I can’t believe it’s been a year since I last posted. I’ve been busy getting my book finished and edited and am currently querying after close to two years of work.
Querying is not for the faint of heart which I’ve said before. I value the feedback I might get at the same time I dread the rejection letters. With each new letter I send a prayer and a wish for a miracle. While I love my novel, I realize it will take a special person to see me and my novel for what we are. A promise of things to come? An interesting idea for a mystery?
I know I love what I do and want to share it with everyone far and wide.
For those of us entering the world of writing, it’s an intimidating and herculean place. If you’re anything like me, there’s much to be scared of, and much to be anxious about.
The thrill of writing collides with the real world outlook and our dreams of being published can be dashed into the rocks of reality. As someone who has trod the path to plead with agents to simply glance at my work, only to be turned away every (yes, every) time, it’s incredibly hard to keep going.
I realized I keep going for the love of writing. I picked up writing a year ago, so it’s not a surprise that my first round was a dismal failure. But, I’m not giving up. I have fallen in love with my characters and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
In a prior post, I mentioned Janet Evanovich liked my Tweet, and I still ride its coattails. I have loved Ms. Evanovich since I picked up my first Stephanie Plum book nineteen years ago. She has been my inspiration and my mentor from afar. I have dreamed of having conversations with her and when I picked up her book, “How I Write,” the manner in which the book is put together is like I’m having a conversation with her myself. It’s like I can ask her all the questions I long to ask her, and I found I have more questions! About how she reached her style, how did she find her voice, how often did she want to give up? Mostly I want to beg her to read my book and tell me if there’s any hope, or if I’m completely off base with my dream and I should just go back to selling at Victoria’s Secret, (yes, I actually did this many years ago.)
All of us want reassurance in our writing. All of us want to know if we have something special or if ours is simply another in a long list of [enter genre here]. I want the validation that comes with an agent, perhaps that’s why I’m still sticking my neck out there. I want someone to fight alongside me and help me slay the dragons in the publishing world. I’m not asking to build an empire, I’m asking to be included in a world of people I have admired for years. I know there is a place for me at the table. I know that I can reach readers and introduce them to my characters, and they will love them as much as I do.
Stay tuned on my journey to publishing, I may not be there yet, but I will be.
I’ve had to take a break from my writing, all the while in the back of my head is a ticking clock. It’s reminding me that time is passing me by, while I settle my new house, and anticipate the upcoming school year. Fingers crossed my little will be sitting in class this year instead of my living room. I don’t think I can do another year of this.
In the mean time I’m watching lots of Forensic Files and planning out story lines.
This week, or last, I can’t remember, I tagged Janet Evanovich in a tweet and what a wonderful surprise was given me when she liked it!!! I think I cried. (See the bottom of this post for screenshot.)
The tweet was displaying a few tidbits that were at the end of her Kindle Book, One For the Money, indicating that it took her two years to develop the book, and the second image was how she wrote for ten years (three complete novels) before she made her first sale.
Those of us querying and praying and hoping that this next agent will like us, get a new sense of hope when we learn about our favorite established writers who began just like us. I know that Stephen King mentioned his humble beginnings in his book, On Writing, and it’s amazing to see where it all began for them.
I say that partly tongue in cheek because I’ve reached a crossroads. My new novel is finished but I’m stuck on determining which genre it is. Romantic Suspense or a Soft-Boiled Cozy are my options. My only difficulty tends to be, with the first genre mine isn’t romantic enough and the problem with the second is it’s too romantic. Thus you see my dilemma.
Either way when I pick it up again in a week or two of letting it sit it’s with the knowledge that something is going to have to be added. Which is fine since I’m under my word goals and when I finished I knew this.
I’m still here. I’ve been querying my book, to no result. *sigh* It’s hard when you’ve poured your heart and soul into a work and no one wants to see it. I’m trying to keep my chin up while pressing on.
It’s interesting to me too. I’ve begun a few other projects all the while revising and rewriting my original. I get some started but then lose interest. That is until the one I’m currently working on. I’m very very excited about this one.
I’ve also been reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing, and I’ve felt things fall into place in my mind. I haven’t finished his book yet, hello ad/hd, but it kickstarted a desire in me that I haven’t felt since I began writing Giving Cheek last fall.
My life is about to be upended in a few short months as we move to a new state. I’m currently surrounded by boxes and empty cupboards and closets and a laundry list of things that have to be done before the truck comes.
So, I’m figuring out how to mesh the two together. How do I get my writing time in, my packing time, my daughter’s school time, my daughters activities? Something is going to have give at some point and it’s probably going to be the writing. It will be put on hold while life transitions to a new phase.
I’m really okay with that. My hope is that in the fall the girls will be back in school and I will have the quiet I need to dedicate myself to writing and editing and enjoying my new found love of writing. Because I do love it. I am excited about it and I haven’t been this excited in a long time.
Sitting here reading advice from a Mystery writer mentor while perusing the site and advice of a different author whose work I admire, about rewriting and revising and showing versus telling. It’s all too much for my brain at almost 8:30 am on a Monday morning.
So, instead I come here and write. Where I’m not being judged. Where no one is determining if my plot or arc are working together. I don’t even know how to break all this down.
I have a wonderful lady editing my work currently and will give out her information if someone should ask for it. I’m waiting to hear back from her before I make all the changes all at once. I want to hear her opinion and her corrections before I do my major overhaul.
Trying to talk myself back from tears at this entire process. If only writing were as easy as simply putting words out on paper and everyone liked it, agents included. 🙂
Ah, if only.
The other reason the tears are near the surface is because my Bailey has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and her kidney’s are a bit quirky. She’s now on special food, medication, and I have to give her fluids 2-3 times a week. She’s due for a recheck in a couple of weeks.
It’s hard to see her, knowing her life is winding down, and there’s not anything I can do about it. Excuse me while I go find the tissues again.
Not the one you’re thinking of, this one means, revising and resubmitting. I’ve been revising the entire MS and putting it in 1st person. It was a lengthy process but all in all I like it much better than it was.
I’m learning so much about the entire writing process and I have only hit the tip of the iceberg. There’s just still so much out there. I’m enjoying the learning and the figuring it out.
I have submitted to several different contests. Fingers crossed!
There are moments of self-doubt. I admit it. There are days when I wonder why on earth I’m still doing this. I remind myself I’m barely into the process of submitting queries. That’s not that many rejections. Yet. I found my group in Facebook that has touched my heart and uplifted me, and best of all… no drama. One of the things they suggested when I came to them with my heart in my hands and my shoulders hunched, and they embraced me and let me know it’s okay.
They encouraged me to cry and to let it out. That it’s all a part of the process, they remind me of Steven King and JK Rowling and the insurmountable odds they faced, and the sheer volume of rejections they too received. I find my soul revived and my spirit buoyed by their unwavering support and affirmative words.
The truth of the matter is this may never happen for me. Traditional publishing may not be the path that I’m supposed to take, and I have to come to terms with that. I have to be okay with that. For today though, I choose to press on. There are revisions to make to a query letter, and there are many, many more agents that have not yet heard my name.
I choose to celebrate. When I reach 25 rejections, I will find something in which to treat myself. I have chosen to bear my soul to these 25+ people. I have dared to dream something for myself that I didn’t even know I wanted. Something I didn’t think I could ever have.