I started out 2017 with two major goals in mind:
1. This was the year I’d get an agent.
2. This was the year I’d get published.
With only 10 days left in the year, I think it’s safe to say that I have failed.
I gave up querying my first manuscript pretty early in the year. I’d been querying it for a few years, and I was pretty sure it was a dead end. I submitted it to a few independent publishing houses instead. Got a few rejections, a few no responses. Is it possible I could get a positive response from one of these presses next year? Absolutely. But my goal of being published in 2017 is kaput.
I had a shelved an MG fantasy I’d written, pretty much banishing it to a practice draft when, lo and behold, it was selected during Round 2 of Author Mentor Match. So, surprising even myself, I spent a few months working with a mentor, polishing and shining the manuscript and sending it out into the query trenches. I’ve had lots of rejections, even more no responses. I currently have a full out with an agent, but I’ve learned enough not to hold my breath for a miracle. Is there a possibly she’ll love it and want to sign me? Sure. Could there be an agent out there just waiting for my exact manuscript in 2018? Absolutely. But my dream of signing with an agent in 2017 is over.
By all means, in terms of writing, 2017 was a bust. Another year of unrealized dreams, rejections, and disappointment.
And yet, to me, 2017 didn’t feel like the end. This was the first year someone told me my writing was good. The first year someone told me I had a real shot. The first year I felt like I had a reason not to quit. The first year a new idea set me on fire and I committed–and succeeded–in finishing the first draft in only a few months. The first year I made writing a priority, forced myself to write even when I didn’t feel like it, and the first time I started to read books, not just for pleasure, but to learn more about my craft. The first year I felt like maybe I was close. Not there. But close.
The year is winding down. No, I am not published. No, I am not agented. But I am still writing. Passionately, feverishly, hopefully. 2017 was the year I realized how much I wanted it. How much I needed it. How much a part of me it already was.
2017 was the year I didn’t quit.
2017 was the year I became a writer.