Wednesday, May 1, 2013

IWSG: Chasing Dreams

aaah ... catch it ... catchitcatchitcatchit!

We jump over hurdles trying to make our literary dreams come true by: mastering our craft, writing the best novels we can, researching agents and querying -- or subbing to publishers -- and then sending up heartfelt pleas to the writing gods.  "Oh, please, let this be the one!"

A few lucky souls end up with offers (plural) and after they accept one, their ms goes to auction. 

For the rest of us, the road is a LOT longer.  Every request makes our hearts beat faster.  Every rejection crushes our hopes.  But we keep going.

The hardest things are the R&Rs ( revise & resubmit) where an agent or publisher says, "I really like this.  It would be perfect IF ...."  Then writers spend weeks, months, revising their ms into a new form.  And then that is rejected, too.


Even if you get a publisher or self-publish, the chase isn't over.  A myriad of details you didn't even know about are breathing down your neck -- cover image, copy-edits, formats, audio rights, new social media outlets, finding reviewers, watching stats, etc. 

I understand how hard it is -- believe me -- but DON'T GIVE UP! 

Every single published author I know went through a time when they got depressed, dropped out of writing for a while or considered quitting for good. 

Behind every successful author are trials, tribulations, and failures.  Sometimes lots and lots of failures.  Seriously.  LOTS.  It's like a rite of passage -- you have to go through the dark before you come out the other side.

Do you know how many queries/subs I sent on my most recent ms?  Almost 150.  And I got an agent.  If I can succeed, so can you.  Never give up.



This is a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It exists so the community of blogging writers can share and support each other, blog-hopping to cheerlead and commiserate. To find out more, visit: Insecure Writer's Support Group.


80 comments:

tfwalsh said...

Great post.... and so very valid. Keeping positive and believing things will turn out well:)

Lara said...

Very inspiring! Thanks for sharing your experience :)

Heather Holden said...

Whoa, 150 queries?! Now that is dedication! I agree, it never pays to quit. We just have to keep plowing ahead, no matter what our dreams are, until those dreams come true. :)

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I know someone who should read you post. It might help.

Kate Larkindale said...

Fantastic advice! And some I really need to take to heart right now....

Tammy Theriault said...

congrats on getting your agent! oh my gosh...that's a lot of querying and denial. thanks for the inpsirations from your struggle!!

Brandon Ax said...

I have been lucky I was born too stubborn to quit. I couldn't stop writing if I wanted to. This is so true though, the second you give up is the only time you are defeated.

Medeia Sharif said...

You described the journey of many writers.

That's right, never give up.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Lexa. We can all use it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A hundred and fifty - and so many would've given up after twenty. Perseverance always wins!

Emma Adams said...

Great post, and it's so true! Writing can be so frustrating sometimes but I could never truly consider quitting since it's such a big part of who I am. Thanks for the encouragement! :D

L.G. Smith said...

Wow, a hundred and fifty queries. That's a lot of perseverance, which I'm told is usually the difference between the published and the unpublished. :)

SA Larsenッ said...

You are such a champion, L. I'm thankful we've been CPs.

DEZMOND said...

yep, gotta keep chasing the sun because one day it will shine on you too :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Great advice! If this is your passion, your dream, then you CAN'T give up because you never know when that next stage of the journey is just around the corner.

Suze said...

All of your successes are well-deserved, Lex. Of this, I am sure. I love that SA called you a champion. Very cool.

shelly said...

Your post made me smile because I have that little voice that argues why I should just quit and I'm an Indie. Ha!

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

michelle said...

150? Holy Schmoly!!
You are my newest heroine! You go girl!

Stephen Hayes said...

Good advice. It's been a while since I tried to publish anything but you've inspired me. Thanks.

Al Diaz said...

That's right! Never stop trying and you'll get results. Very good advice. :)

mlswift.me said...

Quite an inspiration...both the post and YOU!

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Well done, Lexa! This is exactly what the Insecure Writers' Support Group is all about.

Kelly Hashway said...

Rejection is inevitable, but we keep pushing until we get that yes and then it's all worth it. :)

Mark Noce said...

Wow, I really feel like that dog sometimes:) But that's all part of the fun. No point engaging in a challenge it if we don't enjoy it:)

Candilynn Fite said...

Is your agent news recent? If so, CONGRATS, Lexa!!! I love your post today. It's so inspirational. Love the advice. It goes along with the video I posted on my IWSG post.

roe2me said...

Comgrats on the agent and you definitely must never give up.

Jenny S. Morris said...

This is so true!

LD Masterson said...

Thanks. I needed that today.

Donna K. Weaver said...

*sigh* Yeah. So very true. It is what it is though, right? We can write and write and write and if we never let anyone see anything we write we can just keep doing just that. Unless, of course, we actually WANT someone to read it. =D

Suzanne Furness said...

Inspiring and encouraging post to keep going, Lexa. Thank you for sharing and 150 queries now that is a lot!

DMS said...

It is always great to be reminded not to give up and that everyone goes through the ups and downs. A wonderful post for today. :)

I am still so excited for you about your agent.
Jess

Beth said...

Sticking with it is always worthwhile, even if it's a long time coming!

Annalisa Crawford said...

150? Wow! But it just goes to prove that you should never give up. If you'd given up at 100 (which is a lot, and maybe lots of people would give up at that point) you wouldn't have your agent now. This is an uplifting post!

Michael Offutt, "Johnny on the Spot" said...

Very inspirational post, Lexa. I hope your manuscript is one of the lucky ones that gets fought over via auction and then a huge book deal comes your way :)

Editors At Work said...

A great inspiring, encouraging and uplifting post, Lexa! Thanks!

Nas

Cathy Keaton said...

That's a lot of rejections you had to wade through. I agree--don't give up! It sounds cliche, but the only true road to failure is to quit. Congrats, again, on your success so far. Hopefully, it will translate into a purchase one day!

Lynda R Young said...

Again, a HUGE congrats for getting that agent. Hard work is definitely the road for writers. We just have to keep trudging that road. (So worth it though!)

Lynda R Young
IWSG co-host

Kim Lajevardi said...

Important words for all writers to not just read, but remember on the greyest of days. Congrats again, Lex! You've earned it.

Kim Lajevardi said...

Important words for all writers to not just read, but remember on the greyest of days. Congrats again, Lex! You've earned it.

Tara Grover Smith said...

Congratulations! I love the metaphor of the dog--such faith and joy that you will catch it! We just have to believe and keep at it!

Sean McLachlan said...

Persistence, persistence, persistence. . . the key to success in every field.

Julie said...

Wonderful post! And I'm a believer. I tell people that if I am ever the success I dream of, it will be simply because I refused to quit. Congrats on getting an agent! :)

Yolanda Renee said...

So true Lexa!

Each rejection is hurtful, but then you pick yourself up and start over, make it better, tweak it this way and that, and eventually someone will notice. But it's important to put it out there! Wonderful post!

Tracy Moore said...

Great post Lexa. It's been many, many years since I've tried to submit anything to a publisher and I'm gearing up to start doing it again. So the encouragement and advice here is very timely. :)

jessika fleck said...

My story is similar...love this post!

Stephen Tremp said...

I think I recognize that image from the Twilight Zone.

And thanks for the words of encouragement! I need them as I'm working hard at finishing my current WIP so I can get it off to my editor.

Gina Gao said...

This is really great advice! I could use this when I'm working on my book.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Jimmy Fungus said...

Many moons ago I tried submitting work to publishers. Not novels... I was writing songs. After reading this, it makes me think that perhaps I should not have given up. Though I have tried expressing my creativity in other arenas still plugging away, hoping that something good will one day happen.

mshatch said...

Wow. Now that's perseverance!

Dana said...

Inspiring post! Thanks.

VR Barkowski said...

And Don't give up doesn't stop with acquiring an agent. I've had two novels under submission over the past three years, editors interested and pushing for a contract, but in the end rejected by the acquisitions department. That's been the hardest part for me, getting so close then watching it all disappear, but I'm still hanging in there. Inspirational post, Lexa!

VR Barkowski

M Pax said...

I've heard about 150 is average. I'm glad you didn't give up. And the journey is just starting really. None of the rest of it is easy. Lots of ups and downs. That's where having writer friends becomes necessary.

Kate said...

Thanks for the reminder to keep chugging on :)

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

You inspire, Lexa. Thank you! And CS Lewis faced 800 (can you imagine?) rejections before he was published. I can't fathom the faith he had in himself in the face of such rejection. That's what it takes: faith and persistence.

xoRobyn

Kim (YA Asylum) said...

Thanks for this great reminder :)
I'm still so happy for you!

Shell Flower said...

Great reminder, and WOW 130 queries? I don't even know how you found that many agents that repped your genre. I guess I shouldn't feel bad about 2 rejections out of 4 queries (and 2 no answers not quite at their deadline). Still, you did it. Persistence pays off. I love hearing peoples' stories of their road to publication.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I had a NYC agent once who spent 2 years telling me to be patient. I was ... for 2 years. It's a long, rough road, but you're so correct, Lexa. It'll happen. We just have to believe.

unikorna said...

I agree Lexa, it's hard til you find the right publisher, but then it gets better with....the second manuscript. The first time was hard for me too, I sent hundreds of submissions.

Sherry Ellis said...

Great post! The key is to not give up. I submitted 93 queries before I got my agent!

Jocelyn Rish said...

What an excellent post! And I'm still so thrilled for you about getting an agent. I can't wait to find out more about the project that landed you your agent.

Nick Wilford said...

Persistence is the only way forward. I'm glad you didn't give up!

klahanie said...

Hi Lexa,

Wise and profound words, my friend. Your determination, your belief, your passion for the written word, inspired you on. And with your inspiration, you will inspire others. Great stuff and a peaceful weekend to you.

Gary :)

Empty Nest Insider said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement! Congrats again on acquiring an agent!

Julie

Heather said...

Excellent words of inspiration. Thanks for the nudge :-)

Teresa Cypher said...

Thanks for the much needed pep-talk Lexa. :-)

Old Kitty said...

Lovely Lexa! Thank you for showing how patience, persistence and then some really works - you are a true inspiration! It also takes a lot of courage - A LOT - to get where you are now!! Yay! Take care
x

Ava Quinn said...

Great advice!

T. Drecker said...

Loved reading this! It's always great to see patience and persistence paying off.:)

J.L. Campbell said...

Inspiring, Lexa. That a lot of mss and tons of patience.

J.L. Campbell said...

Ooops, I meant mss submissions.

Cindy Dwyer said...

Great post. It's so critical to keep our spirits up.

Cecilia Robert said...

Thanks for this lovely post, Lexa. Lately I've been thinking of going the 'agent' route, I find it to be a bit scary, though. Yeah the rejections. :( going to try though. As you said, "you have to go through the dark before you come out the other side". :) thanks!!!

Jess said...

Love this post and hearing your stats! I think we've all read about people who make it after a bunch of rejection, but somehow it means so much more when it's someone you know. Thanks for the inspiration!!

Mina Lobo said...

Never give up! Never surrender! :-)

Well, I've given up on finding an agent for my current project, but I've not surrendered, just chosen to go the self-publishing route. Learning about what I've got to do to put out a professional product's freaking me out a bit, but it's exciting, too. I kinda dig the pioneering spirit of being an indie author. Kinda. :-D
Some Dark Romantic

Misha Gericke said...

Congrats on getting an agent!

I also queried almost a hundred agents before I sold my book myself. :-)

nutschell said...

I'm so inspired by this post. Thanks Lexa~! looking forward to seeing your book on the shelves soon.
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Margo Berendsen said...

Congrats!!! I love how you put it as a rite of passage - we have to go through the dark first. I think that's very true.

Romance Book Haven said...

A writer's life can be lonely and the rejections can really hurt. But it's important never to give up, especially if you really love writing.

jaybird said...

(1) Congratulations! This is fantastic news. Best of luck. (2) I really needed to read this today. Thanks for this encouragement!!

Jessie Harrell said...

Amen to all of that! The only was to ensure failure is to quit

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