I love Rent. I really, really do. While the characters are pretty much the worst, the music is amazing. I could listen to the soundtrack all day (and I have).
So, of course, I had to watch Tick, Tick . . . Boom!, an autobiography of Jonathan Larson’s life. While I admit there were some obnoxious elements to the film (I mean, thirty isn’t a big deal. Please.), I was really moved by it.
In particular, I was struck by how his first musical, Superbia, didn’t succeed. He didn’t get a producer, and the musical didn’t do as well as he had hoped. This was after he spent years procrastinating/working on it.
When he tells his agent how disappointed he is, she just tells him to work on the next play.
Which turns out to be a version Tick, Tick . . . Boom!
Then he goes on to create Rent.
The point of all this is that you can’t let one book be your everything. It’s not your whole career. Sure, work hard on your book and edit it. But if you don’t get the agent you want or it doesn’t sell as many copies as you wish, keep going.
Because your next work is the thing that might finally land.
But you won’t know unless you write it.