It’s almost been a year since I started sending queries for Red Rain Boots to agents.
And yet here I am, still as woefully un-agented and book deal free as I was before I finished my first novel. That’s not the way I thought things would pan out.
You see, I thought I would get an agent within my first 10 queries. I thought it would be my dream agent, someone who believed so powerfully in my book that she just had to represent it. I thought her excitement would infect an editor and a publisher and that I would be on my way to being a published author.
Instead here I am.
Don’t get me wrong – a ton of my dreams have come true over the past year. I got into grad school for journalism, won some awards for student journalism, had my first full-time internship at a newspaper and moved to New York. There have been some ups and some downs. But at the end of the day, I’m happy with where my life is.
I really, really wish I could get a book deal. I wish I could get an internship for next spring and next summer in journalism. I wish I could skyrocket to success without barely having to lift a finger.
But that’s not how it works. I realized several years ago, and have to realize anew every day, that opportunity doesn’t come knocking, sit down for a cuppa tea and offer to make all your dreams come true. Opportunity is the white rabbit that led Alice down the hole. It tries to run, it tries to hide, it only knocks when you’ve finally trapped it and it’s trying to escape again.
Opportunity is hard to come by. It’s slippery and slidey and you have to work really hard to get to it. You have to sit down and diligently write your novel. You have to mercilessly edit it, eradicating everything poorly written or weakly plotted. And you have to be persistent and persuasive in trying to convince someone to sign your book.
I stare at the screen and watch Friends, I get distracted reading other books, I turn over and take a nap … anything to keep from working.
But if I want to be published – and oh, how I want to be published – I’m going to have to get off my butt and work.