That photo of me with my arms stretched out is old. Like, 7 years old. But it well represents how I’m feeling right now. Singing from the highest mountaintop (which in NC isn’t all that high). Breathing a sigh of relief, for the time being, anyhow.
Today I finished the first major draft of my book. And it’s by pure coincidence that I began writing exactly one year ago today. I don’t keep track of such things, but this morning Facebook reminded me of a post I wrote after scribbling the first few pages. It’s amazing how much happens in 12 months.
Now my working draft is in the hands of my readers. People I’m entrusting to offer up constructive feedback on how I might improve the manuscript. I’ve achieved my initial goal to write a book I would like to read—it makes me laugh out loud, cringe with embarrassment, tear up at times, and revel in nostalgia for all the beautiful people who became the journey itself. My reader-people will make all that even better. We are stronger together.
Now that I’ve got the luxury of not writing for a while, I’ll continue my effort to secure an agent. I’ve already queried a handful of agencies and even heard back from a couple. But landing someone who’ll find an imprint for my book is no easy task. Every agency has different, often lofty requirements for submissions—and similar to job applications, just because your resume and cover letter show you are an ideal candidate doesn’t mean you’ll ever get a call. It’s a numbers game as much as anything, and it benefits from perseverance, strategy, attention to detail, and yeah, a little talent doesn’t hurt either. Every rejection (or cacophony of crickets) is one step closer to the hell yes.
It’s Fall in North Carolina and the humidity and mosquitos are (mostly) gone. Today I’ll start making regular use of my front yard fire pit. Sit on a stump and carve a few spoons, drink a little whiskey, get to know a few new neighbors. This is my favorite time of year in the southeast and I plan to intentionally fall in love with each day. I encourage you, wherever you are, to do the same.