Friday, May 27, 2011

Keep Going.

I'm not sure why I wanted to post this today, but I just had a feeling I needed to.

I started writing, just to write. To get the stories in my head down on paper. I loved the feel of creating a new world. Throwing characters into that world to see how they handled things. I never even thought about getting a book published, until my husband and sister told me to try. I am very surprised at myself that I even decided to try at all. I've never been one to put myself out there. I had no writing friends, or critique group. I had no idea what a query letter even was. I just wrote a silly book because I loved writing. No one would even read it, so why did I continue to write things down?

I was a great excuse maker, obviously. Because the excuses all come down to this. I never thought I would be good enough to publish a book. Honestly, I still don't. I don't write pretty descriptions. My prose is not beautiful. I have a hard time with setting. There are a hundred things I could name that I don't like about my writing. BUT, I do love the stories that I write. I love my characters. Each and every one. They are a part of me, and who wouldn't want to share something they loved with the world?

The idea of anyone besides my sister reading my book scared me to death. But, I felt that need. The need to try. The need to hold my own book in my hands someday and see my name in print. I thought, maybe if I tried my hardest, put myself out there and learned more of the craft, maybe my dreams of getting published would come true. So I queried. And queried. Polished, and revised. Learned several things I was doing wrong from my critique partner, and revised again. Made some writing friends. Researched writing. Researched agents, and queried some more.

Then I got the call. Never in my life had I felt so happy and scared at the same time. I still can't believe I have an agent who loves my work just as much as I do. I can't believe he believed in me enough to take me on as a client. I mean, come on. It's ME! Why would anyone want to take me on? I'm a nobody.

But, really? I am somebody. Having him love my work made me realize that I am good enough. Getting an agent was just the beginning in my writing journey. It is so much work, but I have loved every minute of it. I love revising. I love reading new scenes that make my book better. And I realized something else. I can do this publishing thing. I'm not setting my expectations super high, because this business is SO competitive. BUT, I do know that my agent believes in me, and my family and friends do too. And someday, when I get a book deal, I'll have so many people to thank. Writing is a solitary process, but you can't do it alone. You have to have support. You have to have someone else to believe in you. And if you don't? Shoot me an e-mail. I love all my writer friends. I love congratulating them on their successes. I love seeing them succeed. The writing community is so supportive. I know I wouldn't be where I am today without them.

So, if you ever feel like giving up, don't. If you love writing as much as I do, keep going.Write for yourself, because you love it. Because you enjoy it. And if nothing in this post makes any sense, just remember this one thing...

Don't ever think you aren't good enough. You are.

20 comments:

Renee Collins said...

Great post. Great words, Chantele. :)

I was actually thinking of writing an introspective, pensive post like this. I'm not surprised you and I both have this topic on the mind. ;)

Patti said...

Inspired words, it's so easy to give up and get down on yourself, but sometimes all it takes are a few kind words to keep us going.

Shallee said...

Thanks for this wonderful, inspiring post! It's good to hear encouragement from other writers-- we're in this together. :)

Kasie West said...

I'm kind of like you. I never thought it would ever happen and I also have this huge problem with rejection. It paralyzes me. Back in the day, I wouldn't even try out for the high school play because I was afraid I wouldn't make it. So I surprised myself when I decided to pursue this publishing thing, considering it's FULL of rejection. But pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone is definitely a growing, rewarding experience.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Awww, I love this post. It's so true that we need support from others - and this writing community definitely gives that support. I can't wait to get to know you better in the next few months - and your writing. I'll bet it's fantastic and you're going to go far. :)

Nisa said...

That is so great! So inspiring! :)

Melanie Stanford said...

Great post. It's always nice to hear other people who go through the same struggles. Good luck to you and to all of us!

Ruth Josse said...

Beautiful post, Chantele. I think a lot of writers go through this same journey. Getting over that hump of believing you are good enough is a particularly hard part. Probably the most difficult part of my journey.

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

Beautiful, Chantele. I love this. We all need this reminder sometimes.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Wonderful post! Now if I could just believe that about myself. *sigh*

Kathryn said...

I needed this today. Thank you. :)

Sierra Gardner said...

Thanks for your post! Sometimes it's so easy to tear ourselves down. Thanks for reminding us to believe in ourselves and our ability to write something other people will want to read.

Chaleese said...

You're amazing my sister. I'm so proud of you! I believe in you-always have. :)

Kari Marie said...

I've never encountered a community of people who are so supportive of one another. Writers. Are. Awesome. This post is another stellar example. Thanks for the inspiring post. You put a smile on my face, and I'm positive you've reached someone who really needed to hear that today.

Lana said...

That must be the best feeling! And I'm so excited for you. That's one of the things I love about the writing community. We all understand what it's like and when something happens (getting an agent, getting published) we can all share in the success and excitement :)
Congrats again. OF COURSE someone else loved your book, and many more people will, too.

Jeigh said...

Man, I should have read this before my pity shower this morning! Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is exactly what I needed to hear today. You're awesome and I can't wait to read your books!

L.J. said...

Awesome post, Chantele! It's so good to hear success stories. I think that is one of the things that keeps me going. Like you, I've told myself time and again. I don't have a chance. But I write anyway. I figured out that I'm going to continue writing no matter what because that is what I love to do. Thanks for this inspirational post!

Morris Lewis said...

It's so easy to get discouraged before actually getting published. That really seems to be the key for most people though, writing just for its own sake, without overthinking or worrying about what will get published. So far, if I can force myself to sit down and put black on white, I'm happy with what comes out of it.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Thank you so much for all of your comments! You guys are the best!!

Becky Taylor said...

Hi Chantele, I just found your blog. What a wonderful post!