Sunday, September 04, 2005

Tips for Writers Monday: When the Going Gets Rough

Before I sold, I had the following:
over 130 rejections
over 95 contest entries
18 completed mss
8 partials

I faced a lot of failure. I saw so many people sell when I was getting rejections. I burned from so many harsh contest critiques. I had had my hopes crushed so many times. I was getting up at 4am to write before work. I was writing at lunch, at nights and on weekends. I was exhausted and so many times I thought I was done. I couldn't take one more rejection. I couldn't deal with one more manuscript not being good enough. So many times, I told myself it was the last ms I was going to write. If this one didn't sell, I was walking away.

But they didn't sell, and I kept writing another one.

Then one day, one sold. It was amazing, incredible, more than words can ever explain. But I never would have had that success if I'd given up.

There was one thing that really kept me going, and that was hope. Every morning, I woke up and knew that today could be the day.

Why? Because I always had stuff out there: contest entries, agent submissions, editor submissions. Every day that I received bad news, I hung in there because I knew I could get good news the next day, because I always had more stuff out there. And it worked. I can't tell you the number of times I was so low, only to get a request for a partial or find out I finalled in a contest. Don't send out one submission to one agent and wait.

Keep submitting to agents, to editors, to contest. Force those doors to open. Force good news to come your way. Maybe it's not a sale, but it'll be enough to boost you up and keep you going. Keep hope alive, because if you don't give up and you keep working to improve your craft, you will get there.


At 4:36 AM, Blogger MaryF said...

Great post, Steph! I so resemble these remarks!

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Ann said...

Stephanie you are such an inspiration. I hope I will get the chance to talk to you at our next rcrw meeting. I'm so glad Heidi and I found your blog.


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