I can't believe there are only two more days left of 2010. What a year. Oh the ups and downs, the smiles and tears. Here are the top 5 things I learned - as a writer - in 2010...
#5 Determination is everything. After I landed my agent my father in law framed this quote for me and it sits on my desk. I read it every single day. "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common that unsuccessful men with talent...Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." ~ Anonymous
In short, dear blog readers, agented and not, doggedly keep at it...no matter what stage of the journey you are in.
#4 Landing my agent *Hi, Sarah* is everything I ever dreamed of and worth every single drop of sweat and every tear. I truly believe the Universe made me want it and work for it so that when it all happened it would be that much sweeter. Just like in The Alchemist.
In short, dear unagented blog readers, keep at it. If you work for it...it will happen. By work it could mean query writing research, attending conferences, joining crit groups, re-writing/revising until your brain bleeds, posting your query publicly for critique, entering writing contests, researching agents. You know...work.
#3 The work doesn't end once you land an agent... or even have your agent sell your book. Oh no, it basically keeps right on going. Again, I know that's what the Universe wanted me to experience - the work of it all - so that when everything fell into place I wouldn't be overwhelmed - I'd just keep going in stride. All writers know that, while writing is exhilarating, it is hard. As in wickedly hard. But we write because we love it - even the hard parts.
In short...as I said in my Apocalypsies bio...there are a lot of hard parts.
#2 Making a parody video and putting it up on youtube apparently works while trying to land an agent. Video debuted on July 5th, right here on this very blog. And I got "the call" on August 2nd. That is a mere 27 days from one event to the next. 27 days, people. Now, I know Agent Sarah saw the video AFTER she offered representation - I don't want you to think making the video caused her to offer - it's 100% about the writing. What I'm saying is...I put it out there in the Universe...and the Universe answered. : ) Click HERE to watch the video & for a bit o'fun.
In short, when you are close to giving up...change your mindset and have some fun. It worked for me.
#1 The online community of writers = INCREDIBLE. I don't know if other professions have such strong and genuine online bonds, but we writers pretty much rock. We are quite a supportive bunch, eh? This past year has afforded me opportunity after opportunity to get to know some amazing fellow writers and even meet some in person.
In short, the beauty of the internet is that you can meet them too:
Crit Partners Extraordinaire: Christina Lee & Susan Mills
The Apocalypsies - a talented group of fellow YA/MG writers all with books coming out in 2012
The Dear Teen Me Project - a talented group of fellow YA writers who each write a letter to their teen self all in the hopes of showing today's teenagers that you can indeed survive being a teenager.
The YALitChat community is filled with so many resources it'll blow your mind.
Fellow YA authors I had the pleasure of meeting in person at the best indie bookstore in the nation - Chester County Book and Music Company - A.S. King and Josh Berk
And scroll to the bottom of this blog to see a list of every fine writer and industry professional that I follow.
2011...here we come...