YOU GUYS!!!!!!!! I’ve dreamed about writing this post a million times!!
A million times!
That’s A LOT of dreaming these past three years. *apologizes for dirty laundry piles and massive amounts of take-out*
But I just pinched myself again and I’m awake! The dream-coma is over!
I have an agent!!!
*Twirly Heel Squee!*
A FABULOUS, she-totally-gets-me agent––the lovely, Victoria Selvaggio of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency! ❤ ❤ *mouths no backsies!*
She is amazing!!!!
And I know I should’ve brought gifs, TONS and LOADS of gifs, but I just couldn’t wait to get the words out. So please excuse any unsightly typos and imagine the most honored, deliriously happy, teary-eyed Gif-Girl you can think of (hourglass figure optional, but very much appreciated), and blast her here!
Blink her like a motel sign gone haywire, ‘cause that’s how red neon-flavored thrilled I am to be rep’d by her!!
After three years, four books, and uh, well let’s just say a tidy collection of rejections later, I wrote the Middle Grade story that brought me to Vicki’s querying doorstep. Three years!
But you know what? Every day of my writing journey up until this point (yes, including the rejections-–yes, even the form ones) has been irreplaceable!
I wrote my first whole book, then another, then another…and although I consider all these very much starter stories, I love them just as hard. In fact, I have some unforgettable memories with them, like:
Hey, ‘member when I sent out that first 70,000 word MG story and then realized I left out a period––in the first sentence?
Oh! And how about those first queries that were like 579+ words each?!
All part of the journey.
All those with a similar cringe-worthy memory, please raise your hand. Okay, put ‘em down, I can’t see.
BUT!! (warning, many BUTS ahead) BUT!!…Then came my writing buddies.
My unbelievably talented CPs.
The writer friends that stuck with me and cheered me on (and put up with my zillionth revision of like, the same three words–over and over and over and over and…)
The angels who continue to make me a better writer, because they, no-joke, spillover with awesome sauce on a daily basis. *laps up brain extrees* mmmm…commas
I ADORE you guys, you know that, right?
And then came #PitchWars, hosted by Brenda Drake (aka, our Twitter Fairy Godmother), and Brooks Benjamin, who I was lucky enough to be mentored by in 2014 when he chose my MG Contemporary story (still can’t believe it!). I could totally gush on him all day (and have), but even though I got picked for this amazing contest, I didn’t get any requests in the agent round. It was actually the next story I wrote that connected with my agent.
BUT you know what?
She loved my #PitchWars story, too! So now we have two stories to shine up for submission. And that story wouldn’t have been in the shape it was in if not for #PitchWars! Cue gush.
So, needless to say, if it weren’t for ALL these guys––every single person who was kind enough to have eyes on my words at one time or another––I would NOT be writing this post.
A writer writes alone, but a writer is never really alone––unless they chose to be. (Squee! My first quote! *hands out embossed cards*).
So for anyone out there still waiting on their “yes” and who might think, “Will that ever be me?” (like I did many, many, many times), I’d just like to Vavoom-shout say:
PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!!!! DON’T EVER GIVE UP!! IT WILL BE YOU!!!
And if WordPress weren’t watching, I’d even throw in a couple-a bobbly head shoulder shakes. That’s how much I don’t want you to give up––I’m willing to risk Blog Prison!!
These past three years, I practically lived off my fellow writer peep’s success stories! Each awesome post fed me with hope. They were my Ramen noodles. And each one of them always told me the same thing: NEVER GIVE UP! So I’m just passing on the truth, here (in my outside voice).
BUT juuuust in case you could use a little more than screamy-fonts…how ‘bout this?
You know, that thing you love more than anything? That passion that moves you like nothing else?
Create those characters that scream to be heard. The ones you can’t stop thinking about. The ones that crack you up or frustrate you beyond belief. Pump them up with as much inventive DNA as possible until they all but breathe off the page, demanding to be let out to meet the world.
Enter contests and put yourself out there––The generosity of our writing community will utterly astound you!
And give back, lend an eye whenever possible. Reach out to other writers. Swap chapters, or queries, or ideas, or whatever! And surround yourself with the most positive, creative CPs you can find, those who are just as passionate about this writing journey as you are. Support and cheer each other on! (‘cause cake-emojis are free, y’all!)
And don’t ever stop making those amazing writer connections––because those writers will enrich your journey and make you better than you could ever imagine!
Because it’s what you do.
Because how else will the world ever get to know your amazing voice?
And the rest will follow.
THANK YOU ALL for being a part of my journey and for allowing me to be part of yours. <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3!!!!!! Melyssa
Oh, and I’m not really a cat, I just play one on Twitter. (-:
P.S. If you’re just starting out, below are some blog follow-links to those astoundingly generous writers I was telling you about. Some host contests, some post essential info about the publishing industry, but all are plain awesome. Go follow them. The path is gold!
Every time you compare your success to someone else’s journey, an angel loses its wings. And you get a zit. And an incurable jungle-rash. True story. Maybe. #SaveYourSkin #ShouldaQuitAtFirstQuote