October 31: writing anniversary and Incarnate anniversary

Nine years ago tonight, I decided if I really wanted to be an author, I’d better sit down and write. I desperately, desperately wanted to write for other people.

Three and a half years ago, I  convinced myself I was writing for no one. I’d written sixteen complete manuscripts. In spite of many people saying positive things about my writing and ideas, I’d been told “no” too many times. Hundreds of times.

Three years ago, I gathered all my stories  and worked on something new. I decided I wouldn’t write for other people. The important thing was that I wrote to make myself happy.

What I didn’t understand then was that there were people cheering for me, hoping I would succeed. People who knew me only through query letters and my manuscripts and their encouraging rejection letters. There were people just waiting for me to write something they not only loved, but felt confident they could sell.

Manuscript number seventeen, the one I wrote for myself, was INCARNATE.

When I accepted Agent Lauren’s offer of representation, several congratulatory emails appeared from agents I didn’t realize knew me from any other writer who’d queried them fifty billion times. When INCARNATE sold, there were more.

Though those emails surprised me, I understood them. I’d spent about a year and a half reading slush for an agent, so I’d felt this from the other side, but hadn’t applied to myself: When I saw writers with potential, with determination, with skill that wasn’t quite there yet, it was awful telling them no. I wanted to encourage them and push them to keep working to build their skills so they would be ready one day. I remembered them. I cheered for them. I wanted them to succeed. (Several of them have.)

I want you to succeed too. Write your book. If this one doesn’t work out, write another, and then another.

Nine years ago I made a decision to be an author.

Three years ago I made a decision to write for myself.

Make a decision to chase your dreams. I know that making those dreams a reality is often filled with doubt and discouragement, but you can make another decision: never give up.


October 31: writing anniversary and Incarnate anniversary — 10 Comments

  1. LOVE this! I completely agree it’s SO different when you write the story you’re supposed to write (that one you can’t get out of your head and might even scare you a little bit) instead of what you think other people will want to read, or what will sell. Wow that was a horrible run on sentence. Congrats on your writeiversary!

  2. GREAT, GREAT post! Everyone should have someone rooting for them. I feel kinda like this time of year is like the writer holidays, because there’s so much comaraderie and togetherness and all-around-spirit-lifting, like Christmas, but we’re all giving the gift of words. Ahh, I feel a tear coming on. But no really, I’m not even doing true NaNo, but I know people who are and I’m working on a story I’ve been in lvoe with for years and am almost finished and all this support that’s going around is great!
    Happy Anniversary Incarnate!!!

    • I agree! This is definitely a fun time of year for writers. Nano probably has a lot to do with it!

      And yaaaay almost finishing your story! That’s exciting! There’s nothing quite like typing THE END. :)

  3. This is awesome and inspiring. Tomorrow I am beginning my first NaNo and although i don’t think this going to be any miracle I do think this will be an exciting new adventure in my life. You (and other authors like you) show me that if I work hard I could have a lot of great things to come. Thanks :)

    And I am seriously looking forward to Asunder!

    • Ohh, congratulations on your first Nano! How exciting! Regardless whether you get your 50k words or not, I think it will teach you a lot about writing and getting your work done. HAVE FUN WITH IT!! :)

  4. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement for us author wannabes. I’m attempting NiNoWriMo for the first time and writing is hard work. This will be my big challenge but I’m so proud of myself for even attempting.

    • I’m proud of you for attempting, too! Don’t worry if you don’t make the goal — 1667 words a day is not easy! — but I’m really glad to hear you’re trying. GOOD LUCK!!

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