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I have recently reached out to a fellow writer, who is sitting in a similar place in her publishing journey as I am.

It was hard. Like nerve-wracking WHAT AM I DOING hard.

It shouldn’t have been. But as I waited for her to reply, I wondered if I should have just stayed silent.

Well, so as not to keep you in suspense, she did respond and we have been talking and it was the best thing EVER!

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For a while now, my brain has been chewing on a new thought, and I came to a strange conclusion about the writing community. In my experience, we are a very supportive group. All those in the query trenches ban together to cheer each other on. We applaud the requests and boo the rejections, always pushing each other to never give up. It’s amazing.

Then someone gets an agent…or signs with a small press…

and it’s like we put them on a train and wave as they leave. They’ve made it.

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Right?

When I lived in the query trenches, that’s what I thought.

These authors disappear into the mist of everything is awesome and we go back to trying to get to where they are.

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Life in the light of having an agent/publisher can be a bit like swimming in an ocean. Alone. You can get a bit lost. The initial excitement fades and you find yourself staring out at a world you don’t know. Once again, you’re sitting at the beginning of a path you worked so hard to find, one you think you should be able to navigate, but can’t.

At Midwest Writers Workshop last month, I met the author Natalie C. Parker (her books Beware the Wild and Behold the Bones sound fabulous!) and she talked about keeping your friends after you are published. But more than that, she talked about the support system she created for those authors who had an agent, but no book deal, those living in the land of waiting. Go visit her website here and learn about The Agented Author Hook-up. She talked about how everyone’s publishing journey is different and how we need to learn from everyone’s experiences. Watching others move on…get agents, sign with publishers, get book deals…is hard. It can leave us feeling not good enough.

However, agent/author relationships don’t always work. Publishing doesn’t always go as planned. Writers wandering the land of waiting…for a deal…for their book to come out…for news from their editors…for a message from their agent…need support too. We need to connect with others who are dealing with the same frustrations and struggles, the same possible disappointments, the same victories.

Why is it that once you sign, you become a hermit? Don’t sit in limbo all alone. So many exist there…waiting. There is no riding off into the sunset to a happily ever after.  There’s just another path to take. Another mountain to climb. The work never ends. We never truly figure out what we’re doing. We never beat the monster that is self-doubt.

Wow. If that doesn’t make us all question our chosen career path…

BUT…

We are never alone. If you feel that way…reach out. The writing community is full of great people who understand. Authors form groups to offer support for the crazy debut year…find them. Agented authors still waiting for a deal? Go see Natalie’s web page and sign up. We write alone, but publishing takes a whole lot of people.

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I’m glad I reached out to my new publishing buddy. Together we shall take on the challenges.

 

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