a moment's notice.
Its certainly been a long trip, and looking back it confirms a lot of the negatives of the publishing industry and how much ass kissing gatekeepers can get you further than actually writing a decent novel. That being said, I got my foot in the door because of someone I know and impressed, so there's something to be said for networking. I'm very thankful to him, because he's a good guy and believed in my work.
So where does that put me? Seems like its easy to say "Hanson! You're mocking the posturing and preening that goes on among authors but you got your moment in the sun because of someone you know!" And you'd be right on both counts, but the difference is I never betrayed who I was to get there. I never mouthed a bunch of SJW platitudes on Twitter to suck up to would be feminist editors, I never made dramatic story changes that killed the heart of the story in order to appeal to an agent, and I tried my damndest to never compromise my values.
As Kent Anderson said in Night Dogs: "I think if you stay true to yourself, and you kiss as little ass as possible, when you die... Something happens." In context its a bit more poignant (two Vietnam buddies trying to figure out the why of their survival), but it still holds weight.
Stay true to who you are. That name on a book doesn't carry nearly as much weight as keeping to your principles.
All praise to G-d, Jesus Christ and Saint Michael. Amen.