Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Encouragement From The Past

So Facebook can be annoying sometime with its "one year ago" reminders, but it can also be delightfully helpful.

Today, a link I posted 4 years ago showed up, leading readers to that day's Friday Fricassee--an offering of encouragement.

It struck me, because there I was, talking heartily about NEVER GIVING UP, with no idea how many years still stood between me and my first published book.  The words are timeless, though, and meant for all aspiring authors.  So I'm reposting them here for you.

Because you know that I am never going to stop saying DON'T GIVE UP!


FRIDAY FRICASSEE, January 10, 2014

To encourage you today:

I am the poster child of Things Don't Always Happen Quickly.  An example of what is far more often the case with agented authors--it sometimes takes longer than you would have imagined for your dreams to come true.

Don't give up.

It took bestselling author Jim Butcher 5 years (yes, 5) to finally sell, after he'd finished his third book  (yes, his third).

C.J. Redwine went through 2 unsold manuscripts with her agent before the third one finally sold (Defiance).

{Fill in the blank} had to wait {fill in the blank} years before {fill in the blank} sold.

You get the idea.

So, yeah.  Don't give up.

Don't give up if you're still trying to get an agent.  It took me 5 years.

Don't give up if you're agented and you still haven't sold anything.  I'm still doing that thing.

Look, I've got a great agent.  I love him.  And he and I now share a history of "bad timing" and "saturated market" and  "editor fatigue" and "her writing is wonderful, but..." and "send me anything else she has written" and, simply, "this isn't for me".  Selling a book is about so much more than having a great story.  Naturally, that's frustrating.  But that's the way it is.

So we press on.

If I'm honest with myself, I like where this has brought me.  I like feeling like an experienced warhorse.   I like that I am able, in a way I wasn't able 3 years ago, to disentangle myself from my work.  Not that I don't have bad days; not that I don't feel the frustration sometimes.  But something is different now.  I am--dare I say it?--sanguine.

I'm more excited about my current project that I've been since I first signed with Josh.  It's hard to explain the feeling of "rightness" this one has.  The feeling that I've taken everything I've walked through and produced something that has transcended it all.

And I'm working on a final edit right now.  Final, as in final-edit-before-going-on-sub.  (Well, unless darling Josh wants to nitpick again.  He's a crazy-good editor, but I may have to throw a little hissy fit at some point.  Maybe.)

Of course, I have NO IDEA WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT.  But that's not the point.  The point is, I'm here, and the journey continues.  And I'm not giving up.

Not giving up.

I love my craft.  More than ever--in fact, probably for the first time in my life--I am intensely aware of how STORIES live inside me.  How I think in stories.  Share myself in stories.  Perceive things as stories.

I like this about myself.  I like that my journey has brought me to this place of self-discovery.

So you see, there's more to this journey than just getting published.  So much more.

Don't give up.

Continue to be teachable.  Continue to grow.  Continue to write.  At some point, if you feel like you're going down the wrong path, then, by all means, turn left at the crossroads.  Or turn right.

But if your vision remains the same, then keep going.  There are no promises of quick success.  There is no sense of fairness in how quickly the author next to you sells, while you pine away.  There is no easy road, except for the (very) select few.  And I'm not sure the easy road is always best, anyway.

Keep writing, keep dreaming, keep trying.

Don't give up.


  1. Perfect post of encouragement for the start of a New Year. We can do this!

    Thanks. :)

  2. Thanks for always being our cheerleader!