Sunday, September 21, 2014

I'm Back

So things got a little crazy for a while.  Family member in a car wreck, kid starting school, and agent requesting to see some more of my work (Yes, I did a little Snoopy dance when that happened) and conferences to prep for.

                Life gets in the way sometimes and we can’t do everything. Unless you have a time machine or a cloning machine. If you do please share so others can be super heroes too.

                Writers, please take time to take care of yourself, your family, then your writing. I shouldn’t have to remind you, but I’m a mother hen – so there.

                Good news though: One agent expressed interest in my work, then at a conference another agent heard a pitch for a completely different picture book and said it would be easy to find a house.  I’ll be doing revisions and sending that to her soon.  This is in no way a guarantee of landing an agent.  I know this. But it was a great boost to my confidence and has made me less afraid of sending out the dreaded query letter.

                Let’s face it. It is fun and usually easy to write in our basements, away from prying eyes, and we love/hate/love it. But to send those babies out into the world where there could be ridicule, indifference, or rejection.  It’s hard. It’s scary. It’s plain ol’ not fun. Sometimes, after a handful of form rejections all it takes is one kind personalized rejection to make us happy. (Seriously, I keep the personal rejections in their own special folder to remind myself that I’m not completely crappy with this whole words-on-paper thing.)

                To have not one but two positive things (even though nothing is solid) is a boost. If this doesn’t pan out, will I be sad? Yes, I’ll pout and then I’ll get over it.  If something great comes out of it will I celebrate? ABSO-FLIPPING-LOUTLY. With ice cream and horribly embarrassing Snoopy dancing around my kitchen.

                So what is the point of this?  I’ll remind you that I’ve been working on this words-on-paper thing seriously for years. I have had works that I've revised 30 times. I’m too stubborn to give up and freakishly optimistic. I could find the silver lining to a bunny-zombie-apocalypse. If you love writing, stick with it. If it was meant to happen it will. Patience is a virtue.  A really hard to remember and frustrating virtue.  But go to classes, conferences, join a critique group with people you trust enough to say, “Shred this apart like a rabid Tasmanian devil,” to. Practice, Practice, Practice.
                One speaker at the last SCBWI conference wrote 49, yes 49, novels before he got an agent and published his work.  That’s not the worse part.  His wife wrote 1.  Yup. ONE.  Some people will see that prize of their book on a shelf nauseatingly early.  Most of us have to hit a couple dozen foul balls before we see that home run. There is a saying, “Don’t let fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."