I spent Saturday at the Tennessee Writing Workshop, courtesy of Writing Day Workshops. This was my second year attending, and the workshop now featured three panels per hour as opposed to one. Panel speakers included Chuck Sambuchino, Kimberly Brower, C.J. Redwine, and Madeline Smoot. Thanks to these speakers, I received plenty of new advice and information about writing young adult fantasy, seeking representation, and what happens after a writer snags an agent.
I also pitched two agents for the first time.
My pitches were scheduled first thing in the morning, and I was nervous, mainly because I had no real idea what to expect. Luckily for me, they turned out better than expected. Both agents were lovely people, and I thoroughly enjoyed our ten minutes together. By the end of each of those ten minutes, I nearly forgot my intention to sell a story to them—instead I focused on the joy of conversing about stories I’ve put years of work into, and the magic of seeing interest spark in their eyes.
Both agents requested material, and I floated out of that room on a cloud of joy.
Because regardless of what happens next—regardless of whether or not their requests lead to offers—I view those pitches as much-earned victories after eight years of trial and error, determination, and work, work, work.
The euphoria I experienced for hours afterwards leads me to write this advice post about the importance of reveling in every single victory, no matter how big or small.
After putting so much work, energy, and effort into a goal, you deserve to take the moment to appreciate it. You should allow yourself to take that moment. It’s easy to jump to the next step—for example, Will the agent enjoy what I send? But you have plenty of time for that next step later. Don't rush into the next stage of worry and preparation. Enjoy the moment you have now.
Congratulate yourself and allow yourself to be congratulated. Feel the happiness. Revel in the victory. Be proud of yourself! Find someone who will listen to every rambling word produced by your adrenaline frenzy, and release the flood. You deserve it.
The life of a writer involves a lot of work, worry, and heartache. But it can also produce amazing victories. Find a reason to feel victorious—whether that is a request from an agent or successfully cutting another 1,000 words from a manuscript—and revel in that victory.
It makes it all a little more worthwhile.
What are your thoughts? If you’ve had a similar experience recently, share it with me. I’d love to hear about your victories, big or small.
I write YA fantasy and contemporary fiction. This blog is dedicated to thoughts and advice on writing and publishing, as well as various interests related to the world of Young Adult.