I just saw a picture of a woman holding her just published first book next to a couple of fans.
The first thought that went through my head was “That’s going to be me soon.”
After writing my morning rant I spent half an hour working on my brand new kid’s book. I’m totally excited about it. It’s going to be an early reader – level 3 I think, with math in it because my girls really like those ones and there aren’t enough of them that are done well.
The story is great and I am loving writing it. Trying to get the math part in without it being obnoxious is a fun challenge.
I am also working on book 2 of the series that was just rejected by an agent. Why am I working on something that was already rejected, you might ask.
Well, as the form letter rejection stated – publishing is a highly subjective business and I recognize that I simply sent book 1 to the wrong agent. I’m doing research this weekend to find the right agent – hopefully at least 5 potential “right” agents to resend the manuscript to.
In the meantime I am working on book 2, my new early reader (I so want to tell you all about it, but honestly it’s so good I just don’t dare!), researching two middle grade novels, working on characters for them and… All in 20-120 minutes a day (and not in a row).
To all the other struggling soon to be, hope to be, want to be authors out there – don’t give up. Don’t take the rejections personally. It’s not you. Well, maybe it is, I haven’t read your book – but even if it is you, or rather your writing, keep trying, keep working on it, you’ll get better. Share your work with people you trust and empower them to be critical. If someone tells you “Wow, it’s great!” NEVER LET THEM READ FOR YOU AGAIN – THEY’RE LYING!!!!
If someone tells you, “yeah, I see where you were trying to go, but, you never really made it.” Thank them, hug them, do a re-read with their perspective in mind. You might not agree with everything they said, but it might open your mind to new possibilities and allow you to make changes you never would have made. Don’t take this criticism personally, they love you and they are trying to help. THESE ARE YOUR PRE-READERS. Cherish them, value them and thank them.
If you’re feeling insecure and need a cheerleader – that’s when you go back to the readers who will say “It’s great, I loved every word.” You’ll know it’s bullshit, but it will give you the strength to pass your “perfect” manuscript on to the harder critics.
Remember – it’s better to get the bad news from someone who loves you – and be able to fix it, than to get the bad news from the agent/editor/publisher of your dreams and have blown your chance.
Best wishes to all of you struggling artists, writers, dreamers and creators. Keep at it. You’ll get there. I’ll meet you at the finish line.