My talented and wise writer friend, Claire Saxby once told me “there’s only a thin line between being published and not being published. One day you’re not published and the next day you step over the line and you are.”
This whole concept really resonated with me because it’s so true. You are still the same writer/person you were the day before, it’s just that you are now published.
It shows how precarious but hopeful this whole writing business is. It just takes one piece of luck to get you over that line.
But some days you think getting published will never happen – and even once you are published, you wonder when you will be published again.
It’s easy to become despondent – to think about giving up. But the reality is that giving up is actually harder than you think. If you are a writer, it’s in your blood and can’t be denied.
I had quite a slow year on the writing front last year. I had one book out – and a truckload of rejections – some very nice rejections but they were still ‘no thanks’. I even had a couple of ‘not yet, needs more work’ responses.
I start each year full of hope, but of course never really know where it will lead me.
At the start of this year, I began with my usual optimism, but at the time, I felt it might be a bit misplaced because I had NOTHING on the horizon. I had a lot of manuscripts written, but no promises of publication.
Then things changed. Early in the new year, I had Tom’s Dare accepted by Pearson. It’s a story about two kids growing up in Colonial Australia and it came out last month.
Around the time of the acceptance, I also applied to do a mentorship through SCBWI Nevada to work with New York Times bestselling verse novelist, Ellen Hopkins. I knew that competition for the mentorship would be fierce and my changes of getting it were slim, but I had to try anyway.
I also applied for every funding grant known to mankind to help me pay for the program and the airfares from Australia.
Then I sat back and waited – and wrote some more.
In June, I found out that my funding application from the Copyright Agency Limited had been successful. A couple of weeks later, I learned that I had also been received into the mentor program.
Despite slow beginnings, 2013 was shaping up to be a very good year.
Around about this time, I was contacted by Pearson to see if I would be interested in contributing to their Bug Club books. They wanted me to write a book about extreme sports. I had been skydiving and hot air ballooning and loved both – I thought this book was definitely something I could. Then one book about extreme sports became two.
Pearson must have been happy with what I had written because they then asked me to write a couple of books about cats – another great topic for animal loving me.
From there followed a book about how to make finger puppets, three books about a girl with a lot of pets, and another three titles.
I had so much fun working on all these titles, and couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be asked to write them.
So for me, a year with no prospects but lots of hope has turned into a truly amazing one.
You can’t give up hope.
Things can change for the better at any moment. You just have to keep writing and believing in yourself and submitting your work (no matter how hard rejection can be.)
I’d love to hear about your successes this year. Please feel free to share them in the comments section of this post (and include links to where we can buy your books)