Sunday, February 17, 2013

What I've Learned So Far...

Hard to believe it's been a year since my debut novelette,The Thing Down the Road, was released by Musa Publishing.

Like most writers, I spent years trying to figure out what I was doing, writing, editing, re-editing, throwing it out and starting over. Then there were the queries resulting in standard rejections letters that left me wondering if it would ever happen. But I didn't give up. Not even when it looked disasterous, and I do disaster.

I've attended local conferences, pitched to visiting agents, who unfortunately didn't cater to the Sci-Fi genre. I got to meet other writers, making new wonderful friends (you know who you are)and gained pitching experience for when it would count. Then two years ago I shelled out to attend an out-of-town conference, the DFWCon, packed with agents and publishers.

When I say I slid through TSA at the airport, I mean it literally. By the time I reached the hotel in Dallas, I knew that a) my leg might be fractured and b) I wasn't going to be walking anywhere that weekend. I ordered a scooter and spent part of my first night at the local VA hospital. (Special thanks to the DFWCon coordinator for getting me there.)

On a scooter, leg in a sling off the handlebar and aided by pain pills, I didn't give up. I'd come too far and suffered too much already to go home without trying!

Next day I utilized the 'how not to pitch and agent' techniques. Don't approach them in the restroom, while they're eating, or run them over. I twisted my accident into my approach... "Not wanting to be the subject of your next Pitching Does and Don'ts lecture, I promise not to run you down to give you my pitch." It was a great ice-breaker and I was able to get my pitches out, to everyone but one agent I really wanted to pitch.

But all was not lost. I had a few brief words with her at the conference, finding out she was the agent of a wonderful friend and mentor. After several emails, and her visit to Phoenix, I got a chance to meet her, pitch my novel and sign with her.

So, while I still have a long way to go, I've learned a lot.

Keep Writing
Don't Give Up
Network your local Groups
Don't Give Up
Utilize Conferences and Workshops
Don't Give Up
Don't Give Up
Don't Give Up
Need I go on?

Didn't think so, because I could have stayed at the hospital that weekend, but where would that have gotten me. Now, back to work. I have a lot of writing to do.

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