Encouragement From One Writer To The Next

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Though I wasn’t disappointed when I met Kimberly Derting, Richelle Mead, and Margaret Stohl!

I know what you’re thinking. Where’s the cute cat picture?! Well my friend, we can’t always get what we want when we want it! Life is full of disappointments.

Segue to…(drum roll please)

AGENT REJECTIONS!

Everyone’s favorite subject, right? Right?

Ok, no. It’s not. It’s pretty cruddy actually. But we all go through it!

As you may or may not know I went to the PNWA conference this last weekend and I learned a thing or two that I would like to share with you. Of course, I can’t fit everything I learned into this one blog post, so expect a few more posts from my experience at the conference in the future!

My goal is for this post to be encouragement from one writer to the next!

 

Encouragement Numero 1: Writers are not enemies!

You heard me correctly…or read. We have got to be the luckiest people to have chosen a career where we are not competing/mortal enemies of everyone else in our profession. No two books are the same! Except if you plagiarize but that’s another post for another day. We writers gotta stick together! Help each other out and pass on our knowledge.

Encouragement Numero 2: Don’t be mad at an Agent for rejecting you!

We’ve all been there. “What?! How can you not love my novel! It’s the best thing since something that was a really great thing!” Just hear me out for a second. Your relationship with an agent will hopefully last a lifetime. You want them to LOVE love your book and writing style. They will be working with that manuscript for a long time. It’s their job to be super jazzed and champion your book to the publishers! If they aren’t passionate about your manuscript then that will show when they are presenting it to publishers. You don’t want someone to have power over your book and not have its best interest at heart, do you? You don’t want the agent to say to a publisher, “there’s this book…I think its meh. If you want to publish it then give me my money fool!” Maybe that’s a bit of a dramatization but you get the idea. Next time you get that rejection, thank that agent! It’s for the best interest of you, the agent, and your book.

Encouragement Numero 3: Keep writing! Keep writing! Keep writing!

James Rollins

James Rollins speaking at the PNWA conference

This was something I was most surprised about. Most of the published authors who were speaking or presenting had the same thing to say, their first manuscript wasn’t what got them published! One of the keynote speakers New York Times Bestseller James Rollins was one of those authors. He wrote his first thriller and guess what one of his rejections said? “You are un-publishable.” Ouch. But guess who got the last word? Rollins…with his $15 million dollar book contract he just signed. After all those rejections he wrote another novel and got it published! Same with New York Times Bestseller Richelle Mead and many others I heard speak. But don’t think those first unpublished novels were for not because every word you write gives you experience, grows, and perfects your craft. If you really want to write as a career then one unpublished novel stuffed away in your closet is a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. While agents are looking at my novel I pitched this weekend, I’m going to be working on my 5th novel! Forward progress!

 

So don’t be discouraged! Even the best writers of our time get rejected. What distinguishes you from other writers that get knocked down, is whether or not you get back up, dust yourself off, and begin again.

Then just maybe, someday, you will get that call that someone is in LOVE love with your manuscript. Then you will be on a panel at a writer’s conference and the room full of author hopefuls will be looking to you for your story on how you got an agent. And boy, will you have a story to encourage them to keep going.

That feeling is worth it, isn’t it?

 

Cheers,

Missy

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Being a Writer is Expensive!

Writers Conference in T-minus 2 days!

writers deskThis is what my desk looks like at the moment while I get everything put together.

I’ve been focusing on perfecting the craft of novel writing since I started at the age of 16. I have never really looked into what life is like for a writer after the fact that they have been picked up by a publisher.

Something I have come to recognize is being an author is expensive!

Even before you are published, the numbers start to add up between the conferences, materials (business cards and the like), and classes. Then when you are published, you’re given a check that a lot, if not most, of the money goes back into marketing.

Being an author is a business. Just like any business it takes time and money. You have to create a brand somehow.

Maggie Stiefvater, author of NYT best selling series is on tour promoting her most recent novel ‘Sinner’. I was stunned when I found out she was driving her own car (which she has very smartly made into a cool brand of itself, everyone wants to take a picture of her car) and keeps all her stuff in her trunk.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not exactly what I had in mind for how NYT best sellers would be traveling. I was picturing more like riding in a luxurious private jet that has your face painted on the side and sipping hand crafted mojito’s. Okay…maybe that’s a little over the top. But you get the picture.

Being an author is a lot more involved then simply being expected to write from the comforts of home in your pajamas. It’s been very interesting to research. Does this surprise you as much as it surprised me?

Regardless, I welcome the challenge.

We are writers after all, and who is more assiduous?

 

Cheers,

Missy

First Pitch Worries

Hey People!baby arianna

Hope you had a great July 4th weekend! Mine consisted of being at the hospital because my best friend had a baby girl! Meet little Arianna Rose.

Now, enough baby awws. Time to get down to business…and defeat the Huns! Sorry, I always break into singing Mulan when I say lets get down to buisness…and defeat-

Moving on.

It has been a while since I have gone to a writer’s conference. So I googled last night and found one not far from where I live! So I was ecstatic (No flight or board fees. Yay!). Then I was even happier to see all the great seminars that I found interesting. Finally, the cherry on top was the amazing list of agents and editors that will be attending.

They have ‘pitching block’s’ which have about 20 agents in each block and you get 4 min to pitch your manuscript to them face to face. All the conferences I have gone to have this type of a thing and is one of the best aspects of conferences.

To be honest, I have never pitched my idea. I’ve gone to lots of conferences but always have been too scared to face the agents, I was much more comfortable with e-mailing!

I’m not going to let this opportunity elude me though! I bit the bullet and I signed up for a pitching block as well as a round table with two agents that will critique my query. It will be amazing, I’m absolutely sure!

So that’s the good news. The bad news is…the conference starts in 7 days. So I have 7 days to do as much research on pitching as I can and put one together. I’m having a bit of a nervous breakdown!

But I am coming to terms that whether good news comes from these pitches or not, it will be an invaluable experience.

You have to step out of your comfort zone in order to succeed. If you want amazing things to happen, you gotta start doing amazing things!

 

Cheers,

Missy