Take a chance on me
Take a chance, take a chance, take a chance on me
If you’re not familiar with the group ABBA, you also have probably never heard the catchy tune that includes those lyrics. As writers, however, we need to take a chance. In fact, we need to take lots of chances.
imge by Pixabay
Each time we send a query to agents or publishers, we’re taking a chance. Sometimes we send dozens and dozens of queries and get frustrated. After so many rejections, we’re tempted to quit. So many rejections make us think we’re never going to get a yes. However, after more than 120 queries, I got a “I’d love to publish your book.” If I had quit at 119 (or so), I wouldn’t have a publishing contract now.
Take a chance.
I asked a nationally-known expert on the Tulsa Race Massacre to read my soon-to-be-published book. (She and I have presented at conferences.) My hope was she’d give me a (positive) blurb I could use on the book. She (politely) said no, for a couple of reasons. Then when I asked the executive director of the Greenwood Cultural Center if she wouldn’t mind reading my book, she said yes. She might not like it, she might not be able to give me a usable blurb… and yet I took a chance.
Take a chance on me (and my work).
I needed a cover for my book that’s about to birthed. I can’t illustrate, and I know nothing about graphic arts, so there was no way I could do it. I do, however, know a teacher-artist friend who does amazing work in multiple mediums. I asked her to read my manuscript and design a cover (for pay, of course). She had never done a book cover before. There was the chance that she’d read my book and think, ‘It sucks,’ but she didn’t. What she did do was create an incredible cover. There was also a (small) chance that I’d see the final artwork and feel disappointed. I didn’t. What I did see blew me away.
Take a chance.
Beginning a new project when another one is almost finished is the MO for some writers. You know, the keep-the-momentum-going strategy. Always have a couple of projects you’re juggling. I began a new manuscript a year ago, and it’s gotten stuck in a major puddle of quicksand. In a true groove with the prior piece, I keep struggling with this one. The more I flail my arms around, the deeper I sink. There might be another option: I have a picture book that got some feedback from Margo Dill a while ago. (This is my oldest project. It was going to get published, and then the publisher disappeared, leaving behind lots of unhappy authors.) I set it aside. Maybe working on the picture book--something different from a novel--will help me later get into the right frame of mind for the novel.
Take a chance on working on something different.
I had a sucky title for my book. It lacked pizazz. I reached out to some people, and one writer friend gave me the perfect title.
Take a chance.
Take a chance on submitting. On reaching out to people for blurbs or to be a beta reader. On devoting time on a once-old-and-now-new project. On getting help with a title. You might not be successful, but if you don’t try, you’re guaranteeing you’ll fail.
What are you taking a chance on lately?
Sioux Roslawski is a freelance writer and the author of the middle-grade novel Greenwood Gone: Henry's Story (coming soon, in the spring). She teaches middle school literature and writing during the day, and rescues dogs on the weekends. To check out her blog, head to Sioux's Page.