Monday, April 11, 2011

The Allure of Hope

“When one door closes, don’t worry, because another door opens.”

- Christopher Paul Curtis, Bud, Not Buddy

January and February were full of hope:

01/12 – I queried an agent.

01/13 – Said agent requested a full.

01/23 – I queried an editor.

01/31– I made it on the longlist of 100 stories for Queensland.

02/06 – My short story was accepted in 100 Stories for Queensland! My

FIRST publication credit.

02/14 – Said editor requested a full.

02/24 – I made it to the semifinals of ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel


Then came March, which was dismal:

03/03 - Said editor sent a REJECTION.

100 Stories for Queensland publication date was delayed.

03/19 – Said agent sent a REJECTION.

03/26 – Another year older. Another year agentless.

03/23 – I did not make it to the ABNA quarterfinals.

But April has brought good news:

04/06 - New (and improved) date for 100 Stories for Queensland. Author bios are HERE . In addition to my bio, blogging buddies Jessica Bell and Jennifer (Old Kitty) Domingo are listed too.

04/09 - My short story “Allured” got accepted in an upcoming YA anthology, Fangtales by Wyvern Publications .

Wyvern previously published Dragontales and Mertales .

I also believe this will be the month I complete my YA fantasy, Naked Eye. I’ve written what I think is an amazing query (*cough* Clearly Delusional). I’ll post it on my 2nd blog, Earnest Writer's Excerpts as soon as the draft is done.

I started my first manuscript in April 2006. 5 years ago. When I wrote those first lame lines, I didn’t know writing would take over my life. I didn’t know how much I had to learn. I didn’t know how difficult it would be. I didn’t know how many times I’d be rejected. I didn’t know the emotions that would swirl within me. I didn’t realize there’d be the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

Now I do.

On 03/29, I read Tiana Smith’s humorous and truthful post, Pros and Cons of Being a Writer . She stated authors write an average of 6 manuscripts before they’re published.

Naked Eye will be my 6th manuscript. This means this could be THE ONE. It also means some people are published from their first book, while others toil away at 12 or more. I heard that Beth Revis , author of Across the Universe, which is part of an impressive 3-book deal, wrote 10 manuscripts before becoming published.

4 months

3 close calls

2 future publishing credits

1 dream.

I have to have hope I'll achieve it.

Writers, where are you on your writing journey?

Care to confess how many manuscripts you’ve written?

Or how many manuscripts it took to become published?


  1. Hi,

    It's tough being a writer!

    Confession: I've been there done that on the published scene with erotic romances and one romantic thriller. Then real-life intervened in the form of a serious riding accident, and I dropped out of writing for awhile. In the meantime my publisher sold out to a publishing giant, and retired from the publishing scene. The editors I'd worked with vanished into the mists of time, and although back to writing full-time, I'm also back to square one subbing in the same way as newbies to the world of writing and publishing. It's no easier to break back in - if published before - than first time around. And, I'm not the only one in same boat. ;)


  2. I've written two manuscripts (though one was only 30k and is getting a complete overhaul), both for NaNo.

    It's good that while you acknowledge the bad things, you still have hope for the good things. Hope was left in Pandora's Box for a reason.

    I recently submitted a short story to an anthology. I should hear back from them by the end of May.

  3. Well, I got two under my belt. How depressing! At least you've had more than just rejections - that's positive =) continuing to improve!

  4. The good news is you're getting requests and stirring interest. that means you're on the right path and you'll get to the goal as long as you keep pushing forward.

  5. Do you think anyone knows how hard it will be when they first start writing?

  6. Congratulations! To me it sounds like you're on a good path.

    But, yeah, the writing life sure is full of ups and downs. We all might as well get used to it. :)

  7. You are further along in the cycle then I am. You've accomplished a great deal this year so far. You should be proud. I an only on my second full MS, but I've written plenty of partials and short stories. Never tried to publish one of them. I'll get there eventually.

  8. Sounds like you have reason to fill this month with hope! Here's hope to ya! :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  9. Writing certainly has its ups and downs.
    Congrats on your Queensland acceptance and you are almost there. Getting requests for fulls is a great sign!
    Best of luck for good writing news in the spring!

  10. Oh those ups and downs, I feel for you Theresa. It seems with writing, those fluctuations are so extreme, we put such heart in it all.

    I'm querying my fiction manuscript right now, and about ready to begin a revision project on a second manuscript as I query and wait on the first ...

  11. Oh my stars - CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You are having a GREAT writerly year so far!! Yes, including the "dismal" month cos that's what being all writerly means - such lows oh but what HIGHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yay for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've stood on the sidelines this past year and a bit watching you work so hard towards your dream and you've just been so amazing and inspirational and getting ever closer to having your novels published.

    Yay!!! Take care

  12. We live on a roller coaster! Congratulations on the successes. Hold onto those and the level of hope will stay up.

  13. Yay for the Queensland anthology! That's fantastic stuff. And yay on your short story.

    There is plenty of hope around, it seems. But you're right: the writing life is a rollar-coaster between hope and despair (at least, mine is!).

  14. Yes, writing is a roller coaster ride. But congrats on your highs - we must celebrate them to help us through the lows. Congrats on those two future publishing credits! That is just pure awesome!

  15. WHOO! Congrats on getting that story accepted. That's wonderful. I'm so happy for you :)

    Here's my confession: I'm in a holding pattern right now. I'm working on rewriting my first ms, but I have four (two of which need a complete overhaul, and otherwise should never see the light of day). I'm working on a couple of shorts to send out, too, which just puts butterflies in my stomach like crazy. But the rest of my life is currently in complete upheaval, so it's hard to keep up with everything :/

    Congrats again!

  16. Thanks so much for sharing part of your journey! It's definitely a roller-coaster of ups and downs, but I seem to like the ride enough to keep getting on again and again :)

  17. Your accomplishments in the writing field are wonderful Theresa. You are on the cusp. Congratulations and I look forward to reading your story in "100 Stories For Queensland."

  18. Congratulations on your short story, Theresa! That's wonderful news! I am slowly dying in query wars, struggling to find the time and energy (and desire) to work on my new project. One day at a time, right?! :-)

  19. Congratulations! Although I know March was disappointing, April is looking up. :) That's awesome about your publication acceptances (I'm still waiting to hear about Fangtales.) Things will continue to look up. Just hang in there. :)

  20. Its amazing your've written and completed so much. I have similiar ups and downs, submitting, hoping, dreaming, rejection, submitting, hoping , dreaming...! I've one novel complete, one first draft novel to return to and many stories and poems looking for homes! You have to love it dont you!
    Congrats on Allured!

  21. It's true - writing makes a girl feel a bit bipolar - what with all the hoping and the sighing and the crying - but the good days are sooo worth it. I'm in the query stage. I have a few partials and a couple fulls out. I think Rs for those are harder to take. You?

  22. Theresa, congrats on all your successes and also for sharing your not-so-successes.
    It is a crazy world being a writer, I have no novels written yet, but I have entered numerous pieces into competitions this year that I hope may lead to something. The 'nos' make the 'yes's' so much better.
    It seems to be much tougher in the States as we all go through this competition process first to make our names known and then hopefully, if we are lucky, use that as a stepping stone to further our writing careers.

  23. Congratulations! It sounds as if you are on the cusp! I've got my fingers crossed for you.

  24. You got to have lots of dermination and persevance to get what we want. It seems like your hard work as paid off.
    All the best to you.
    I look foward to reading your short story,

  25. Congratulations on being published in those anthologies; that's great! I think it's still promising that the editor and agent both requested a full manuscript from you, because it's difficult to get even that far. I've focused on finishing my manuscripts before sending them out; I'm definitely not ready to query agents yet because I want to wait until I finish the final drafts of my novels. But I did enter two short story contests and I submitted another story to a literary magazine, which I've always wanted to do. It took me a long time to even get enough courage to let anyone read my writing.

  26. Congrats on the successes. I hope you remain hopeful that your manuscripts will see the light of publishing day.

    I think I've written a dozen or so manuscripts.

  27. The process it brutal. Have had requests and rejections too.
    But I keep going!

  28. Fantastic news! Big congrats on the pubs and congratulations on the April turnaround! April was a turnaround month for me, too~ :o) <3

  29. I really appreciate it when other writers share their ups and downs. I heard that 6 novel thing too (even before Tiana's wonderful post) because I've had it in my mind for years. I'm in novel #3 and while of course I'd be thrilled if any of 1,2, or 3 got picked up, I'm content to keep slogging along, slowly accumulating manuscripts. Though I think it will get really hard if #6 tanks. So it's good to hear that Beth Revis had 10. And AtU was soooo good! I'd rather manscripts #1-#9 didn't make if my #10 could be as good as hers!!! Anyway, apparently I write long comments like I write long blog posts. But congrats on those short story publications!!!

  30. That's a lot of ups and downs, but hey, five books is already an amazing accomplishment. I think Elana Johnson admitted to 13 mss before her book deal (I could be wrong, but I think 13). I'm not sure I could make it!!

  31. @ Francine, thanks for confessing/sharing your story. I'm sorry you had to leave the publishing world. I bet many of these changes weren't going on when you published last. I hope you can find your place again.

    @ Brooke, I'm impressed with people who do NaNo. My first manuscripts were written in 6 weeks. But I couldn't have done them in 4. I wish you the best with your revisions.

    And good luck with your short story submission.

    @ Tara, thanks.

    Remember, it doesn't have to be 6 or 12. I hope for you, it's manuscript #2.

    @ Vicki, thanks. I think the last manuscript is too political because it addresses global warming. Even with the requests, I worry it won't go any further. Hopefully the next one will.

    @ Angela, NO!

    Seriously, I've tried to tell people considering writing their first book. They don't believe me. I can tell.

    @ LR, thank you.

    I believe you. The writing life isn't steady, even when we become established authors, I'm sure.

    @ J.L. Jackson, thanks. We all have to take our own journeys. There's something to be said for taking your time. I rushed to submit in the beginning.

    @ Jules, thanks for the hope. I could always use some extra.

  32. Well! Maybe I'm on my way too, as I've written about 7 :D I haven't even started querying though.

  33. @ Kelly, thanks. I'd love more good news. I hope some good news heads your way too.

    @ Joanne, yes, we put our heart into our writing and all the rest.

    You're smart to have one to query and one to work on.

    @ Old Kitty, you've always been so positive through my ups and downs. Thank you! Blogging buddies like you have made it easier to get over the downs.

    And have I mentioned how excited I am that we're going to be in the same anthology?

    @ Charity, we do live on a roller coaster! Writing is just one aspect of it.

    The funny thing is I think I was interviewed on your blog about the pending short story. Now it's not pending.

    @ Talli, thank you! It's comforting (sort of) to know even people who are doing as well as you still go from hope to despair. I hope you have more hope than despair these days.

    @ Vicki, thank you. I agree. I've got to hold onto the highs when those lows inevitably come. At least now I feel like my writing is worth printing. That's something.

    @ RosieC, I think it's so cool you're working on so many pieces. The more you write, the better you get.

    I'm sorry your life is in an upheaval. I hope it calms soon.

    @ Jess, ha! Great way to put it. I guess I like the ride enough to keep getting on too.

  34. You WILL make it! You've proven you can persevere and keep moving forward!

    I'm in the learning part of the process. Every day I learn more about writing, characterization, plotting, outlining... I feel like I'll get there! Some day :)

  35. Congratulations on Allured's acceptance! I'm currently revising my third manuscript. Six is the average, really? Man, I really need to start churning them out quicker or I'll never get there!

  36. You'll definitely achieve it. And I can feel it- Naked Eye is THE ONE.

  37. @ Ann, I hope you're right. I'm on the cusp - I like the way that sounds.

    @ Shannon, poor you. Querying is soul-sucking so it's difficult to write at the same time. Good luck on both fronts!

    @ Cherie, thank you. After all these years, it's nice to get some good news. I should've started writing short stories sooner.

    Good luck with Fangtales!

    @ Words A Day, you always seem to have so much going on at once. It's impressive. Writing and submitting and hoping is all we can do. Thanks!

    @ Carolyn, good for you for having partials and fulls out. Yes, the rejections are much harder to take on those.

    @ Brigid, I'm impressed with how many competitions you enter, and how well you've done. Ireland's systems is quite different from ours.

    @ Kari, thank you. I'll take all the good vibes I can.

    @ Choices, thank you. It felt like I was mostly spinning my wheels, but two future short story credits finally make me feel like I'm going somewhere. YaY!

  38. I've only written one manuscript and 2/3 of a very rough draft of a second in 8 years. I've had to revise the first one many times and am now doing one on voice. But I am starting something new.

    Congrats on your awesome news. Hope you have more soon.

  39. @ Neurotic Workaholic, I think it's great that you're beginning to submit. Good luck! I also think it's wise that you've taken your time. When I wrote my first manuscript, I rushed into submitting before it was ready. I cringe thinking about it.

    @ Medeia, it's nice to hear from another writer whose written multiple manuscripts. And you eventually got a book out, so there's hope for the rest of us!

    @ Jo, the process is brutal. It's good to hear you're willing to keep at it too.

    @ LTM, thank you. It certainly was a turnaround month for you too. Having to choose an agent is an enviable position from where I'm standing. Good luck with the next steps.

    @ Margo, thanks. I wish I'd heard the 6 manuscript thing earlier so I wouldn't have been so downtrodden the last couple of years. I only found out last week! It must be daunting to hear it if you're on your first though.

    Across the Universe is a wonderful novel. She took what she'd learned and it all came together beautifully.

    @ Erica, thank you. I didn't know Elana may have written 13. I thought it was her first one. The only thing I had kept in mind is her over 150 submissions to land an agent. I realized I give up too soon before moving on. Maybe.

    @ Trisha, I'm sure you've learned a lot by writing 7 manuscripts. Do you get feedback from critique groups or beta readers? I think it's good to know what you do well and what you can do to improve. Maybe query to see what kind of feedback you receive.

  40. Thanks for the shout out, and I hope everything works out for you soon! I know how you feel, since I've written three books, and am querying the final one right now. Ugh.

  41. Hi Theresa .. it's that dream isn't it .. yet we hear so often of so many who've struggled yet made it .. keep going you're nearly at the top ..

    Good for you .. it will happen I am sure .. and so pleased some things are working out .. cheers Hilary

  42. Theresa,
    I am loving this post and I can Totally relate! I just had another rejection last week and a funny video came out of it. Head on over to my blog and maybe it'll cheer you up. I had so much fun working on the video that i forgot about being sad for my rejections.

  43. I think it's amazing, amazing, amazing that you've gotten requests for fulls from both an agent and an editor! And you're getting your first publishing credit, hooray!!!

    In answer to your questions: #1 I'm still not sure if I'm on a writing journey or if this is a temporary adventure. I hope it's a journey. #2 Um, including fanfictions, four. Counting only originals, one. Adding in short stories, a bajillion. #3 One original and lots and lots of posting stories on-line, entering writing contests, and making brilliant connections.

  44. Wow, this year has been quite the roller coaster for you!! But I'm so impressed with your requests and short story publication!

    I wrote two books (one which will never see the light of day and one which is awful but the premise is good) before I sold my third. :)

  45. Hi Teresa

    It IS a roller coaster. But whatever, you have soooo much to be positive about! I am in awe at that list of what you have in the pipeline. You have been so proavtibe. You MUST keep going, you really must.

    I have a crippling lack of self esteem and am working on a novel that I've re-written 3-4 times and STILL have to post out to an agent. I haven't plucked up courage once.

    Somehow, I'm still going, still writing because I know in my heart it's in there, buried somewhere beneath. You CAN touch people. And you must believe that too.

    It's funny how you meet people. Really good to make your acquaintance and look forward to following your posts and writing.

    warm wishes

  46. Congrats on getting your short stories published!

  47. Good and bad--it really is a balancing act, isn't it? I'm recently agented and should be on submission soon, but not with the manuscript that landed me my agent. It just isn't the time for it-- and sometimes timing really is everything!

  48. Wow, that sounds like a number of things achieved so far this year! I, ahem, have written one manuscript and have just started another one.

  49. Congratulations on your publication. I enjoy short story anthologies, slices of life and wonder.

  50. Congratulations on the story being published - and on those requests for fulls. It's got to be a sign your getting nearer.
    I've a lot of partial manuscripts, and a WIP that I'm determined to finish this time. I think I've learnt from the other attempts and I'm approaching it better.

  51. Congrats on having an awesome April. And we aren't even half way there.

    I put the novel I was querying on old because my current WIP is THE ONE (see, you not the only delusional one). ;)

    Okay, part of this is because I want to put the ms through the same intensive workout my WIP is currently going through. It's tough work, but the results are impressive (at least I hope they are). :D

  52. @ Jemi, thanks for the pep talk.

    I have so much to learn too. When I look at where I started, I'm proud, but when I see where I still want to be.... All we can do is keep working at it, right?

    @ Susan, thank you. I hope three is the charm for you!

    @ Missed Periods, thank you! I hope you're right. I really want it to be THE ONE.

    @ Natalie, it sounds like you've done a lot of writing, which is the important thing.

    Thanks for the nice words.

    @ Tiana, I'm glad I found your blog. Good luck with querying.

    @ Hilary, there are so many struggling writers out there, all with the same dream, all working hard. I like hearing when other's finally land the agent or the book deal, even if it isn't me... yet.

    @ Nutschell, I was at your blog earlier but looked at a different post. Doh! I'll have to go back. Sorry about the rejection, but I'm glad you found a way to have fun with it.

  53. @ Nicki, thank you. It is nice to get requests, even if they don't lead to offers yet.

    It sounds like you're on a writing journey, at least for now. What was it like writing fan fiction?

    @ Jennifer, how great you got published with your third. You're above average!

    @ Bluestocking Mum/Debbie, thanks for following. And thank you for the encouragement.

    My problem was that I queried too early, but it led me to get a couple of detailed rejection letters that let me know what I was doing wrong. Figuring how to follow the advice was another story.

    Try a query. Maybe you'll get the feedback to help you.

    You're right, it is all about connecting with other people. I want to have reader so I can touch them and make them think or work something out.

    @ Girl Friday, thank you!

    @ Her highness, Samantha Vérant, I've heard several people say the same thing. They got an agent, but then the manuscript wasn't the right one to get a contract. I'm glad your agent is working with you to shop the next one. Good luck!

    @ Rachel, I'm in awe of the people who get the publishing contract on the first or second book. Maybe that will be you!

    @ Paul C, thank you. "... slices of life and wonder." Beautifully said!

    @ Áine Tierney, thanks. I hope you're right.

    It's great that you're writing and learning from your writing. Good luck!

    @ Stina, if nothing else great happens for April. I'll still be pretty happy. But if something else does, I'll be over the moon.

    We're both delusional and in the same state with our WIPs and querying manuscripts. From the feedback I received on my fulls, I figure I either should rewrite or keep pushing it as is, or I should push with the new one. I want to push with the new one.

  54. Theresa, The Naked Eye sounds awesome from the little bit I read of it. I think this will be the one that hooks an agent for you. Then you can pull out the other manuscripts and perfect them. Best wishes!

  55. I live on close call island. It's rather lonely here at times. I hope to be rescued eventually though! :)

  56. @ Sharon, I'm glad you like how Naked Eye sounds so far. I hope it's got a good hook. I just wrote two more chapters this morning. Almost done!

    I'd like to pull out some old ones, but then new ones come calling. We'll see.

    @ Anne, too funny! I hope you're rescued soon to be brought to agent island. I've seen agents at writers' conferences. They know how to party!

  57. Thanks for your kind comment about my daughter's neck surgery. She is doing SO much better today.

    Hope you're having a good day, too!
    Ann Carbine Best’s Long Journey Home

  58. @ Ann, I'm glad to hear that. Have a good weekend.

  59. Despite the rejections it sounds like you are doing really well! I love that you haven't given up. Huge congrats for your accepted pieces. That's brilliant.