A year ago I had a dream that stuck with me when I woke up, so I typed it up the next day. Then the characters started telling me their stories and I continued writing. I gave it to a couple of people who came back and told me that there was nothing out there in ya like it, it was good and I should look at getting it published. I had never considered getting published, I was writing for my kids. So I continued writing and started searching the net to see what I needed to do to be published.
I had my finished, polished story and a list of agents to send it to, then I was put in bed with sun-poisoning and nothing to do but surf the web. I found Absolute Write, where I was able to get a better query letter, and figure out how to write a synopsis. As I was making friends and beginning to beta other’s works, I sent out my first query letter thinking, “This is it. The perfect agent for me.” I received my first rejection e-mail and was devastated – totally. Oh, the rejection came less than three hours after I sent it out.
I sent out seven more queries, which were all rejected, but what I found by the third rejection was that it didn’t bother me anymore. I had reached a Zen-state as far as querying was concerned. After seven rejections I found a MAJOR flaw in my work: it began with my main character waking up…Big, huge, ginormous mistake. No wonder everyone was rejecting it, I would’ve too.
I was already writing an edgy contemporary as I was querying so I focused on it, and sent my first manuscript to some betas and decided to wait. As I waited, I wrote. One of those betas said that the entire first chapter needed to be cut – the chapter those agents saw. Kinda ironically funny, when you really think about it.
Fast forward to present. I have a shiny, polished new manuscript ready to query. It has been ready to query for three weeks but I’m dragging my feet on it. Why? I have no idea. Things have been really crazy in my life for the past few months and for the past two weeks, I’ve been teetering on the edge of depression – standing at the chasm, walking a tight rope and trying not to fall in. I’ve kinda hit a mid-life crisis at thirty-three but there are several constants in my life, things I know I want: my husband, my kids, my pets and my writing.
That all brings me to the purpose of this post: writing. It took me over a third of my life to figure out what I wanted to do with it. I played in college before I dropped out and got married, because I had no purpose. Last year, I found a purpose. I love to write. I have stories in my head that want to get out and I want them out. Do I believe I will find an agent and get published one day? Yes. Am I in a hurry? Not right now.
This is what it all comes down to: what I can do for myself to take care of myself. I’m back in that Zen-state I was in after the third rejection. When my time comes, I will have the perfect agent for me and my work will be published. And if it isn’t? I will still write for me and my kids, but most of all I will write for my characters, who need to be heard. That is my purpose, at this moment, in my life.
Original post published on Old People Writing for Teens by GotYA contributor Jennifer Wood. To view the original post and reader comments, please click here.