Guest Post … Moving beyond Solitary: Practicing Perseverance by Amy Bearce
Jan24

Guest Post … Moving beyond Solitary: Practicing Perseverance by Amy Bearce

Moving Beyond Solitary: Practicing Perseverance By Amy Bearce Writing is, by its very nature, a solitary process. Many of us who write enjoy that isolation. Perhaps we are introverts or maybe we just like dissolving into other worlds we create. But there comes a point in time when we want to share our story with others. And that means putting yourself and your work in front of other people. This often begins by letting a trusted friend or two read your manuscript. It could also mean joining a critique group. But if you have hopes of publication, eventually, you will have to show your work to agents and/or editors. It’s time to enter the querying stage. That can be incredibly hard. “Just a little hike, they said. Huh.” If you are shy as well as introverted, it can be downright terrifying. But it’s important to stick with it and keep trying, even when you don’t see a lot of results at first. The query process can be long, tedious, and full of rejection. One way to make things more interesting and fun is to enter online contests, such as #PitMad and #PitchWars. It opens the door and invites other people to enjoy the story you’ve created. In the meantime you meet some really great people. Editors and agents will get to see your pitch. You will no doubt compulsively refresh your Twitter page and email to see if you get any comments. When you don’t, it can be crushing. “Oof.” But keep at it. You never know when connections you’ve made will lead somewhere you didn’t expect. Perhaps my experience will encourage you. I wrote my first manuscript over ten years ago. Let’s just say…it had a lot of problems. I’ve written several more since then. A few years ago, I started a fourth book and it was much better than the others…and I did some planning…but I got bogged down halfway through. Then I wrote a fifth book about a too-nice kid from a supervillain family. I was sure The Worst Villain Ever would be it—the manuscript to finally be published. I entered it in #PitMad and other competitions. I submitted it for critiques at conferences and received valuable feedback. A few requests for fulls and partials came in, but nothing else happened. I was confused and more than a little heartbroken. I really thought (and still think, for the record) that this was a good story. Others said they loved it. But no offer came, and I finally stopped pitching this manuscript and went back to work on the one I had abandoned. I spent the next...

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