Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Scariest Moment, and the Happy Ending

If there's one thing I think we writers can all agree on, it's that this business we're in is no picnic. For the few, fleeting high moments, we face low lows, huge emotional costs, endless hours of drudgery, and even terrifying moments where we come face to face with our fears.

A few months ago, I faced one such moment. I didn't draw any attention to it on Twitter or my blog, but some of you might have notice that I erased my agent's name from my profile. To put it briefly, I faced one of those terrifying scenarios that no fresh-faced, dreamy-eyed writer embarking into the Query Trenches ever wants to imagine:

What if I finally land an agent, but then things don't work out?

I won't go into the details here, but suffice it to say that my former agent is a lovely, smart, capable person. Anyone would be lucky to have her. And yet, for she and I, things simply didn't go in the direction I hoped.

The realization that things weren't working crept up on me slowly. At first, I avoided looking at it. Then, as it grew louder in my mind, I tried the equivalent of plugging my ears and humming Jingle Bells. The people-pleaser in me even tried to insist that my former agent was a perfectly nice person and I would be a total jerk to leave her.

But the truth wouldn't go away. And that moment, that realization that truly my best option was to part ways with my agent and go back to Square One, was the scariest moment I've had so far in my writing career.

I felt sick to my stomach for days. The only thing that kept me going was my belief and love for the new book I'd been writing. That, and the absolutely invaluable support of my wonderful, amazing friends and twin sister. Still, it was a dark, terrifying feeling to be alone again. To be back where I'd started.

And then, I asked myself "So what?" Yes, it sucked to be agentless again. But so what? What was I going to do? Give up? After all the work, over all those years? After the tears and sweat and fighting?

Giving up simply wasn't an option.

So I finished my novel. I edited my heart out. I crafted yet another query letter. I researched agents. I took a deep breath and started querying again.

And you already know this story has a happy ending. Indeed, it does.

I am beyond thrilled to announce that I have signed with Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media!

I'm grateful that I didn't ignore that terrifying truth screaming in my head. It would have been easier. It would have been less work. But as I said at the beginning of this post, our business is no picnic. And fighting through the darkness is what we writers do best.