I've watched (on Brandon Sanderson's blog) this awesome soul speak to a group of his students. Yes, she is just plain awesome, whether she charges you any cookies or not.
A big welcome to an awesome cookie lover!
A few months ago, I was presenting at a school and one of the teachers (was also a writer) asked me how I kept strong in my desire to be published when the times got hard.
It was such a great question! I sputtered for a few minutes, trying to think how to answer. The answer is probably a little different for everyone, but I think I figured out what kept my desire strong.
|Books (rudecactus.com) / CC BY 3.0|
Once I made the decision that I would work as hard as I could and never give up, I let everyone know my goal.
Scary, I know!
But guess what? When the people you care about know what your goal is, it makes it a lot easier to stay 100% dedicated. I mean, who wants to tell anyone when they ask, “Oh, yeah. That? It um, got hard, so I decided to quit.” I’m pretty sure no one.
Second, I think most people would agree that one of the hardest parts of this business is that blasted querying! And that is when you REALLY need to keep your desire to be in this business strong, because it can be the easiest time to give up. So how do you stay strong then?
The most important thing is to KNOW that your book rocks. Because the thing about querying is, it will make you feel like your book stinks. You need to have solid knowledge that it doesn’t! (Not sure that it rocks? Think about spending time revising some more until you know that it does. If you’re not sure that it rocks, there’s a good chance that when those rejections roll in, you’ll give up on it much too quickly.)
So how can you keep that knowledge that your book is incredible beyond incredibleness when evidence starts piling up to the contrary?
Tell yourself whatever you need to about why an agent sent you a form rejection. The book wasn’t their style— writing is subjective, right? They loved it, but don’t have the contacts to sell it. They loved it, but have a client with a very similar book (which, fyi, will keep an agent from signing you, even if your book knocked their socks off). Whatever you need to tell yourself to not fall into the trap of thinking the reason they gave you a rejection is because your book stinks.
If you get feedback from an agent on your submissions, just remember— they wouldn’t have spent the time to send them IF THEY DIDN’T THINK YOUR BOOK HAD A CHANCE. Even if they didn’t request a revise and resubmit, view feedback as a shiny gold star on your forehead.
If that doesn’t work, re-read the praise your critique partners gave you on the book.
And if all else fails, re-read your book. It’ll remind you of its awesomeness all on its own.
What do you do to keep a strong desire to become published when things get really hard?
|Peggy Eddleman is awesome!|
Peggy Eddleman is the author of the middle grade post-apocalyptic adventure THROUGH THE BOMB'S BREATH, to be published by Random House in Fall 2013. She lives at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains with her three hilarious and fun kids (two sons and a daughter), and her incredibly supportive husband. Besides writing, Peggy loves playing games with her family, making dinner, reading to her kids, toilet papering friends’ houses, doing cartwheels in long hallways, trying new restaurants, and occasionally painting murals on walls.
Connect with Peggy at:
Her blog: Will Write for Cookies