I've always been one of those writers who love reading authors blogs--epecially when they share their stories about making it. Or tell about their journey along the way. It inspired me and I usually put these authors on a higher pedestal, because they did something I always dreamed of--they were a published author. The more I read their blogs, the more I realized "hey, they are regular people too!" and funny thing is, that inspired me even more. Because I had an even better shot of making my dream come true, because just like them, I was a regular person. And just like them, I was starting off in the same place they once had. And just like them, their dream was my dream. I just hadn't reached mine. Yet.
So for the first time, I am telling my story online with the hopes of encouraging or inspiring or even relating to other writers out there. Having only been agented for a year, everything is still very fresh for me and I want to share my experience and Journey of an Author...
That's how long it took me. From the time I completed my very first book to the time I signed with my agent. (I had a habit of not completing projects I started, so completing my first was a HUGE accomplishment).
Did I ever think my work was brilliant and the agents were wrong for rejecting me? Yes. Did I ever cry and pout and feel sorry for myself? Of course. Did I ever feel like giving up? Absolutely.
So what happened in those six years that kept me wanting to come up with ideas for new stories, write and rewrite, and query so much that the keypad had been permanently etched into my fingertips?
I refused to give up.
Someone told me my work wasn't strong enough? Fine. I'd make it stronger.
The voice isn't there? I'll write until it's there.
The plot isn't believeable? I'll twist it around until it is.
I received more rejections than you'd probably care to know. But if I had to go back and do it all over again, would I? I absolutely would. Why would I? It made me stronger. I can take critiques. I have tough skin. In the beginning I would cry if someone didn't like my work. So imagine if I had an editor back then and they suggested revisions and even sent copyedits my way. I would've been a mess trying to handle such a thing!
I've also found an online critique group since then, and I cannot stress enough the importance of having a critique group. In those six years, I've had time to do research on agents, publishers, and make such wonderful friends. But best of all? I became a better writer. And of course with time (and practice) everyone becomes a better writer, but how great is it to say that my debut novel will be that much better than it would've been six years ago? And of course when I look at my writing from that long ago, I can honestly say, "um, yeah. I DO understand what those agents were telling me."
And then it was last April that my dream would come true. And then some.
To Be Continued...