Nearly two years ago, after accumulating more than a handful of rejections to my queries, I decided to take a leap and email a prominent and successful author I greatly admire, Jodi Picoult. Deciding the worst she could say was no, I asked if she would consider reviewing my query letter (after telling her how great I think she is, of course).
Well, the worst thing that could have happened, did. She said no. With an exclamation point. But that no actually turned out to be my coolest no ever. And believe me, after a few years of query rejections, I had my share of comparisons. Jodi Picoult had actually emailed me. As a fellow writer. She even went on to say, “If you have been trying a while, consider hiring a freelance editor to help you make your MS the very best it can be. Just plug at it – this business rewards people who don’t give up!”
Needless to say, I didn’t give up. I printed out her email and stuck it up on my wall along with a few complimentary agent rejections. And I kept writing. And querying. And finally took the plunge to enter a few contests. A year-and-a-half later, I signed with a wonderful agent who is excited to represent my work. We’re in the process of polishing up the first manuscript before it is submitted for publication, and I’ve just completed my first novella, which I am giving away on this site. Dare I say, it’s pretty darn good if you’re in the mood for a historical YA love story that’s just a little bit convoluted.
Life is good and I’m still finding every spare minute to write (fiction), because, when you get down to it, that is what I really love to do. To those of you out there going through the same process, this is the advice funneled through me from Jodi Picoult. If you are tired of trying to open the same few doors, perhaps it is time to try to open different ones, whether it is conference, a contest or a manuscript critique from a different writer’s perspective. Most importantly, just plug at it!