BLOG CHAIN–Whoa, That Was A Surprise!

This round of the blog chain was started by super-talented Sarah, who asked:

What has been the most unexpected part of your writing journey up to this point? What has happened that you could never have predicted? Has it been a help or a hindrance?

Immediately, I thought of the incredible amount of time it takes to get, well, anywhere in the publishing world. I did NOT expect to be doing this for two years without any inkling of “getting somewhere.” I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought they’d write a manuscript, query an agent, and get a book deal in, like, six months. I mean, really, if Step Meyer could do it, why couldn’t I?

*insert hysterical laughter here*

Now I know better.

Time has had another interesting effect. I have learned to pace myself better. Instead of pounding out a piece of crap MS in a month, I take my time, writing QUALITY words rather than QUANTITY words.

I also confronted rejection…and survived (shocking, right?).

Most importantly (and most surprising as I think about it), I haven’t given up despite the complete lack of “pay off.” (Pay off to me would be signing with an agent.)

Guess that means I’m in it to win it–in other words, this isn’t a fly by night fad for me. It’s the *real* thing.

Surprise, surprise.

Stay tuned for Shaun’s post tomorrow on his biggest writing surprise!

16 comments on “BLOG CHAIN–Whoa, That Was A Surprise!

  1. vixter2010 says:

    Love this post! It’s sooo true, you dream of being discovered and your life changing overnight but it’s actually much harder! And rejection is something we have to deal with – A LOT. But like you I want to keep going, hopefully we can both get there one day 🙂

  2. This is so true. Being a writer is the best thing you can do if you’re one of those people who wants everything right now, because immediate gratification does not happen. It’s a good lesson.

  3. Lynn Rush says:

    Never give up. Never, ever give up! 🙂

  4. Every word you said, is exactly true. It takes plenty of patience and self-re-evaluation to get it in this bizz. You’ll find your spot.

  5. Vicki Tremper says:

    Absolutely. I think my biggest surprise is that after 7 years of this, I’m still writing, still learning, still facing the firing squad. Sometimes, it’s just what you’ve got to do.

  6. Stephanie McGee says:

    Absolutely. I think that the time frame is a surprise to everyone the first time they learn about it. Especially because other forms of publishing they encounter are so much faster. I’m interning at a magazine and the speed really may spoil me. I mean, I write something or work on a piece for the magazine and within like 3 weeks sometimes I’m seeing the polished product of that piece.

    Not so with book publishing, but equally worth it.

  7. roguemutt says:

    Yeah it’s always so easy in movies or TV, where they just mail a story off to a publisher and BOOM! they’re published. But even if you get an agent the whole process of actually getting the book on shelves can take 2 years or more. But I want it NOW!

  8. I’m not sure I was really surprised that I’d still be plunking along without a published novel, or even a nibble, eight months after beginning my blog. What really surprised me is the enjoyment I find in blogging! Blessings to you, Laura…

  9. Shaun Hutchinson says:

    When people ask me what advice I’d give to an aspiring writer, I tell them to give it up. If they can’t, then they’ve got what it takes.

    Perseverance is a necessity in this game and it sounds like you’ve got it in spades.

  10. I laughed so hard…

    When I wrote my first novel, I had the same thoughts. IT continued to fuel my fire when my novel made it through the first round of ABNA 2010.

    Excitedly I waited for the news that I would make it into the quarter finals…

    The day finally came and I anxiously/excitedly look for my name on a list of only the top 250…..

    NOTHING! I couldn’t believe it! My name wasn’t there. HOW COULD THIS BE?

    They had to have made a mistake. Maybe they put me in the general fiction instead….


    Two weeks later I got my reviews. Well, needless to say, they were CRAP. One not so bad, but not great, and the other, the judge called my writing very amateur. NO!

    After I calmed down, I realized that we are ALL amateurs until we get published. So that was the beginning of my learning to be a better writer.

    For two years I have written non stop every chance I get. I am so much improved it’s almost like I’m another writer. We all need to learn a grow. That is what writing is all about.

    It’s more luck than anything to hit the right agent. That’s why we must never give up. Perseverance is the key.


  11. I always say stubbornness is a good trait for a writer to have!

  12. Donna Hole says:

    I’m always telling myself I’ll put “it” in a drawer and get on with some other phase of my life, but I haven’t yet. Maybe I’m here for the long haul too.

    I’d be bored otherwise.


  13. I actually can’t remember what I knew about the publishing process when I started writing the first ms I ever actually finished. I knew there was a process to get an agent, etc., but I’m sure my knowledge barely scraped the surface of what it REALLY takes.

  14. Kat says:

    I think when people hear about the Stephenie Meyers of the world, it sets unrealistic expectations that can so easily trigger a broken heart. It’s best to keep a level head. 🙂

  15. Akoss says:

    I was actually naive enough to think “I need to get published this year” when I started in 2009.
    Thankfully though, after my rejections that year, I’m still writing and crafting my skill. At this point I’ve stopped caring about the getting published part. I know it will come back eventually but until then I’m enjoying my barely started journey.

  16. Cole Gibsen says:

    Amen sistah! I never imagined in a million years that it would have taken me two years and two hundred rejection to get my agent. Let alone another year and a dozen more rejections before I got my book deal.

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