Ever been close to calling it quits?I have. Very close. See, from the moment I started writing I, like most writers, fell in love with it. So much. Yet I had no idea how difficult it would be to secure an agent and get published.
I haven't shared much about my own journey so far, but here's a piece of it now:
Once I finished writing, editing, revising, shelving and re-editing EVIE'S KNIGHT, I gave it to just over a dozen beta readers. After receiving feedback from them, I went over it one final time, and then started to query.
Querying sucked. A lot.
I got rejection after rejection after rejection, until I got a request. For a full.
That didn't suck; it felt amazing!
But what's funny is I actually thought the agent would read the ENTIRE NOVEL before making a decision. And I was convinced that anyone who read the entire novel would fall in love with it. Of course, agents aren't required to read the whole thing. They could get as far as the synopsis and decide it's not going where they hoped it might and reject it before even getting to the novel. You never know. Not to mention, as any agent will tell you, this is a subjective business. They could read the entire thing, like it but not love it and you've still got a 'no'. But that's all beside the point.
So fast-forward to ... I'm not sure how much later, and I get a rejection stating that though she liked the voice and plot of the novel, she felt it "lacked polish".
POLISH? After I went over it a million times and shelved it and went over it a million more times and had all these beta readers go over it and... (Later I realized she was right, but let's not spoil the mood here.)
I was devastated. And ready to call it quits. Who was I anyway? Some ... twilight-loving, kid raising, not even best grade-getting woman who didn't know a thing about writing until she dedicated sleepless nights and insanely early mornings to a passion that took her by storm and refused to let go. Sure I had a dream. But maybe it just wasn't meant to be.
Writing was time-consuming. And though I loved it, though I couldn't imagine my life without it, I was wondering if I should call it quits. For good. I remember praying about it like, "Okay, is this my answer? Am I just stupidly pursuing something that is never going to happen?" This is about the time I got a phone call from my dear, sweet mother who sensed the distress in my voice (never mind the hopelessness of my words) and got online to find out what local writers did. Surely there was a place to turn. Somewhere writers like myself could gather, share writing tips, gush about the highs, whine about the lows, who knows?
She was right. She discovered a local group that met once a month at a nearby library.
Now here's the kicker - the meeting was that very night. The one night of the month they met. So I went. Even though I didn't really want to. Even though I wouldn't have gone if it had been on any of the other twenty-nine days of that month.
This was a turning point for me. Being around other writers was incredible. Just the vibe in that room invigorated my writer's soul. I came home with a renewed passion, ready to get back on that laptop and do whatever it would take to make that manuscript shine. I also met the amazing women from my critique group (not to mention some super awesome friends) at such meetings.
I continue to learn, grow and renew my passion each time I attend a writer's meeting or conference. And most importantly, even when the going gets - well - straight out brutal, I hang in there and keep on writing. Truth be told, I don't know if I ever had much of a choice. :)
I want to leave you with one of the most fantastic blurbs on querying I have ever, ever read. YOU MUST READ The Ten Phases of Rejection. Best laugh ever.
Okay, so now you know a little something about me. What about you? Have you come close to calling it quits? What helps you stay with it when the writing world gets rough?