Wednesday, May 23, 2012

When Your Journey Takes a Detour



When I started this crazy writing journey, I always imagined getting an agent and then a book deal with a big publishing house. I never thought I'd get a huge deal or anything, but I would have been happy with whatever.

Little did I know, things didn't work out that way. My journey has been so different than what I expected. I did get an agent. I was so happy and excited when my book went on submission. But when it didn't sell, and my agent decided to pull it, I got a little down. Actually, a lot down. There were several factors involved when it came to leaving my agent. It still makes me sad, but it was right for me and my book.

After that whole thing, I thought about small presses. I'd never thought about them before. It wasn't part of my plan. What about the big book deal? The tours? The beautiful hardcovers I was supposed to have? I had to change my focus and think realistically. I had hope that my book was special enough. And even though a big book deal would have been nice, I just wanted people to be able to read it. So I submitted it to a small press I'd heard good things about. And two days later I had an offer. They have been awesome to work with and I couldn't be happier with the way my book has turned out.

What I'm trying to say, is this. Things sometimes don't work out the way you think they will. I always had one goal. A big publisher. A nice advance. But it wasn't supposed to happen that way for me. Obviously. And that's okay. There are so many ways to get our books out there now days. Do whatever works for YOU. As for my journey, I'm working on other books and will do the whole query thing again. I want an agent and I still would love to see my books on bookstore shelves. Sometimes you just have to take a little detour to start your career. I did. And I couldn't be happier. Maybe I'll land a great agent someday and get into bookstores. Maybe not. Either way, I'm enjoying the ride.

Has your writing career taken a different turn than you expected?

20 comments:

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Sometimes I think when we think we only have one path we limit our success. Keeping our eyes and hearts open to the other possibilities keeps us available when opportunity knocks. Even if it's a small press with a nice staff :)

prerna pickett said...

things never work out the way you think they will. We need to make room for changes.

Sharon Bayliss said...

Good post! Things didn't happen for me the way I expected either. But I believe that fate (or God or whatever) leads to where I'm meant to be.

Peggy Eddleman said...

It is so important to be open to where your journey SHOULD take you, instead of being stuck on where YOU think it should go! That is such a hard thing to accept sometimes. You, my friend, are such an inspiration! Taking that detour can take a LOT of guts! I love that you had the guts to adjust your plans, because that's what you felt was right. And I'm so excited for your book!

Patti said...

It's taken a lot longer than I originally thought, but that's okay. And I think that hearing about what others are doing has opened my mind to more possibilities.

S.P. Bowers said...

My grandmother has a favorite quote, "It is the artful duty of the woman to adapt gracefully". If there is anything life has taught me it is that nothing turns out like I expected. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's harder but always I have to deal with it, whatever it is. Right now the hard thing in my writing journey is that it has taken so long. But that's what I needed to learn and grow. Shrug, it is what it is.

Ruth Josse said...

You, my dear Chantele, are awesome. This is only a step in the journey. A pretty great step, at that! Who knows what will happen next? But only you will know what is right for you at that moment. As for me, I'm still trying to figure what in the heck I'm doing. :)

Kyra Lennon said...

Wise words! When I was younger I thought the whole getting published thing would be easy, but I took a long break from writing, and when I came back I saw the reality was a lot different to the way I imagined.

Like you, I just want my stories to be read, so I am happy to follow any path that takes me there!

Leslie Pugh said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm so new to being part of the writing world that I'm learning more and more about who different the publication process can be for different writers. I recently listened to an author Jonathan Evison talk about his experience with being with a smaller publisher (can't remember exactly how he classified them but much smaller than the big 6) and how he loves it and they were the right fit for him and his stories. I think you were smart to go on a detour and find what is right for you and your story.

Jenny Morris said...

You have been an inspiration to me. A reminder that there isn't just one path. And like you said before this path is what is right for you and your family at this time in your life.

SOOO excited for your book.

Katie Dodge said...

You are so awesome blossom! I'm feeling like a proud mama today!!! SO HAPPY for you and your brave self for taking a detour, but making it still happen. You are being published for crying out loud! Whoot!!!! :D

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Everyone dreams of the big agent and big publisher and big book deal, but those happen far less often than most people realize. A small press is still a great deal. And it could lead to bigger things!

Stephanie McGee said...

Nothing in life goes as planned or expected. That's something the universe delights in reminding me of. As for the writing career, nothing's gone as expected only because nothing's gone anywhere and I haven't set up any expectations.

Meredith said...

This writing journey is definitely very different from what I expected, and it's taken a lot longer. But I've learned so much, and I think that's what counts. Good luck!

Kelley Lynn said...

I was so naive coming into this, it most definitely has turned out different. :)

But its by no means a bad thing :)

Jess said...

I came in with very few expectations and have learned a lot--some things have tempered my expectations even more, and some things have led me to be hopeful. I still feel like I'm in the learning-my-craft stage (not that you ever stop learning). I take comfort in the fact that one of my favorite authors, RL LaFevers, went through 8 years of writing and learning and writing before landing her first deal. There's so much support out here to be grateful for, too :)

Nicole said...

This is wonderful advice, and I so appreciate your great outlook on your own writing journey. Thanks!

elizabeth seckman said...

I went small press and honestly...I have NO regrets. That blockbuster book deal would have been nice, but in chatting with mid list writers who were in big houses, they seemed to be lost in the shuffle. At me small press, the publisher is one phone call away...and that's great for a tentative newbie like myself!

Shallee said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Chantele. It's funny how life never goes how we plan, but somehow turns out right for us anyway. I'm glad your path is working out great for you!

Angela Cothran said...

I'm excited to read your book no matter how it comes to me :)