|Photo: Md Mahdi|
AM I A GOOD WRITER?
The title of this blog is personal. Though I've been published in national magazines, won literary awards, and had a picture book published, I still question my talent. Crazy, huh?
Receiving rejections gives me doubts.
Failing to place in a writing contest gives me doubts.
Reading about writers signing agents on Twitter give me doubts.
These doubts add up and take a toll on me. Doubts kill my confidence in finding an agent.
I'm smart enough to realize being negative will get me nowhere. I have to move on and look at the positive aspects of writing.
My critique partner (a published writer) tells me she loves and believes in my manuscripts.
An agent sent me a lengthy email gushing about my strength as a writer.
Another agent ask to see more of my manuscripts.
Surely, all of these positive things are signs that I'm on the right path to finding an agent who'll believe in my work. The hardest thing for me is to believe. There are several things that help:
I give it my all every day.
I stay true to my voice while keeping my young audience in mind.
I seek critiques and then revise.
I do my homework to submit to agents who would be open to my style.
I surround myself with encouraging people and writers.
While my husband Jim and I were taking a walk, we talked my frustrations and all of the obstacles that make finding representation difficult. Agents close their submission windows frequently or they want author/illustrators or they only want referrals. And these days, chances of getting an agent are greater for LGBTQ+ authors and writers of color. Don't get me wrong, I'm not jealous. Their voices need to be heard.
Jim encourages me to have fun writing new pieces and enjoy the journey. I try to keep that in mind, but deep down inside I have a burning desire to be represented by an agent.
The road to publication will always have challenges. There will be highs and lows. The trick is to not dwell too long on the lows, but to celebrate the highs. To cherish them. To savor them. When I think of my achievements and how much I've grown as a writer, my confidence grows. If I can focus on accomplishments and stay steady on my path, I will be able to leave the doubts behind.
✌ and ♥