Over the past months since I've started this blog, I've kept a secret. And you know, today I am thinking--why am I keeping it a secret exactly? Oh, right, because if I fail, I don't want to have to explain. However, as of this morning, I've hit a little failure--and you know what? I know I'll see success at some point. It may not be this year or next year or five years from now (I think I will cry for a week straight if this doesn't happen for five more years), but I will see it eventually with this project. And by telling you, ALL YOU THOUSANDS AND MILLIONS OF READERS (you caught the sarcasm right? there are like...three of you), who knows, maybe someone will have a connection or a suggestion somewhere.
Since August, I have been querying agents for the manuscript of my young adult novel to hopefully help me publish it someday. There it is, folks. I've written a full-length (as we now know, too lengthy) book. But can you call it a book before it has been published? Eh, who cares. It's MY BOOK. I'll call it a book if I want. One day, it will be a real, tangible object you can buy at a store.
But as of right now, my book is not a book you can buy anywhere. It is a billion different files on my computers and flash drives. It's piles and piles and piles of pages all over our office. And it's trying to make its way into the world, and it and I have only just really started that part of the journey. Briefly, to publish nowadays, an author must send a letter regarding the book to an agent. An agent must read the book, like it, then represent the author. Then the agent (and editor sometimes) make the author edit the book. Again. Over and over again. And then the agent shops the books to publishing houses until the book is bought and published or until it is rejected too many times and the writer must edit and revise again.
Querying (the letter process of pitching the book to agents) is a long, painful process filled with rejection. I send a letter to an agent describing the book in one page, they read it, and reply with a request to either see the manuscript to read a part or all of it, or they tell me that they don't want to see it period and to send my junk elsewhere. The hard part for me has not been getting the initial rejections. The hard part has been the last 7 weeks in which I have been waiting to hear back from the one agent who asked to read the full manuscript. I've imagined a lot of scenarios in the weeks that have passed, and when I received an email from said agent this morning saying she doesn't want the book, I wasn't exactly shocked. I'm not crushed either. I'm sad, don't get me wrong. It's not fun to hear that I still am a lot of steps away from even trying to get a publishing house to look at the manuscript, but....this agent did tell me something important. She said that the manuscript is too dense. That she liked the subject. She liked a lot of the book. But it's too slow in places, that the writing is too heavy without actions in pieces and parts. And you know what? I can fix that. I believe that I can fix that.
I will fix that.
I am feeling down, however, right now. I won't lie to you. I am sad that I've spent a few years prepping that dang manuscript to send to agents, and that after my work with it, it still isn't ready...still. I'm disappointed that I didn't figure out that it was too dense myself before I sent query letters to agents who I can now not send to again after I fix it. But, hey, you know what? I could always keep sending it and continue being rejected and run out of agents to send to and never get it published and have to start a whole other book. But....this agent has kinda saved me from that heartache. So, agent who rejected my book, thank you. I will work hard, and I hope that when I'm done with revisions again, someone will want this book. And someone else will want to publish it. It's a dream of mine to have a book published--always has been. One day, it'll happen. And I really hope that it will be THIS book that it happens with.
Believing in oneself is so very important and will always matter when you're dead because, without that, there isn't much of a point to life. It's even okay to believe in things that you know aren't quite possible and that may never happen. Belief makes you try--and at least you can say you tried. Even if you fail, you tried. And something cool probably came out of your effort along the way.