I’d been working on my novel for over a decade, taking writing courses, joined writing groups, submitted short stories, and revised, revised, revised. Finally, I thought I was ready to start submitting the novel to agents…and I braced myself for the inevitable round of rejections. I actually began by going to a local writers conference, pitching my novel to the three agents in attendance, and getting requests for pages.
A month later…I received an offer of representation from an agent who shares my love of mysteries! I read the contract, thought it over, and accepted. Then the terror set in. I was much more prepared for rejection than for acceptance. After a few days, my agent sent her list of requested revisions. The good news was that not much needs to change about the actual “bones” of the book…but the changes she requested will involve a lot of thoughtful work to deepen the characters and “punch up” the action and tension. When I saw her notes (after an initial blaze of terror) I felt better. Writing is the kind of work I know how to do.
So my quote for today is paraphrased (w/apololgies for my faulty memory) from Annie Lamott’s lecture “Word by Word” based on her book “Bird by Bird” “Only the work will save you. I know that’s not what you paid to hear, but the reward is in getting the work done.”