Saturday, March 12, 2016

I Got a Yes

I've been trying to get my picture books published for a few years. I keep toiling away, messing with a each word until I'm finally satisfied that the book delivers just the right giggle at just the right moment. I've sent nearly a hundred queries to agents and editors so far.

So far, I've collected a bunch of NOs.

Still, I write. I wake every morning at 5 AM and keep that first hour of my day clutter-free and dedicate it to my writing in some way. I'll work on a new draft or write a slice of life like I'm doing now, or research where to send my latest manuscript.

While I'm still trying to get one of my manuscripts transformed into a book, I also started to write essays. Each of them has always been a slice first, a quick sketch on an early morning here on my whateverings blog. Then the idea sits with me all day and I think, "That's good enough for a wider audience."

So I toil away, pick at the essay and think about my reflections and work on it some more on the following mornings. Two years ago I sent a 430 word essay called "Windstorm" to a local magazine and they accepted it. I was beyond thrilled! My best friend framed it--my name on the byline for the very first time! And then I submitted another one to the same magazine, they accepted it, and I got paid for it! Wow.

Then I got curious: where else could I write? Two weeks ago I wrote here about my worst moment ever as a mom--I broke a door out of anger and frustration and depression in front of my kids--and worked on that with the goal of sending it to The Washington Post. I sent a quick email with a succinct pitch to the editor. She zinged right back with a "send the whole essay" response. I contemplated waiting a while to send it so I could live in the hopeful world of "maybe" a little while longer. But I didn't. I sent it to her.

Then I went to pick up my son from my good friend's house, where he was playing with her son. I stood in her kitchen when my phone sounded, telling me that I had just gotten an email. I checked it. It was a yes! My essay was accepted!

YESSSSS!

I find the format and community here at Two Writing Teachers just the right spot for testing out ideas, dipping my toes in the waters of a particular subject, and for that I'm so very grateful.

8 comments:

  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a big deal! I don't know you but I am so proud of you! I have similar dreams of publishing and when I hear of a success like yours I just get the biggest smile! Thank you for sharing this awesome story! Way to go! You must post your article when it comes out!

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  2. CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a big deal! I don't know you but I am so proud of you! I have similar dreams of publishing and when I hear of a success like yours I just get the biggest smile! Thank you for sharing this awesome story! Way to go! You must post your article when it comes out!

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  3. That's exciting! I am always amazed at how much work it is to get published, after all the work that goes into the writing.

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  4. Congratulations!!! I remember that slice about the door. I'm not surprised it got accepted. : )

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  5. Congratulations!!! I remember that slice about the door. I'm not surprised it got accepted. : )

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  6. Congratulations! That is wonderful news. I read a blog post from an editor that one of the ways in which men and women writers differ is that men are more apt to send writing to an editor when given positive encouragement, while women often don't take the initiative. It's something I'm working on in submitting work myself I'm so glad you didn't wait.

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    1. I took baby steps--got published in a local magazine first and then something bigger. But I'm glad to hear this about men and women writers...will make me want to take the initiative even more!

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  7. Yes, congratulations and I love the build up in this piece! I also agree that this forum lends a strength to your writing, a sense of community, caring community.

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