Last year, around this time, I made a serious commitment to myself and the writing process. Prior to that I had dabbled, quit, returned, dabbled, and quit again. (oh yeah, I also quit a big time corporate job, had 2 kids, helped my hubby through a major back surgery, and had 6 months of vertigo)
But, last fall, I learned my writing buddy, Lindsey Leavitt, signed the final contract on her Princess for Hire deal (that went to auction!).
Her deal and journey made me realize something. "I can do this!"
You see Lindsey and I for a long time were in a similar space. In 2007, I had met her at her first SCBWI conference, which was the first conference I was also speaking at. We were reading the Twilight series at the time (along with a few BILLION other people.) So when her book sold to Hyperion, it was the first person I knew to get a real book deal.
I thought, "Wow! You mean this really happens? To people I know?" That was a HUGE eye opener for me.
Last October, I met her for coffee/chit chat after a SCBWI conference. She gave me some praise, some great advice, some pointers and most of all, hope, that it could happen for me. She really got me back on track.
So without Lindsey - and my critique group - I would not be here today. (Yes Lindsey, it's true. Stop shaking your head at me. Don't be so modest!)
After shelving one book along with many many rejections and working for 4 years to get published, last November, I finally queried my second novel "Grace Under Fire" to agents for the first time. I also rededicated myself to learning the ins and outs of the publishing business as well as jumpstart my blog again.
Here's everything I have done in just one year:
- Met my first Blogger Buddies: Carrie Harris, Casey McCormick, Chandler Craig, and Corey Schwartz, Sherrie Solvang, Suzanne Young, Plot This girls (BTW - Happy Bday Katie! :)
- Reignited blog - 0 followers
- queried "Grace Under Fire" for first time
- got full requests
- got vertigo
- got my first gray hair - ok third but whos counting
- First Marketing Blog interview with Chandler Craig -
- got rejections - including a personal one from Alyssa (my agent)
- started marketing series on my blog - about 50 followers, only about 2 comments a day
- got more rejections
- had hubby cit me off from having a 3rd baby. dolls will have to do.
- ran a Commenting contest - followers increased to 100
- started Facebook and Twitter
- pissed off my hair dresser and got banned from the salon
- Started "On the Bright Side - initially a YA
- joined Publishers weekly and Publishers Marketplace
- personal rejection with opportunity to resubmit
- revised Grace's entire plot
- another gray hair - obviously my old hairdresser's fault
- Resubmitted to agent who asked for book to be redone
- Changed On the Brights Side to MG/tween - wrote 100 pages
- requeried all agents who gave me personal rejections - all said yes and asked for a partial of Bright as well
- ran Follower Contest - followers increased to 200
- changed my diet
- vertigo went away - thank the lord!
- made tons and tons of wonderful blogger buddies
- Got an offer for representation- What!
- Another offer- What?
- a couple more offers - Shut up!
- Chose Alyssa!!! yay!
- Went to LA and got requests from editors for books
- Hung out with Katie and SF
- Met my now soul sister Kimberly Derting who I adore to death!
- Shelved Grace and wrote rest of Bright
- Revised bright at least 10 times
- Just went out on sub to publishers
- Just had my 40,000 visitor on my blog and 350 followers.
Who knows where I will be next year.
So hang in there and stay positive! You have to keep going. Especially if you love to write as much as me.
Because by this time next year, you will be so much further than you are today.
And who knows where that will be!!!!
Here's to another great year and many more successes!
Here's to your dream!
I hope one day, someday, I can give back to each of you in some small way. Even if it is by giving you the hope (like Lindsey did for me) that you too - can reach your writing dream.
Good luck! :)