Monday, December 23, 2013

Just One

I have a feeling if I start by apologizing again for the way I've neglected my blog then the pattern will be set for every new post I get around to.  I just hope you'll understand that there is only so much time in a day, a week, a month, and at some point I have to sleep.  Trust me, this blog isn't the only thing I've been neglecting.  Going barefoot in my house is not a pleasant experience at this point.  I'm not sure where the hell my mop is anymore or even if I'd recognize it.

But I ramble.  This post is supposed to be inspirational.  Or as inspirational as I'm capable of being.

I recently signed with agent Amy Tipton of Signature Literary Agency and blogged about it last month.  I would say it was the best day of my life but I have kids and if they read this I don't want to hear their cries of "Really, Mom? WTF?".  But it was close...really close.

The manuscript that caught Amy's attention was the fourth one I'd written over the last four years.  The first one was beyond horrible and rife with every newbie mistake you could think of.  The second wasn't much better but the idea had potential, and the third I still have hope for.  I queried all of them with mixed results.  Each one garnered more attention and more full requests, but were eventually rejected.  With each story I grew and learned.  I followed (and still do) almost every agent blog in existence and read everything about writing that I could get my hands on.  I read everything I can get my hands on period.  But ultimately it was the continued act of writing that made me better.  In my opinion, trial and error always works best.

But somehow I thought I'd be different.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who thought they'd pound out a book in a few months and it would be genius.  Magical.  The offers would pour in.  Oh how discouraging reality is.  Even when everyone around you is supportive, when you're being rejected the little voice in your head is NOT your friend.  It whispers that you're kidding yourself, that your writing sucks so bad it's embarrassing.  A slow first grader could do better.

When I became discouraged, I tried to remind myself of why I write.  Because I love it.  Because telling stories is what I was meant to do.  Because it's the first thing I think of when I wake in the morning and the last thing I think of when I lay down at night.  Being published is just a perk.

So I never thought about quitting.  And believe me, I've quit more things than most people ever start.  But not this.  Never this.

Because it just takes one.  One idea.  One story.  One agent who believes in you.


5 comments:

  1. I was so happy to hear about you getting an agent. (My house is also suffering from terminal neglect. I wonder if that's a symptom of being a writer?) I'm glad you prove that working really hard eventually works. Congrats again, and I'm wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014! :-)

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  2. It's crazy how much credibility we give that stupid voice inside our head. So glad you didn't give up. Also, I told my son I was getting close to querying another novel, and he replied, "Oh, great, frozen dinners again." :P

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  3. Congrats on the agent and congrats on having the determination to keep writing. Really, it says something to put down that first bad manuscript and keep writing instead of trying to polish a turd. We all have bad first novels. The secret is to keep moving forward. Cheers to that.

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  4. You're so right. It just takes one. I only got one offer of representation, and one offer from a publisher to buy the book. But that's all that mattered. :)

    So. Freaking. Proud of you.

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  5. Hi Marsha, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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It helps to know I'm not just talking to myself.