A Piece of My Mind: Another
Voice in the Crowd
You know sometimes you need to listen to another person's experiences,
rather than your own voice. My friend Rebekah is a first time author,
sending out query letters. I asked her to pen what she feels like as a first
time author sending in her novels to many publishers,
First Time Author
By Rebekah Corcoran
My name is Rebekah and I am addicted to writing. It is my drug of choice.
If there were a Writers Anonymous program for authors I would be compelled
to attend. I have the first of twelve steps down - I can admit my addiction.
Reading was my gateway drug of choice - it propelled me into the writing
world. When other children were out playing, I was in my room reading. I
would get in more trouble by having a flashlight under the covers past my
bedtime than for anything else. I looked forward to family vacations; the
drive from Illinois to Florida allowed for me time to read multiple books, I
never bothered to look out at the scenery. The librarians knew me by name
and it was common for me to check out ten or more books at a time, several
times a month.
In kindergarten, I won the school's short story contest for creativity.
From there on reading and writing became my passion. In high school I had to
sneak in writing between classes and extra curricular activities. Teachers
constantly accused me of plagiarism just to compliment me later when I
validated my writing.
Then I found the Internet. My daily blogs were attracting thousands of
readers. I was astounded. People actually liked to hear what I had to say.
My short stories would get the most attention - sometimes drawing up to
15,000 comments in one day. I loved the attention, but lets face it my
readers were far from professionals.
It has always been my dream to be a published author. If only I had known
what I was getting myself into. For years I have written novels, finished
them and then hit delete. Writing just for the sake of writing. Deleting my
novels drives my husband crazy.
The fear of rejection was so great I could taste it. I was afraid that
being rejected would diminish my love for writing. Little did I know that
rejection actually fueled my desire to write.
As a new author I have discovered that this community is not as easy to
break in to as one might think. It is not just writing a fabulous novel and
having agents falling at your feet to represent you. It has everything to do
with networking, communication and resources.
Being intelligent is not how much you know, but knowing where to go to
get the information you need. I would have never thought that starting out
would be so difficult. There are strange words that keep popping up all over
the place: query, synopsis, and submission guidelines. What? I can't
just send you my amazing novel?
Then of course there is the ever-frustrating fact that I don't have an
agent and the "unpublished" labels that are constantly attached to my
resume. I am published! I am! I try to argue - my high school paper loved
me! I even wrote for the college newspaper and my town paper. So what if my
town population is a little under 5000. It counts, right? Wrong.
I am determined, passionate and goal orientated. As frustrating as being
a new author might be I am confident that I can and will succeed. I just
need to sharpen a few more pencils, read a few more books, talk to a few
more authors and drink a couple more cups of coffee. Isn't there a frog
somewhere I can kiss that will turn into a magical agent or a fairy
godmother that can sprinkle her dust over a publishing house for me?
I believe in happy endings. I do.
To Rebekah and all other writers just starting out. I leave you the
advice I always give... Reach for the Stars
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