|From the cool site shown above|
Oh, I belonged to writing groups, revised my manuscripts, studied my copy of Writer's Market or Children's Writer's Market, Guide to Literary Agents, and sent my manuscripts out. But I was pretty naive. I didn't expect to have to revise so many times, study the market so many times, submit my stories/books so many times, write so many cover letters, etc., etc.
And then I started getting published -- mostly stories, poems, and flash fiction in magazines, both print and online, both for adults and for children. I won "honorable mention" in some contests. And I was still . . . pretty naive. I thought I had broken into the market, so to speak, and it was going to be much easier to get everything published.
But, I learned about blogs and networks in addition to my writing groups. I picked up terms like "pitching" and "beta readers" and "WIP", etc. And I revised and revised, and studied Writer's Market and Children's Writer's Market, Guide to Literary Agents, and sent things out again. And again.
And that's what I've been doing for the last few weeks: Sending things out again.
But, I know some things I didn't know before. I have a keen appreciation now for the word "perseverance," and what it r-e-a-llllly means.
Even my husband, my chief emotional support through thick and through thin, who always has had faith in my writing, shakes his head at how much perseverance it takes to be a writer. He says he couldn't do it. But I know why. The reason he couldn't do it is that he is blessed not to be a crazy writer.
If you are a crazy writer, you have to persevere. It's impossible not to. You can set the writing aside for awhile (and sometimes to great benefit and perspective), but sooner or later, the fingers itch, the imagined scenes well up, a character's voice has a particular lilt that makes you wonder who he/she is, or would be, if you can nail it just right in a story. And there you go again, noticing the way light hits maple leaves in the fall, the way ginko leaves scatter like gold coins on sidewalks, and you have to write about all of it.
Once you've done that, well -- it's not like that manuscript can ever be happy just sitting in the file cabinet. It nags and nags at you until you make it better and go research the market to find it a good home. Perseverance is nothing more than being beholden to a manuscript that will NEVER LEAVE YOU ALONE until you get it through those gates to the reader beyond.
I sleep better, knowing that.
How about you?