I have excellent news to share! If you’ve already read it on facebook or twitter, then kindly plug your ears and avert your gaze so as not to spoil it for the others.
Cue choirs of angels, cue doves in flight, cue red balloons lifting, the rocket launch, galloping unicorns, and an inspiring Bette Midler number… (Yes, it’s that big.)
|These are my angels. Get your own.|
I have accepted an offer of representation from Rebecca Podos and Nicole LaBombard of Rees Literary Agency!
Waiting for applause to die down…please don’t rush, I love this sound.
Let me assure you, this grand accomplishment has been a long time in the making. I was a good three years, four novels, and (insert embarrassing number here) rejections deep before I got Rebecca’s call. I have only ever received one other agent call, a couple of years ago, which went well at the time but ultimately ended in unmitigated disaster. I could have thrown in the towel then, part of me wanted to. I was so angry and depressed and why me? and this isn’t fair! But I got over it and carried on. Well, I carried on in spite of it and eventually hope returned.
And this brings me to the point of today’s blog. What do you think is the single most necessary quality for a writer to have in order to be successful?
I would argue that it’s persistence. Talent is wonderful, but goes nowhere on its own. Truth be told, you can suck at writing, but if you are persistent, if you pursue the craft with single-minded veracity, if you continue down that path heedless of the many obstacles you face, you will –in time- improve.
I’ve given up countless times. I truly have. I’ve left manuscripts to die in the forgotten halls of my pc. I’ve let years lapse between projects. I’ve taken one rejection as the voice of all and quit trying. But the difference is, I always go back. A few years ago, I finally stopped quitting. I found the fortitude, somehow, somewhere, to forge ahead no matter what. And –again, in time- things began to happen for me.
I haven’t arrived, I know that. This is really like having arrived at the starting block. There’s still a long, uncertain road ahead. Only now, I have a couple of fearless warriors to guide me along my journey. I imagine them bedecked in She-Ra garb, swords –er, pens- flashing as they battle our way to the brass ring. I don’t tell them this, of course. Can’t have them knowing I’m a complete loon.
Anyway, my point is that I could wallpaper a small room with all the form rejections I’ve received. But if I could attribute this great opportunity for me to one thing, it would be my persistence. And if I could impart one grain of hope to other writers who, like me, have been trudging their way through slush pile after slush pile, it would be encapsulated in one word: persist.
After all, the road out of the slush pile isn’t paved with talent, or connections, or the stony, trodden hearts of writers past.
The road out of the slush pile is paved with persistence.