By: Mia L. Hazlett
I promised I would chronicle the journey to finding an agent and publisher. But a couple of things happened that same week in October when I was so full of hope. I received rejections 53 and 54. These were from those who responded, not including those I never heard back from again.
So, I did what any person who wasn’t serious about achieving their goals would do, I quit. Yup. I quit submitting my manuscript to agents. I gave up on myself and my manuscript. Not writing, just my manuscript. I figured it was crap and obviously if an agent didn’t want it, then nobody would ever want to read it. I bashed myself for putting in so much time on such a crappy piece of work. I’m really good at the pity party thing.
But new year, new me, blah blah. Kinda like that, but my New Year’s resolution was to invest in myself. This was going to be my selfish year. And I was on Facebook, instead of writing, well trying to write, and up popped a memory. A memory of the day I finished the first draft of my manuscript.
I instantly remembered that day. I remembered how I felt and also how many years that draft represented. I realized how much that manuscript taught me about writing. How much research I did to craft the perfect story. How it convinced me to take the traditional route to publishing over my previous route. It pushed me to learn how to submit my work to agents, which unfortunately introduced me to my evil nemesis, The Query Letter.
So I shut down the pity party and came across a Writer’s Digest post in my feed – yes, I still hadn’t returned to writing. It was a boot camp, which allowed me to send in my first ten pages to literary agents and get this, they would read them. I had spent a year trying to get my work read and now here was the opportunity. I invested, was assigned an agent, submitted my ten pages, received feedback, made revisions, and resubmitted.
I received positive feedback and a critique on the first submission. It allowed me to look at my manuscript in a totally different light. It allowed me some direction with my rewrite. But it also brought in another aspect that I never considered, the selling aspect. I was so in love with the writing and story, that I never thought about if it could sell.
My advice to you if you are a young writer coming up, invest into your craft. There are resources out there. Find them. If you think it’s too expensive, save for it. This small investment has given me enough courage to face my evil nemesis, The Query Letter. I signed up for another course which allows me to submit a query letter to an agent and you guessed it, they have to respond. Well okay, not respond, but critique. So, I’ll follow up and let you know who won, me or my evil nemesis.