Perseverance, The Lucky Ones, & Querying Literary Agents
I’ve been querying my young adult horror novel for the past year. It’s been a pain-in-the-ass.
I'm not giving up because I know it's a damn good book and some literary agent will eventually recognize it... hopefully. Lol
But come on? I thought I would be up in the skyline, or a 1st class airplane by now, didn’t you?
You know—traveling around the world, living the high-life, selling books—that cool shit.
Seriously, that’s not why I write. But it’s cool to make a living off writing, isn’t it? Well, maybe you’re not there yet. Neither am I. The first thing I want to discuss my friend is, perseverance.
That insidious, yet blessed ingredient is much needed when trying to pursue a legit writing career.
Perseverance is a pain-in-the-ass, too. Don’t let it fool you. It will make you do a bunch of stuff you don’t want to as a writer—like marketing, writing blogs like this one, and other crap that’s not fiction.
I just want to write fiction, don’t you? And we have to do this artsy stuff in isolation… damn.
I know it stinks to be mostly alone in your pursuit of a literary agent, but hey it’s a good learning experience, too. I’m like you. I just want to sit at a mahogany desk, write cool fiction stories, and publish them. Too bad I’m not famous. I'd like to believe I have a bestseller sleeping in my drawer.
Why's the bestseller sleeping in my drawer? Because people don’t know who the hell I am, that's why.
So I must show them. Just like you must show them. I have to lay the ground work. I hear that persevering voice calling my name in the darkness saying, “Get off your ass and write that blog you bum!” or “Get off your ass, put on your writing fatigues, and join Pitch Wars!”
I guess Art requires perseverance. There’s that damn word again. Yeah repetition is the mother-of-all-skill some dude said. The longer I’ve been querying agents, the more I’ve learned about them, the power of researching, and understanding everybody’s role in the process of publishing.
People are people and they have their jobs, pretty subjective ones in writing. So I understand your frustration, but persevere my friend, persevere. Because the longer you stay in the race—the more you'll learn about the publishing industry, and that will give you the knowledge you’ll need to succeed down that long, long road.
Let’s face it—not all of us writers get as lucky as the author of Harry Potter. I’ve heard it said that if you have a good book, someone will find it, but it’s just not true. I’m sorry. Most people have to work really hard to get noticed even with a good manuscript. What’s good anyway? We won’t get into industry standards. But we will not give up, will we? … Never.
The Lucky Ones …
You know, that writer who happens to be on a first name basis with literary agents, editors, & publishers in the publishing industry, but their writings are kind-of-stinky.Yet, they're published and you're not.
I know it can be frustrating if you believe you are a better writer than they are, or maybe you believe you have a better book than some books that you see in print—but The Lucky Ones... they have those connections that you just do not.
Still my friend, every industry is political, even the artsy ones. More importantly, you should strive to keep a good attitude and don’t grow bitter because of your current circumstance. As you ride on that long road toward publishing your book, you'll need a good attitude when writing and trying to find an agent for your fiction. It’s a lonely sport, and it's not always fair.
Still, persevere my friend, persevere.
Blogging is an interesting feature of modern life. I never would have thought of myself as a blogger. I still don’t. I just want to reach people here, and maybe offer some encouragement because sometimes we writers can feel like the train is passing us by, and we think, “Is all this struggle really worth it?”
I mean, I have a kid to feed. A wife to take care of. Bills to pay. Netflix to watch. People who seem to surpass me in my field like there’s no way I am going to make it. And my bird died. My bird. I saw him last night. His blue eyes. His untrimmed claws. His beautiful feathers. I remember his last chirp. That chirp. You know the one that echoes in your mind like the sound of a breaking glass… I always remember my bird and I still have his picture above my bed and he chirps each night, whispering, “Preston, you’ll be here soon, my friend, and it’s dark here, so dark. So follow your light while you can and listen to that voice—the one that dreams—the one that screams—the one that does not give up.
I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post.
Stay well, & Work Hard. :)
If you need a Christmas present for your kid: Check out my middle grade novel, "Saleena Sanchez & The Cursed Crown" on my homepage.
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