I’ve been listening to the Pocahontas Soundtrack as I draft my new WIP, so I apologize for any Just Around the Riverbend references I use. But, the meaning behind that song is what I want to talk about today.
If you’re a writer, you know that putting your words on paper is just one step of the process. It’s an important step, don’t get me wrong. If you’ve finished a draft give yourself a pat on the back. It takes motivation and perseverance to do that. You’ve sent it out to critique partners and groups, cut it down, killed your babies, renamed characters. Now comes the next step.
Everyone does querying differently. I’ve been in the trenches since February with my first MS. After getting rejection after rejection, never having a request, I got some good feedback. I’ve changed it around, but am going to let it sit because I’ve got another MS that I feel could be great.
I just started putting out that MS a month ago. I’ve gotten a few rejections, the ones with feedback mention that it is solely the marketability of the genre they’re worried about. Something I can’t do much about. Don’t get me wrong, it’s disheartening to get those emails.
But if you compete with other writers, then you lose. We’re all on the same team. We help each other clean up our writing and get ready for submissions. To spend time comparing yourself to others just hurts us in the long run.
Now I’ve entered contests, plenty of them with both MSs. For those of you who have done the same and never gotten in, it isn’t the end of the world. There are so many different paths waiting for you, just around the river bend. (Sorry.) So put those aside and jump in.
I know getting a rejection can feel like the end of the world, especially when your friends are getting requests. They’re so excited, and you are too for them. But on the inside you feel like this some times:
DON’T! They wrote a different story than you, right? Does that mean their writing is better? Not necessarily. All that is is that they happened to find a certain agent or editor that likes their work. PUBLISHING IS SUBJECTIVE! I know we’ve all heard that before, but it’s true. Remember, all it takes is one YES!
Author, Susan Dennard, just had a great post in her newsletter about comparing yourself to others:
She’s also a great author to follow if you’re trying to break into the business. I suggest you check her out.
Just remember, if you’re putting your work out there for agents and contest hosts to read, you’re taking a step closer to your ultimate goal. It might not feel like it sometimes, but it’s true. So don’t ever give up just because you see someone else doing better than you.