Writing is hard. Working to become a published author is even harder.
When I first started this blog, it was to gush all things books while sharing my own publishing journey. I had just signed with my first agent and was filled with excitement and anticipation. This was it! I had made it through the query trenches! I was on my way to fulfilling my dream of becoming a published author!
As the rejections piled on, I had to keep reminding myself that at least I was in the game. Editors were seeing my work! I received many lovely rejections and had several close calls. I adhered to all the advice: just keep writing, when something isn’t working, start a new manuscript, the only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is time and determination. I even wrote a guest blog post on patience in publishing.
But over the course of just shy of two years, the rejections began to weigh me down. That terrible little voice began to whisper my biggest fears: what if you’re not good enough?
In the fall of 2016, I made one of the biggest/scariest decisions of my life. I had to take a step back from publishing and that meant breaking ties with my agent. At first it was a relief and I thought, I tried and failed, but at least I tried! I kept writing, even though I told myself it didn’t matter.(Who was I kidding?) I think I was in shock because soon enough, the emotions hit me like a brick wall. The doubts began to creep in, mingled with the tears. What had I done? I had an agent! Was I crazy for letting that go? What if I never got back to that place again?
Thankfully, I had an amazing support group that continued to encourage me and lift me up. They helped me polish new manuscripts and after about four months, I felt strong enough to try again. I couldn’t shake the desire to become published, the desire to write. When anyone asks me why I write for children, I always answer that there is something magical about introducing a child to the love of reading. I couldn’t let that go.
So I polished my query and with tentative hopes, sent it off. Rejections came, but imagine my surprise when over the course of a few months, four agents asked to see more work! I was delighted! More rejections came, but that was ok because I was still riding the high of four agents being interested in my work! (That had never happened before!)
Then after #PBPitch in February, I saw the news that an editor with Simon and Schuster was making the move to BookEnds Literary and was looking for authors. I did a bit of research and really liked what I saw. I sent a picture book query and held my breath.
Not too long after, I received an email saying that she was intrigued by the query and requested that I submit the entire manuscript. I did and was shocked to receive a second email saying that she loved the manuscript and could we set up a time for a call. THE CALL!
I was in a daze! A literary agent had connected with my story and loved it! Could it be true? Fit is so important when it comes to an agent and even though I was insanely nervous, when we chatted, Natascha checked every box. I was thrilled to accept her offer of representation and join #TeamNat!
I am so grateful for second chances and look forward to what this new journey in publishing brings.