Monday, August 6, 2012

August is Awesome Because of Peggy Eddleman

Peggy Eddleman has been deep into edits that are due today!  Even with such important work on her plate (along with the cookies) she still took time to encourage others by providing this insightful and heartening message.  I call that awesome.

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
First, that I was 100% sure this was what I wanted to do. If I’d have only been half sure, and this writing thing was just something that I was trying out to see if it fit, I probably would’ve decided that maybe it didn’t fit when things got hard. At first I wasn’t at 100%, of course. I started simply because it was fun. And then I wondered if maybe I could get good enough to be published, and whether or not that’s what I actually wanted.

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!
About Peggy Eddleman:

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
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PeggyEddleman
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/peggy.eddleman
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13411048-through-the-bomb-s-breath

63 comments:

  1. Peggy Eddleman has the best cookies...

    Ahem, this is great advice. In fact, I have a friend who needs this right now. Must send her a link to this post.

    This has been an amazing August so far Jeff. Can't wait to see who else is to come!

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    1. Yay! I'm glad it might be of help to your friend.

      Jeff has been an amazing host! (Goes right along with the Amazing August theme. :)) I can't wait to see, either!

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    2. Hey Imogen, wanna guess how many cookies Peggy's compliment cost? :)

      And August has just begun!

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    3. @Peggy, I just gave her the link now. Jeff's Awesome August month is sooo much fun. I'm so enjoying everyone's posts.

      @Jeff, um, a lot? Of course it depends what sort of cookies you had on offer. I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see who's next now!

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  2. Excellent advice. Peggy always has great information and super helpful posts! Her blog is one of my favourites, even if I am more of a lurker than a commenter!

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    1. Thanks, Kyra! Feel free to lurk all you want. :)

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  3. Awww, I love Peggy. Not in a creepy stalkerly way either. She's always so supportive and positive!

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  4. As usual, Peggy always gives the rest of such encouragement. She's living proof that we can all achieve our goals and dreams :o)

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  5. Two of my favorite bloggers in one place, how awesome. This is really great advice,especially the part about how if you've worked hard and KNOW your MS rocks when you query, you will be much less likely to give up after a few rejections.

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    1. It is SO important! It can be easy to give up after rejections. Much less easy if you believe in your book 100%.

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    2. I think Peggy might be blushing. No wait, that might be me.

      Isn't is great reading such realistic encouragement?

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  6. Great stuff, as usual, from Peggy. Thanks for bringing her over here, Jeff, and nice to meet you.

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    1. It's always a pleasure to host awesome people, Jeff, and Peggy certainly qualifies as awesome. Always nice to meet another Jeff too! :)

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  7. Peggy is awesome. what great advice.

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  8. This is a wonderfully supportive article, Peggy! Can't wait to read your new book.

    Jeff, what a great blog you have here. I am your newest follower.

    Kathy M.

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    1. Thanks for the compliment, Kathy, and you're most welcome here.

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    2. I think Jeff's blog is great, too! I'm glad you're a new follower!

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  9. Like I said on your blog, totally needed to read this, Peggy. You know where I'm at all to well, but it's posts like this that keep me going. Thanks for hosting, Jeff! :)

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    1. Hosting Peggy was purely my pleasure, David. Already stopped by your blog. Love the new look.

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    2. Yay! I love when timing works! Especially when it works for our group getting together. ;)

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  10. Peggy's posts always make me feel better :) And this was something I needed to hear right now! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Awww! That makes me happy, Mara!

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    2. Welcome aboard, Mara! Peggy seems to have hit on what quite a few people are struggling with right now. Awesome people have awesome timing like that. Like a super power or something. ;-)

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  11. Peggy not only rocks, she is my rock. I couldn't do it without her peptalks. I need to buy her a really short cheerleading skirt! That would be so hot ;)!!

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    1. Thanks! But I think I might have to throw a rock at that idea, Jessie.

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  12. Great post! She happens to be my rock too Jessie! :)

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  13. I so needed to hear this today Peggy. Sometimes we need little reminders to keep us going. Thank you!!

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  14. 1. Thank you for the pep talk, Pegasus! Well said. :)

    2. It's nice to meet you, Jeff!

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    1. Same here, Carrie. Been stalking YA Alley for a while, but just joined up on So, You're a Writer. Welcome aboard!

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    2. Carrie! You rock. Thanks for coming by!

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  15. How did you know this is what I needed to hear today? Seriously? I think you have psychic abilities as well.
    Thanks for the pep talk.

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    1. Welcome, Leigh! I found you via inkPageant a good while back and considered cyber-tackling you for the Emotion Thesaurus. :-) Stay tuned and you may just see that cover and one of its co-authors in a couple days. (Yeah, I've been trying to not spill the beans on who is appearing, but can I help it if I'm excited to have so many awesome people stop by?)

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    2. Yep! Psychic abilities. And right now, my psychic abilities are telling me that you are going on a trip next week. But that you should cancel that trip, and go on a different trip instead. ;)

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  16. I just keep focused on what I really, really want. I'm not a quitter. So if I want to be published, I will try every path there is until I get just that. Perseverance is key! Along with stubbornness.

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  17. Wow, Peggy, you sound like such a fun person--TP'ing friends' houses, cartwheels in long hallways, trying new restaurants...forget the writing advice, I think I'll take your "how-to-live-in-the-moment" advice.

    ...I'm off to have some fun. ;_)

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    1. Are you going to go TP someone? Because I don't think nearly enough toilet papering goes on in the world anymore! (Plus: Yes. It's definitely fun.)

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  18. Very inspiring post! Keep up the good work!

    And Peggy does sound really amazing!

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  19. Thanks for the inspiration Peggy! It's so true that when I'm feeling awesome about my book it rocks, but there always comes that moment when it's hard to muster even a little yay for it. :) Appreciate the tips!

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    1. Always remember, Coleen, especially during those "difficult yay" moments, that had you not followed the dream and fulfilled the desire, there would be no book at all. And fewer books is so not cool. :)

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  20. Excellent advice! I'm knee deep in the query bog right now so this is timely. You are brilliant as always.

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  21. I love the advice. It's so easy to quit because writing is so difficult and if you don't know that writing is what you want to do, it's even more difficult. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Never quit, Clarissa. Always pursue dreams.

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  22. I often think writing is driven by some insane gene...all that work and rejection and we keep going and going...and when not loathing it, we love every minute of it!

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  23. Thanks for having me over, Jeff! You were an amazing host.

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    1. The pleasure was mine, Peggy. An awesome experience it was seeing so many of your awesome fans and witnessing their admiration of and appreciation for you. Just goes to prove how awesome you really are!

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  24. Thanks to you both! Absolutely what I needed to hear while in the depths of Queryland. :)

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    1. Best of luck to you, Katie. Navigating Queryland is treacherous. Sharks infest the waters, dragons soar overhead and Cerberus stalks with three keen noses tracking your scent. (Not really, I'm just trying to gear up for some writing later today.)

      Be sure to yell really loud once you've inked a deal. Encouragement is reinforced with stories of success. Thanks for stopping by!

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  25. Wonderful advice! So true about how you need to be 100% sure that this is what you want to do with your life. I think a lot of people wash out early on - when their drafts get hard, when they don't feel like revising, when they rack up three or four agent rejections - because they realize that this path just isn't for them. And that's fine! May they all find different paths that make them happy. But for those who want to keep writing, this is fantastic inspiration!

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    1. Hey, Caryn! That Peggy is one smart cookie.

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  26. Great blog . . . perfect timing! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kara! The "perfect timing" comment makes me think a "success wish" is warranted. Actually, a "success wish" is always warranted and you have mine to add to your collection. :)

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