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)
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!
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?