Why Writers Need Support and Celebration

Monday, July 02, 2012
by alibree www.flickr.com
Writing is a tough business--no matter what level you're at. I'm busy editing articles for the next issue of WOW!, and I just edited one about authors who decided to self-publish, even after having contracts with traditional publishers. One even had an agent, but the agent couldn't find anyone interested in the project. In this ever-changing publication world, a writer has to be strong and change with the times. But even more so, she has to have support.

I recently received an agent rejection for a YA manuscript I've been working on for a few years (on and off). I had revised it yet again before I sent it in to her. She had asked for a full read after I pitched to her at a conference. She seemed really excited about the story. I knew it was improving each time I revised it, and so I had my hopes up. As you know as a writer, this is not always a good thing. Long story short, she wrote back and said that she could follow the plot, but that the narrative seemed choppy, and she couldn't get into my world enough. Maybe I didn't have enough sensory details.

So, I was crushed. I waited a few days to mull over what she said, and then I sent the e-mail to my writing critique group. I told them I hadn't decided what I was going to do yet--whether or not I would look back over my story for these points the agent mentioned or send it on to the next agent/publisher. I was sad to admit my defeat, but what I got back from them was so much more than I could have hoped for.

"What a pleasant and professional rejection," my one writing buddy said. "You don't have too much more work to do. She could follow the plot," another one said. "Which is good considering how you keep moving everything around." (That comment made me laugh! My writing group knows me well!) Finally, one more writing group member said, "Why don't you do that one exercise where you highlight the different sensory description in various colors and see where you stand?"

Each one of them was EXACTLY right. As many of us know, the fact that the agent took the time to write any feedback at all was super nice, and it was good advice,too. As soon as my critique group said those things, I was out of my stewing and pity party, and I was back with an action plan.

When I told my husband about it, he said, "What agent?"
UGH! This is why we need other writers in our life.

If you are not lucky enough to have a writing group to celebrate your successes and pick you back up after your disappointments, please join us on Facebook and/or Twitter. We have a very active community, and we might even be able to hook you up with others who live near you or who write similar things as you do.

We are also starting a celebration/success story section on our Facebook page to encourage each other and stay inspired. Here are the details on this wonderful opportunity:

We want to hear your success stories! Have you signed with an agent or publisher? Has your self-published e-book become an Amazon Bestseller? Have you placed in a writing contest? Has your blog won an award? Did you sell an article to a magazine or newspaper? Whatever it is, we would like to hear about your success to share with fans on our Facebook page. We may even publish your story in our e-newsletter that goes out to over 30,000 subscribers! All you have to do is go to the NOTES app on our Facebook page. Then find the note that says SUCCESS STORIES. Finally, leave your success in 100 words or less. Make sure you include your full name (first and last) under your success story. Please leave any links that make sense with your story. Let's hear it straight from you. . .

Thanks, everyone! 

Margo L. Dill teaches many online classes for WOW! To check out her listings and all the information, please go here to the classroom page.  


BECKY said...

Great article, Margo! I've been crushed by rejections, too. (and haven't we been told that a rejection is a good thing?!It means we're writing AND submitting.)I am so grateful that I somehow found Saturday Writers, SLWG, and MWG. AND I couldn't ask for a better critique group than the fabulous one I'm in. My writer friends ARE my LIFE. I often wonder, what did I do with my time before I started writing?? Thanks for your guidance and friendship, too!

Margo Dill said...

Thank you so much for your kind words. And I agree that Saturday Writers, SLWG, and MWG are so awesome. We are so lucky to live in an area where we have active writing groups! And what did we do with our time before writing? Well, we probably cleaned and cooked dinner for our families. LOL :)

Have a good writing week,

Angela Mackintosh said...

LOL about your hubby!! That cracked me up. He sounds exactly like mine. Even though they love us to pieces, non-writers just don't get it.

I know rejection stinks, but it sounds like the agent offered some great advice, and evaluated your manuscript for free. That's how I look at it. I'm sure you'll take her suggestions to heart and land it. Like your group said, you don't have much more work to do. :)

Margo Dill said...

You are one of my biggest writing support systems! I think a lot of us can say that about you. :)

You hit the nail on the head. . .
Non-writers just don't get it. :)

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