This has been a year that I will never forget. It was a year that brought me back to a season of joy – a lifting of my spirits and a peace that I hope, through the grace of God, will continue for many years to come.
This was the year that the goal was achieved. The year someone said, “Yes. What you are doing IS worthy. And we’ll meet that next goal together.”
This was the year I was blessed to be offered representation by my literary agent, Rena Rossner.
In the grand scheme of things, I really hadn’t been trying for all that long. Many, many people try to find an agent for much longer than I did. But I was still filled with doubt. I believed I had talent, but maybe it wasn’t going to happen. I’d been trying for several years. I had written six books. I just couldn’t get to the next step.
Here’s something I wrote early last year:
I’m starting to realize that I will probably never be traditionally published. I still don’t want to self-publish.
I guess I’ll be okay. I’ve written six novels that I love. But if no one ever sees them but my friends and family, them’s the breaks.
But I’m not me if I’m not a writer. This is what I wanted my entire life. I don’t know what I’m going to do.
I know. Woe is me, right? But I really was hurting. And I wanted it so badly. I’m lucky. I don’t have a lot of experience with not reaching goals I’d set for myself. But it made it really hard to accept.
BUT…I didn’t accept it, did I? I kept repeating to myself something I’d read on agent Mandy Hubbard’s website long, long ago (Mandy was the first agent to ever request additional pages from me, for PAIRS). It said (paraphrased from memory): The only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is that one didn’t quit. Don’t quit.
Those little words were what I reminded myself of again and again. Even though it felt hopeless sometimes. Even though I felt alone and stupid and completely out of my league.
And now…I’m so happy. I’m ecstatic. This has seriously been the most joyous holiday season I’ve had in a very long time, and it’s because I’m so at peace right now. Having Rena as my agent is just so freaking grand that I can’t think of words good enough to describe it.
One year ago tonight, I was disappointed that I hadn’t reached my goal in 2014. I was frightened that I never would. And I was depressed about not achieving what I’d set out to do – to share my stories, and my characters, with readers. And now, as we slip closer and closer to 2016, I’m so optimistic. So positive. So ready to see what the future holds.
I know it won’t always be easy. I know there’ll be rejections, even at this step. And when I’m published, there’ll be negative reviews. Disappointments. Regret.
But tonight, that’s not on my mind. Tonight, I’ll relish the pleasure of accomplishing the thing I wanted most in 2015, and I’ll look forward to 2016 with a smile. No matter what comes next, I know that I won’t be facing it alone.
If you’re still working toward your goals as a writer (I still am, too!), then don’t quit. If I can succeed, you can too.
The only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is that one didn’t quit. Don’t quit.