When the Time is Right
I was talking to my friend Janet yesterday, and I told her my story about acquiring my agent.
"Wow, when the time is right, things happen fast," she said.
Yes, they do.
And, when the time is right, things happen a bit differently. I do NOT recommend this, but I ignored lots of the advice I routinely dole out about seeking an agent. I did not send multiple queries, for instance. I chose the agent I wanted and sent one query to her, because I felt so certain that she would feel the same way.
Lucky thing I was right.
Also, this manuscript had not been seen by a lot of eyes. A few people had seen the first chapters, but nobody but me had seen the full thing when I sent it out. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. It is a really good idea to have your manuscript read by a critique group, or beta readers, or an editor or coach. The only reason I didn't do that is because I had a strong feeling that Erin would connect with my manuscript and I felt a sense of urgency about getting it to her.
And it all worked out even more perfectly and wonderfully than I could have hoped.
But, here's the deal–and this is a very important deal, I might add. I've been working at this for years. My overnight success has been eons in the making. I've written novels that never saw the light of day, earned my MFA, published a novel (with a small press), blogged here for eight years. I've coached writers and taught them and critiqued manuscripts. I've joined associations, and read articles and books and blog posts galore on writing. I've tweeted and Pinterested and Instagrammed and Facebooked. I've immersed myself in the world of writing fully for the last dozen years, and partially before that.
I'm not saying all that to brag, but just to point out that there's been a ton of work behind this. And while I hope that you don't have to wait quite as long as I did, I do want to emphasize that you will have to do some work to reach your dreams.
Yeah, I know you know that. And I have people ask me all the time how to get an agent–when they've not yet written one word. Or tell me that they are going to send their book proposal that consists of one page of ideas to a top publisher. And then they will wonder why they got rejected.
I hate being all lecture-y like this but it is one of my pet peeves. Do the work first and concentrate on that. Please. The rest will follow when the time is right.
Even if it does take twelve years.
Photo by brokenarts.
0 thoughts on “When the Time is Right”
Great message, Charlotte. I’d like to add writing can be difficult, frustrating, but we should learn to enjoy the journey.
Kayla Dawn Thomas
So encouraging! I keep reminding myself I’ve only really been at this for a couple of years (not even published for one yet). I have more tilling to do before I can do much reaping.
I know. Sometimes I find myself gritting my teeth and suffering–and then I remember I do this because I love it. Good reminder, J.D.
And you are doing great with your reaping as well! I know you work really hard at it!
I noticed the same thing, that you can work on something, even years, and seemingly going nowhere, when out of nowhere, when the time is right, everything works our right and start moving very fast.
The truth is, with few exceptions, we all have to do what you did, first to work hard and slow before before the time is right and things before the universe unfolds as it should.
I have a feeling this will be the start of something really big for you Charlotte!
Oh, and I, like your other faithful readers, can get to say, ” I knew her before she became famous! ”
I can’t wait! Way to go Charlotte!
Following the path blazed by those before us just makes sense. The years of prep work are the bottom of the iceberg that no one ever sees, but must be there. I’m just so excited for you!
I know, I'm still excited for me, too!
I love my faithful blog readers and will take you guys with me wherever I go! Thanks, Don, and have a great weekend.
Great story – thank you for sharing this 🙂
Thanks for reading!