This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
As an aspiring author, there’s a roller coaster that you get on, without realising it, when you start taking your writing seriously – it’s the ups and downs on a road to hopefully becoming published. For me, these are the moments that make you feel like you’re getting close to your goal. More often than not it doesn’t come to anything. But without those little ups I can’t imagine that you’d keep going.
Little ups for an aspiring author could be anything: the first feedback that you get from a friend or family member when they tell you your work is actually good; some positive feedback from an agent; an editor from a major publisher following you on twitter; a conversation with an agent at a networking event which went well. Whatever it is, it gives you a little momentary buzz.
I’ve often tried to explain these little moments of excitement to my friends who aren’t involved in the writing community, and they don’t always understand why I’m so excited when nothing has actually happened. What seems like a huge coup for you as an aspiring author may be something so trivial that anyone in the real world would think by your celebrations that you’d scored a mega book deal.
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But whilst we’re dancing around our living rooms celebrating, what's probably something very minor to most people, that’s about all we can do. As much as we want to shout it from the roof tops that something potentially life changing could be afoot, you can’t. Not only is it not set in stone, but most of the time you know it won’t come to anything.
It’s rare to find a story of an author who got published with their very first book without a few bumps along the way. I’ve known many aspiring authors who have had their books submitted to editors by their agents, and then whilst an editor is championing it, it doesn’t getting taken up at acquisition. I’ve lost track of the author interviews I’ve read where authors talk of their route to publication which is peppered with getting agents, not getting published, being dropped by agents, finding new agents and then finally, years later, finding publishers.
Every so often I review the little ups and downs I’ve had in my almost four years of writing. I might not have reached any Blackpool Big One type highs, I’ve had some pretty good little moments that have kept me going. When I first started subbing, with my oh-so-cringey letter, I remember how much of a thrill I used to get when an agent had written a comment in pen with a little tip or a suggestion. I remember the time I got interviewed on the Culture Show talking about popular fiction. And I remember the first conversation I had with an agent face to face. Whilst I might not like the down hill roller coaster bits (the bad reviews on Amazon, the rejections, the feeling that you’re wasting your time), I just love being on the ride.
Yet, despite this roller-coaster us aspiring authors still cling on to it. Waiting desperately for the next up and hoping that it is like the Blackpool Big One. Do other people get as excited as I do about these little ups?