When I began to consider what I wanted or needed to write about this month, I realized how very different this month is compared to thirty days ago. Last month I wrote a piece about going to writing retreats and the different options you have. It was also the month that I had become a little down about not hearing from literary agents I sent query letters to. Oh, it wasn’t because I received rejections, that I could handle and anticipated, maybe looked forward to because I knew I was in the belly of the beast working to be recognized. No, it was worse, it was not hearing anything. Not a peep. No acceptance or rejections. Last month I found myself in limbo.
This month, my feet found the earth and I am walking forward once again. I knew this journey of a writer, creating a story, then taking that story, developing the characters and weaving a murder mystery together was a long shot. Then diving into the publication world and everything that means was like attempting to walk the entire Appalachian Trail in a season, or at least a weeks worth of climbing up to Mount Washington (that one I did, and it kicked my butt) or attempt the Pacific Crest Trail as in the book “Wild” (it still amazes me Cheryl Strayed hiked that trail alone). No one can really tell you what you’re going to feel and experience. You must do it yourself. Earn every blister, feel parched to the point of pain, exhausted or so wet you can do nothing but sit and shiver till the storm passes.
Since the beginning of this blog in 2013 – I’ve hiked with the writer in mind. I’ve invested in myself. Challenged myself. Loved it and hated it, sometimes at the same time, and although supported and loved, the journey was mine and mine alone. Until this month.
This month I took a chance and put myself a little further out there, never daring to hope someone would reach back, but reach back they did. They grabbed my hand firmly and lifted me up into the air for a moment, before firmly planting my feet on the ground of what I now needed to work on right now. After listening to their direction, reading the vast amount of materials and resources they laid out in front of me. I could see why no one had accepted or rejected me. What I had prepared was not anywhere near what was needed to entice the beast to take a taste. In just the last two weeks I’ve learned more about the publication process and requirements (query, synopsis, format) than in the last two years! It has been a lot of work, but more importantly a lot of growth and understanding and ‘ah-ha’ moments.
Is it still scary? Hell yes! But I’m not alone on this part of the trail anymore. I have a guide who points out beautiful views, cautions when the terrain is slick or uneven, she even laughs and celebrates with me, as we get to know one another on this journey.
Are there any guarantees I will get a six figure book deal? Ha! Seriously? I mean it would be nice, more than nice, amazing, but that was never really the focus. This has taken a lot of effort, sacrifice, and tears, but it has all been worth it. Meeting all the people I have, learning from some outstanding writers and authors. Having opportunities open up and stay open is crazy amazing.
So, this month, which is slipping away quickly into the next season, has repositioned me. Refreshed me. Shown me there is so much more to come, so get ready, prepared, gather what you need, cause the journey isn’t over yet!
Note: My sincere thanks to Writers Relief who accepted me as a client. I am humbled and grateful and still running around in little circles of joy! To Jen, my liaison and WR contact extraordinaire. For your knowledge, gentle reassurance, cheerleading, guidance, wit, humor and patience! I don’t know how long the ride will last, but I’m going to enjoy every minute.
Breathe Deep, Think Peace