Some of us have probably been in the Querying Agents or Editors Stage for several years, and being in limbo can not only make you want to bang your head against random objects but occasionally makes you feel like a loser. You might have had good luck on one book, but not enough. Then the next novel might have flopped with agents, and you start to feel like your luck might have run out.
It’s in these times, when it’s important to look at how far you’ve come and to be thankful for the small pockets of luck that have come your way. Sure you haven’t gotten your big break yet, but you’re probably much more prepared for it, aren’t you?
Take me for example, and just a small sample of luck that I’m appreciative of on this Saint Patty’s Day:
- The Luck O’The Digital Age: yes we are lucky to be writer’s in this day in age. Shortly after I started writing I meet tons of writers online that have equipped me with information on every stage in the writing process. I would definitely not be this far along without each and every blog writer, message board poster, and critique partner I meet online.
- The Luck O’The Online Class: thanks in part to the Internet, I’ve been fortunate to meet some amazing people. Including two writers in this group: Deena and Kristina, whom I meet in an online writing class in the summer of 2006. Luck saw it in my favor to be paired up as critique partners during class with Deena. I had had critique partners before, but I knew I wasn’t clicking with them. Most of them wrote out of the YA genre and wrote much more serious stuff. Deena knows her YA and when she saw potential in my writing, it finally felt like I might be able to do this whole writing thing. Then on a whim I meet Tina a few months later—through Deena—and I’m glad I did. She also knows her YA, and has a special gift of making people LOL. I wouldn’t be nearly as good without both of them (thanks girls!). They are also the ones that asked me to join this group and introduced me with Kate and Lisa, who are equally amazing and supportive.
- The Luck O’The Message Boards: in between being critique partners with Deena and Kristina, I was searching for some more critique partners, since I dropped out of a critique group that wasn’t working. I put a blind post on a message board that I was looking for critique partners, and got several responses. One of them was from Shana Norris. She told me her online critique group had an opening. That was back in 2006, and I’m still a member of the critique group that also includes Marlene Perez and the up-and-coming Sandy DeLisle. I’m not entirely sure why such a smart group of published and soon-to-be published women let me join the group at the time, but I’m glad they did. They’ve all taught me a ton about writing and about the publishing business.
Granted, I’m still waiting on The Luck O’The Agent or Editor, but my writing has improved so much and I’m much more equipped to make a sale now. I’m also a much happier writer to have writing friends that I can vent to when the rejections are particularly tough.
So never be afraid to get connect with people online. Whether in a class, message board, or just on blogs. You never know who might be looking for a critique partner, or just willing to help you out.
--Emily, Miss Querylicious