What to write? How to write? When to admit you need help.

I see a lot of posts, memes, tweets, and other assorted outlets of social media claiming to write stories that follow the new trend. There are two problems with this. First, they expect every writer to be a trend setter because who knows what the next trend will be. Second, they contradict all the other posts, memes, tweets, and other assorted outlets of social media telling you to write the story you want to tell.

For a few years now I have been working on a series. I love the premise. I have written three books so far and fall in love with the characters a little more each time. I want to succeed as a writer, I do not think there are many people who write that hope to fail. Writing books is a lot of work. A labor of love. A writer putting themselves out there to be praised, criticized, ridiculed, adored, and an assortment of other possibilities.

After a full year of rejections from agents I got an email from one who liked the premise and recommended I work with a developmental editor. I had no idea what that mean if I am being honest. So, I did my research. I found several people, many of which were charging upwards of three to four thousand dollars. A bit deep for my pockets.

Then I came across a name in a group I am a member of. I looked at her resume and was instantly intimidated. I sent her a message and we spoke about the process, what she would do, what I would do, how long it would take, and so forth. I have to say, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

She is professional, knows what she is doing, changed the way I write, has taught me so much in such a short time, and soon when I get the rest of the edits I know I will learn more.

I know there are no guarantees that this edit will get me an agent, but it is a step in the right direction – one I am happy to take with this editor.

I will try to write more about the process here, but blogging is not my strong point.

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Querying and Rejection…

First off, I have been remiss in posting with any sort of regularity, and wow that sounds like I need more fiber. Anyways, I shall try and remedy that, and post about why I have not been blogging a whole lot. See, I have been querying agents, hard, and getting rejected, not as hard.

For what seems like the better part of the last century, I have been sending queries to agents. I admit my first attempts were clumsy and embarrassing. I shiver to think about it and am working on denial. The rejections came within a few hours to almost a year later.

See, that’s what happens when you write a crappy query letter, don’t know that your first five pages are all that matter, and have no bio to speak of.

However, over the years I have made some truly great friends. The writing community is a wonderful one. Sure it has its issues like but that’s part of the charm. I wouldn’t trade it in for the world. Being able to talk books, writing, and harass people who have talent but are too shy to do anything with it, is fun.

These friends, (Chris, you have to know you are my number 1 on the list), have been supportive, reassuring, critical, insightful, and no matter what, have always been there for me and encouraged me when I get one rejection too many. They refuse to let me set my laptop on fire or eat my keyboard.

They keep me sane and grounded in a really tough, cutthroat, and picky business.

Now, with some experience under my belt and a bio that is not an embarrassment, I get asked for partials, and a few fulls. My rejections are personal, kind, and at times educational.

Querying is not for everyone. You need a thick skin. You need to know that the “form rejection” is the norm. You need to know that it takes years to be able to craft one that causes an agent to quirk a brow and continue reading. You need to know the “business is subjective.” You need to know this is based on my experience.

I love writing. Some people say I’m good at it, others just smile and nod. All I know is I love my books. I love the characters I have created. I will continue to write and query when my skin has grown back from the last round of rejections. I will put myself out there, because as a writer, isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?