I have wanted to be a writer for around ten years now, but never had the courage to believe I could do it.
Here's a weird but absolutely true story. When I was about eleven or twelve years old, I awoke one morning to hear a voice say, 'you are going to be a writer.' I didn't recognise the voice and I was alone in my room. Was it a dream? Perhaps. But this is not the rambling of a mad woman. It DID happen and I wasn't thinking of writing at that time; I was thinking of Adam Ant (A British pop star), boys and Sindy dolls.
Ten years ago I wrote a serious book for children and sent three chapters out to seven publishers. I got six rejections and one telling me she loved it, thought the writing was excellent and asking to see the rest. It went to an editorial meeting at this pretty major publishing house where it was later rejected. So, I quit.
I hear all the writers in this forum gasping. Yes, I QUIT after just seven submissions attempts.
Three years ago I started again and my new target was comedy writing. In three years I have made headway little by little and finally secured an agent for a new comedy novel two months ago. The agency is pretty major here in the UK and specialises in authors with international potential. I was on the ceiling when she said how much she loved my book and asked could she PLEASE represent me. She said 'please.'
I stuck at it for three years an know, no matter how many doors close in my face, this is what I want to do now and I don't intend to quit. Because the difference between me ten years ago to the me of today is life experience, maturity, a little more determination and Stephen King's On Writing.
I discovered the book, via a friend recommendation, when I was in the middle of my first draft of this novel and had become stuck. Call it a crisis of confidence if you will. I thought 'this is ****, what am I doing?' - My book I mean - not On Writing
Suffice to say, your words made me push on and I've referred back to them during many tough times - like those I am going through today. You see, I am in the middle of a crisis of confidence again because my agent started submitting my novel to ten major publishers just over five weeks ago. A fortnight ago, she sent me FIVE rejections and the complete feedback from each editor in one go. The feedback wasn't at all negative - for the most part they said it was very funny but called it 'close to the bone' using words like 'acerbic wit' & 'too full of jokes.' They say it made them laugh but they don't want it.
Anyone who has gone through the rough and tumble of writer rejection will know how I'm feeling right now. I'm struggling to tell myself it happens to the best of writers. I'm putting on a smiley face and determinedly telling myself to keep going. But I have to confess, I haven't been able to write A WORD since reading the feedback. I had been happily working on book two and keeping all my joke laden social media accounts going. But I'm not funny right now. I am in agony. It is like waiting for the result of a potentially life changing job interview for two months and I KNOW that so many people haven't come as far as I have but it is still hard.
Anyhoo, this morning I turned back to read On Writing again, and printed out some of your wonderful, encouraging quotes from it to stare at in the hope that they will transfer via osmosis from your psyche to mine and it's helping me through. I just want you to know that.
It is helping me through and I came here to thank you for writing that book.