With the release of my second book next month, I've been reflecting a lot on my publishing journey. I remember the painful rejections from agents, the late nights I spent perfecting my query letter, the lunch hours spent in my car writing down scenes as they struck me. The maddening feeling of "Am I crazy for putting so much energy into this? What if I'm no good? Is this going to be something I'll be embarrassed about in ten years?"
We all fight our doubts. We all let ourselves get in our own way. I did. I even had people telling me I would never make it. That I was wasting my time.
But I had other people too. I had the writing community, and without them, without you, I wouldn't have made it. I know that with every fiber in my body. Soldiers fighting a war in the trenches always became close, like brothers. They looked out for one another, they were loyal to each other, and they truly cared.
That's how it is in the query trenches. You won't stay there forever. Like soldiers, you'll suffer injuries. But it will be in the form of rejection, and it will maul your pride instead of your physical body. The scars will either make you stronger or make you quit. I remember the soldiers in the query trenches with me. And it seemed like when one of us got an agent, the rest of us did. I fought with Mindy McGinnis, AG Howard, Valerie Cole, Heather Rebel, and many more. I got an agent. They all got agents. What are the chances of that? Do you see the pattern here?
We were there for each other. And we made it out of the trenches together.
So if you're an aspiring writer, don't keep to yourself. Give and receive. Get involved. Learn your craft, teach your craft. Share information and doubts and worries and excitement and encouragement.
Get each other out of the trenches.
You can do it.