Sunday, May 29, 2005

"Your stories deserve no less."

I suppose it's all right to quote someone, as long as you give them credit for it, right? If it's not, I trust one of you will let me know. The above quote is from Jennifer Crusie's PROgress article for the June RWR. That was the 2nd to the last sentence of the article. Powerful, isn't it? The last sentence is moreso:

"And so do you."

Wow. Like when I was reading ON WRITING, again, it's like one of my favorite writers is GIVING me permission to expect the best, not only from me, but the industry as a whole. Permission not only to write, like Stephen King gave, but permission to not settle, like Jenny Crusie just did. I have no idea why I find these little comments to be so powerful to me, why I feel like they're directed right AT me, but I do.

Jenny's article was actually about agents. I swear to all things holy, she must have heard about the angst on the PRO loops as we crashed the National database in our scurrying to get agent appointments. I can only imagine that's why she addressed agents like she did, as did Tara Taylor Quinn on her FROM THE PRESIDENT address at the beginning of the mag. Reminding us to be TRUE PROs. Professional writers. And I'm still convinced I won't get my agent from a pitch. I don't think I'll get one, either, from querying, although I won't write that out entirely. I think I'll get my perfect agent from yakkin' it up and being myself, or from a referral. I don't know why I think this, I just do. ~shrug~

Jenny reminds us in her article that she was new to all of this once, too. I think a lot of new writers forget that little fact. Nora Roberts was new. Jennifer Crusie was new. Linda Howard was new. They have their own rejection letters sitting around, I'm sure. And yet look at them now. Is it any wonder that we're told persistence is a key to a career in writing? Keep going, keep trying, keep pushing, keep learning, and most importantly, keep growing.

So the quote above, and the 2nd quote as well, are in regard to agents. Don't settle. YOU and I deserve the best match, not the first offer. And isn't THAT hard to think about? I'd get all kinds of giggly just having an agent request a partial. Now I'm not even submitting. Why? I know my stuff isn't ready, and 2) I know who I'm going after. I know who I want. I just got to get my voice and my characters to make them want me just as badly.

And I have the confidence that I can. And will.


Foster said...

i have confidence too, that you not only can, but will. you're doing great, just keep 'doing'. i'd give you my best advice, but you know it already.. best of luck :D

Christine Keach said...

You ABSOLUTELY have what it takes to get there! You have the talent, the drive and the persistence that WILL pay off! Expect no less because you deserve no less!

Gena Showalter said...

Oh, this is excellent! Very uplifting. Thank you. No matter where we fall in the industry, there's something that can bring us down (lack of agent, rejection, bad reviews, and so on), so this is excellent advice for every step.

Kelly said...

Great attitude, Brenda. You can do it! Believing you can is half the battle.

Karyn Lyndon said...

Brenda, I don't consider that I settled for the agent I have now. But after a pile of "good" non-form-letter rejections from my "dream list" of agents, a brand new agent with only 3 sales under his belt said he LOVED my book. Who am I to turn down that? Of course, I was worried about his lack of experience and his non-NYC address...but he has gotten some big publishers to read it. I guess you just have to use gut instinct and know what feels right at the time...the same thing as knowing whenn your writing is ready to submit.