Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Writers: It's Never Over


Oh, Charlie. You just keep trying and trying...


I used to think there'd be a point in my writing life where the publishing gods would officially ban me from trying to get published.

Like, on my fourth queried project (my 8th finished novel). I sent it out with great trepidation, positive that these agents I've queried two or three times already would finally say, "Okay, dear, since you can't take the hint, IT IS TIME TO QUIT." I mean, surely there was a limit. After someone queries that long, no success has to mean it's over, right? Clearly I wasn't good enough, and yet like a stubborn ox I kept at it.

Well, you all know I got an agent—an agent who'd seen my very horrible beginnings, no less. AKA: My greenest of queries on project #1. And it didn't matter. All that mattered was my current project.

Sometimes it sounds like you only have one chance. One chance to impress an agent. One chance to make it on sub. One chance to be a bestseller. One chance one chance one chance. It can feel like this business is completely unforgiving. If you don't nail the query the first time, you are doomed. If you don't sell in the first three weeks on sub, you won't. If your first book doesn't sell well, you will never sell a book again. Etc. and so forth.

But take this from someone who has had a lot of second chances—it's never over.

If you have the will to keep going, you can. You would be surprised how forgiving agents and editors can be. They are not the unfeeling, stiff characters they are sometimes made out to be. There is such a thing as a second chance. Even a third and fourth and fifth. Every time I thought, "Surely, this time it is over. This time I have failed so hard I won't be able to get back up," I was wrong.

Like good ol' Charlie Brown, I just had to try and kick that football again. I had to hope that someday I'd kick it. And I did. And I will again.

Because it is never, ever over.

24 comments:

  1. Natalie, you are an inspiration. Thank you for reminding me that it's never over. I needed this encouragement today. : )

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  2. Annnddd this is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. Thank you! :)

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  3. I fully agree. It can be tough when you'r so close adn keep getting rejected. But I'm a firm believer that those who never give up win the game.

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  4. I needed this today, I got my first rejection letter. Thanks for posting.

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  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. This is where I am, in that moment where I feel it's time to give up. But your words have encouraged me to keep trying and reminded me that although this place is a lonely one, I am not alone.

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  6. After my rants this week, I need that reminder. Thanks!

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  7. Thank you, this is really inspiring. :)

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  8. I love how every time I come here I leave feeling inspired and driven. Thanks for the motivation and encouraging words.

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  9. I needed to see this! I began querying my last manuscript and right in the middle of it I decided to retire my manuscript and start a new one; I start the long query road (again and for the second time) soon! Thank you for this!

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  10. "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming..." :D

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  11. But I have my Charlie Brown shtick down pat!? Thanks for the inspiration. It reminds me of the quote by John Heywood - "Nothing is impossible to a willing heart."

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  12. Poor Charlie Brown. What a perfect analogy for how it feels. It's nice to know that unlike Lucy, sometimes the No sometimes becomes a Yes!

    Tara Maya
    The Unfinished Song: Initiate B&N, Amazon US, Amazon UK

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  13. Thank you, Natalie! I'm sure it's a little awkward to get a compliment like this, but it's true and I mean it: you're an inspiration! Your own story is like one of those "never give up" stories they tell about people like Harrison Ford. (Don't you want to be the Han Solo of the writing world? ;)

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  14. Awww...I love this post. I needed to hear this. I'm a believer in never giving up, but that doesn't mean I don't get down on myself sometimes. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

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  15. Do you ever sit back and realize that you ARE an inspirational writer published online? Your blog has thousands of people who read it not just because it's interesting and awesome, but because it's written well. It's well-informed, and it has one killer VOICE. You've written almost 1,000 excellent entries.

    I understand you want to be a writer of a published book, but dang girl, you are a WRITER that a lot of people look up to.

    One of my friends recently went to an event where they got to meet (and take photos with) a number of authors. Yeah, guess who I was jealous that she got to meet? You.

    And Ally Condie was there. Just sayin'.

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  16. That was a very inspirational post. Congrats. I can't imagine having that sort of tenacity.

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  17. Exactly what I needed to hear today too, thanks so much!

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  18. Bravo for sticking with it. Very heartening to read your story, thanks.

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  19. You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: Powerful Woman Writer Award for all the hard work you do!

    I invite you to follow me, if you haven’t already done so, since we have a lot in common, but no pressure. I’m not giving you the award just so you will follow me. You really do deserve it!
    Take care:-)

    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra


    P.S.

    I'm also looking to interview published authors (agented, self published, small press, etc.) to find out what they wrote and what the pathway to publishing was like for them.

    Let me know if you are interested in being interviewed and I will send over the questions you can fill out at your leisure. My email address is Guidedhope (at)gmail(dot)com.

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