Today marks a momentous occasion… my 150th post.
Margo Kelly writes for the YA market and also keeps a very informative blog. She recently jumped on the query train and received two FULL requests! (insert round of applause here).
And now, without further ado, here’s Margo…
Wahoo! YAY! Christi’s blog is awesome, consistent, and helpful. And, I’m thrilled to be asked to guest host today. Thanks.
January 2009, I found myself flat in bed with a back injury. I had to cancel everything in my life. Everything. As a self-employed person and a busy mom of three, I thought there was no way the world would continue to spin if I stepped off for awhile. But, I found out that while I stayed in bed, the world continued on without me. My children learned to ride the bus (instead of me driving them to school every day). The parents of my cub scouts learned it was actually their job to help their boys advance and they could do it without me. My husband and children picked up all the slack around the house. Friends brought in meals. I read a lot of books. Really, the only thing that suffered from this experience was my business. As I was forced to stay in bed for weeks and weeks, I wondered what I would do with my life, and how I would rebuild my business. Frankly, I wondered if I even wanted to rebuild my business!
During these long periods of self-reflection, I remembered what I wanted to be when I grew up: a writer! How could I have forgotten that childhood dream?
So, I began to read books on writing and to study the craft. I finished my first novel in four months and decided this was going to be a piece of cake! No problem. (Oh… how little did I know!)
Then, I started the query process. To this day, I feel like the query process is a jigsaw puzzle… but the pieces keep moving, and the picture keeps changing. How can anyone be successful with so many pieces changing constantly?
Some say it’s luck. It may be. I believe luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Sometimes, the opportunity comes more quickly for certain people (not me). And, they appear very lucky.
Often, people decide it is a game of chance, and they decide to quit.
Other people don’t even want to face the risk of rejection, because they fear the rejection is equivalent to failure.
These are the people who will probably never be published in the traditional market… because they quit the process.
I won’t quit. I figure if I stick to that decision, eventually, my preparation will meet with opportunity and I will be the lucky one who gets published.
The two keys are: preparation and opportunity. First, I must prepare by writing, writing, writing, and researching and improving my craft. Second, I must seek out the opportunities. This means submitting my work, sending query letters, and attending conferences. It will happen. Because I’m determined.
If you are a writer, join with others who have your same (or higher) level of determination. Hang out with people who are supportive. Forget the negative people who say you’re wasting your time. You (and I) can do this!
I’ve received sixty-three rejections for my first manuscript, MANIFESTED, and two requests for additional material. Statistics show that most first manuscripts never get published. So, what have I done? I’ve written a second novel.
My second novel, THE EDUCATION OF THIA, has received fifteen rejections and three requests for full manuscripts. My odds are improving. 🙂 So, what will I do now? I will start a third novel. I’m continuing the process and moving forward with my goals. The odds will just keep getting better.
Hang in there, and your odds will improve as well!
If you’d like to read the first chapters of these stories, feel free to check out my website: http://www.margokelly.net/
If you’d like to follow my journey on the road to publishing, join me on Facebook and/or Blogspot:
Leave a message when you stop by. I look forward to sharing the journey with you!