The other night I got to sit on a panel about the publishing process. I was the token writer, and it was great fun-- though a bit daunting-- to speak on behalf of writers about our part in the publishing process. I kept thinking "Shouldn't someone more qualified be here?"
But that's not what this post is about.
It's about a story that the agent on the panel told. About one of her clients who went through four years of rejections before her work sold. And how this agent hung in there and kept trying to sell it because she believed in her client.
I hear stories like that all the time. Kathryn Stockett. Madeleine L'Engle. JK Rowling. All faced rejection and discouragement. But they kept believing in their work and they kept submitting. And so many people are glad they did.
The other day I was reading a guest blog post on a blog I subscribe to and it reminded me of my attempt at being a guest blogger on this blog. Several months ago I submitted a piece to this blog... and never heard back. I won't lie and say I wasn't disappointed because, honestly, I thought the post was good. It was a blog post I would want to read, which is my own personal gauge for my writing. (I'm a reading snob.)
But here's the thing: While I didn't hear back about that guest post, I didn't just hang my head, say "Oh well, guess it was no good after all." Not this time. I went in search of another home for this piece of writing that I thought was worthwhile.
I submitted it to a trade magazine within the writing industry (the piece was on writing). Within days I had a response from the editor. She loved the piece, wanted to publish it fairly soon considering this was a print edition, not an online magazine, AND (here's the best part) instead of the freebie I was going to give away for the guest blog post... this one PAID MONEY.
In the end, I am so glad I didn't give up. I'm so glad I believed in my own work. And honestly, I am so glad I didn't get my guest blog accepted. Because in my opinion, my piece found a better home. A home that will get read more widely in my field and that pays. Can't beat that with a stick.
Why did I just write all that? I'm not sure. I think because someone out there needed to hear it. There's many times I write something that I think is for one person-- just one-- that it will make a difference to. If it's you, I'm glad to be of service. If it's not, maybe you'll have cause to encourage someone else today or tomorrow or next week-- advising them to not give up, to keep believing. That applies not only to writing, but to any garden variety dream.