Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eight Years Writing! (Or, Eight Years of Rejection)

I love you, writing, even though you are cruel to me.
This week I am celebrating an anniversary of sorts. Eight years ago this week, on my 40th birthday, I committed to writing full-time with the goal of getting published.

I have to admit I was horribly naive. I'd had great luck publishing short stories and was sure the only thing between me and best-sellerdom was making the time to write a book.

*laughs to the point of tears, then just cries*

I spent two years writing my masterpiece. Within weeks of turning 42 I submitted to agents, sure I had written the Best Book Ever.

I didn't hear back from one agent. Not even a rejection. Total silence.

My next step was to investigate conferences where I could meet an agent. After all, my wonderful manuscript was obviously not being seen, languishing in the slush pile, or the Big 6 would be having a bidding war over My Precious by this time.

I joined American Christian Fiction Writers and began taking advantage of internet resources. Slowly I began to realize that rather than writing The Next Big Thing I had completed an Unmarketable Monstrosity. Christian Science Fiction clocking in at 140,000 words. Yeah.

I rewrote my entire manuscript before my first ACFW conference, sure this time I'd gotten it right. Until I got that first critique back. Ouch.

So 8 years later, as I turn 48, I have continued to write and publish short stories, but the coveted contract with a traditional publisher continues to allude me. Not that the 8 years have been wasted. I joined the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators 5 years ago and finaled in the 2012 ACFW Genesis contest. I have continued to grow as a writer and am confident that when the manuscript and timing are right I will find the perfect agent/editor/publishing house. But more importantly, after 8 years, I am still in love with writing. Despite not yet achieving my main goal I am thrilled to have begun this journey and will continue until death do us part.

How long have you been writing? Are you still in love?

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