So yesterday I blogged about querying and rejections for six years. Today I’m posting about how one idea changed everything for me, and how inspiration can hit in the strangest places….
So April of last year I was sitting in Starbucks with my thick textbook studying for my Business Law exam because I wanted to promote at work. Okay, I didn’t WANT to, but I felt like I had to if I wanted my career to go anywhere. Next to me I had my notebook and pen in case inspiration struck, which it likely did at unlikely times.
And of course this was one of those unlikely times.
And the weirdest part is where I got my inspiration from.
Wait for it….
I put two and two together (my notebook + the bathroom) and came up with a story idea of a girl who listens to gossip in the girls room, then jots it down with funny doodles in her notebook. Hmmmm. Story sounds kind of familiar though, right? A diary/notebook and doodles. Kind of like Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Well, so much for that idea. Back to reading Business Law.
Writers don’t give up. They take an idea and twist it into something new, right? Because everything has already been written about before. There are no “new” ideas. So I pushed my Business Law book to the side once more and thought a little harder. I love the concept of a notebook with doodle type drawings. But no diary. Just a notebook. And gossip. Lots of gossip. Girls always go to the girls room in groups. And they talk. Plenty of opportunites for gossip there. So….why would this girl carry around a notebook if it wasn’t her diary?
Got it! Lets take the diary concept one step further and make it a blog. Kids are big into electronics and texting and computers, so why not blogging? But then I had to ask myself, why would she carry the notebook? Simple. Because she can’t necessarily blog whenever she wants to at school. And what 12yr old girl is going to remember all that fabulous juicy gossip by the end of a school day. Of course, by writing it down! And no kid can resist writing in their notebook without doodling and mentioning other total dramatic and life changing things.
So there you go. I had my concept. And I called my book BATHROOM BLOG. I start writing (yes, handwriting and drawing) everything in my notebook. I spent several hours at the coffee shop and by the time I got home I was still so amped up about this story I want to share it with anyone who would listen. In all the stories I had ever written, I had never felt this excited. CONFESSION: I never laughed so much writing a story either. I wasn’t sure if I was just acting crazy, or if my story was really funny.
I wrote and wrote and wrote. It was like I couldn’t write quickly enough. This was actually the first time I ever handwrote a story. Or had drawings to go with it. The drawings were more of a punchline to the actual story itself. As soon as I was done, I typed it up, scanned half the pictures in (because I really didn’t think anyone would care to see the images. They were only there to give them an idea of where I was going with this).
That’s how long it took me to write and draw this story out. I lived and breathed this story. I sent a query to the agent at the top of my list: Rosemary Stimola. She responded in less than a half hour asking for the first 15 pages. YAY! I sent them. It seemed just as quickly as I sent them off, she emailed back asking if there was more. I emailed the rest, up to the point of the images I had already scanned. She was going out of town for a few weeks, told me to get the rest of the images together then email her the full when she got back.
Those two weeks could not go back quick enough. In fact, they were the longest two weeks of my life.
To Be Continued…