Thursday, December 18, 2014

Setbacks are Inevitable, Don't Be Swayed

For the last ten years of my life I’ve had the desire to write a book. In the beginning, I had no idea what this book would be about or if people would even be interested in reading my words. A little over two years ago I started freelance writing. In doing so, I have found my confidence as a writer. Some of that confidence comes from readers who tell me they are inspired by my words.
With that, my desire to write a book has only increased. Finally in 2013 I picked a concept and started writing a children’s book, which is loosely based on my childhood experiences. When I started this book I didn’t know what I was doing, I just knew I wanted to write it. So I did just that. I had no idea that books were supposed to be targeted to certain age groups, nor did I know all the important components that go into writing for children.
So without proper knowledge I confidently entered, what I thought was complete, manuscript into a children’s book writing contest (the winner would get a book contract and all the distinction that comes along with winning a national writing contest).

When I found out I didn’t win the contest, I didn’t get upset or discouraged. I actually pushed myself to go harder with my book. I took time to read up on the publishing industry, speak with published authors, and attend any class or conference I could. I did my research and kept going because my book is something I feel strongly about completing; it’s in me. Plus, I feel my story is so necessary and can be of inspiration to a young girl who is growing up without anyone to identify with -just as I sometimes felt while growing up.

Once my research was done, I started revising my book and even got it in the hands of a successful children’s book agent. I had the pleasure of meeting with her earlier this fall. And even though she did not offer me representation then, her feedback was better than I could have imagined. She was actually excited about my story and encouraged me to make necessary changes and additions so the story would appeal to a specific age group. The most important thing the agent said was, “Your story needs to be told.”

As I head into my third year of working on this book, I think back to all the setbacks I’ve experienced with it. And I know there will be more. But I look at the setbacks as encouragement to keep going.

When it comes to your passion, setbacks are inevitable. But if you change your perspective on them and focus on fulfilling what is in you to do, you too will not be swayed by obstacles; but encouraged by them.

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