Hey y’all! I’m so excited to be joining the other ladies on this blog! It’s one I’ve read (and re-read) for a while now and I’m glad I get the opportunity to be part of it.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last almost-decade of pursing publication, it’s that perseverance pays off.
At the last conference I went to, I felt kind of torn about how I should feel. On one hand, I was twenty-three at the time. Definitely not old by any standards, but especially not by I’m-trying-to-get-published standards. At the same time, it was my fourth major conference and it seemed that the only people I was meeting who had been to that conference four times were published. I was starting to see a pattern. One I apparently didn’t fit into. I was starting to feel very always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride like.
Finally—hope! An agent I met at the conference seemed very interested in one of my manuscripts. So while I’m trying to play it cool, I’m thinking to myself, this could be it! This could be what finally gets me to that point where I can see my dream of being an author come true. After several long months of waiting and several emails back and forth and more long months of waiting (there’s lots of that involved in writing—everyone deals with it) I learned that she wasn’t going to represent me.
I’d been rejected before, and I knew how to take the flattering points of a rejection and hold onto those and work on anything they mentioned I should work on. But this time it was different. She told me that I had talent (yay!) but that my style wasn’t what the market wanted right now.
I was stuck. I wasn’t sure what to do. And I’m kind of ashamed of this now, but I thought, maybe just a little, about trying to quit. I kind of shoved writing out of my mind and just lived life for a couple of months, thinking about my self-directed threats about quitting and knowing that it was impossible.
The problem is that once you’ve really decided you’re a writer, deep down in your core, you can’t quit. At least not for long.
So I started at square one. I brainstormed a new story and wrote a synopsis (with help from on one of Betsy’s posts on this blog, actually!). I submitted a short summary into Love Inspired’s Speed Dating contest in June, and they asked for the whole story. I was excited beyond all reason and then realization dawned. Now I needed to write the book.
I did so over the summer, setting deadlines for myself and doing the best I could to treat writing like a ‘job’ (that I really enjoyed) instead of just a hobby. I sent it in. And finally, finally, finally in October one of the editors from Love Inspired Suspense called and said they wanted to contract my manuscript.
I’m pretty sure I skipped around for weeks. In fact, I might still be skipping.
Writing is a weird hobby. Let’s just be honest. But everyone, or most everyone, who is a published writer, has gone through what any unpublished writer has gone through. They’ve been there with waiting. Some of them, most of them, may have thought about quitting. But the thing published writers have in common is that none of them quit permanently. All of them decided the crazy dream they had was worth pursuing and they stuck to it. Wherever you are in your writing journey, know that perseverance pays off. You may question your sanity and drink insane amounts of coffee in the process of perseverance, but it will all be worth it in the end.