Sunday, 1 June 2014

Pick me, pick me... Please?

You remember the feeling – the group dwindling down as each team captain choose their players, your desperate hope that you’ll be next, then pushing down your panic as your name is not called... I was absolutely rubbish at sports at school, so I got used to (quite rightly!) being one of the last couple to be picked – and that was okay.

It’s been a long time but here I am again, shouting (internally if not aloud) “Pick me, pick me... Please?”

So why now? Well, it’s thanks to spotting an opportunity on Writing While the Kids Sleep – a writing blog I've been reading for several months now. Thanks to Abigail for posting - she says she saw the opportunity on a online forum, and it's also on Twitter (which I don’t do – I chirrup enough in real life, so tweeting too would be overkill!) – the WoMentoring Project. Specifically for women writers (sorry, guys!) who are in need of a bit of free mentoring, you can apply (and reapply, if you don’t get picked first time) to the mentor of your choice. There are writers of all genres, literary agents and editors, just waiting to mentor you... 

And that’s where I perhaps (most probably...!) got a bit cocky, ’cause I applied to a literary agent...and then received a very warm and encouraging rejection. Yep, you read right – a rejection that is warm and encouraging. It does exist, and in the writing biz, that kind of rejection is a win of sorts...anyhoo, I digress.

For ten minutes, I was absolutely gutted, believing that I was the worst writer the world has ever seen... And then I got a grip. I realised that there might be various reasons why I hadn’t been picked, and none of them might be because I’m rubbish at the sport of writing (or, of course, it might. But I’m ignoring that possibility and cheerleading the others...!)

Just as in her day job, the literary agent in question might only have been interested in finished novels...and mine isn’t. Oops. She may also have had other submissions that are similar in style, theme or genre – and they might be finished. Double oops. She might feel the style, theme or genre I’ve chosen has been fully represented (I hope not!) and a fresh one is needed. Or she might have already made her selection, and I’m simply too late.

I’ll never know, but that’s okay. The fact that I can consider these other reasons and not die of the conviction that I’m the world’s worst writer is a HUGE step forward for me – several years ago, it would’ve taken me months to get over this and dredge up the confidence to apply again. 

But not now – now, I’ve taken the warm and encouraging literary agent’s advice and reapplied, this time choosing an author who is newly published. Perhaps my work isn’t quite ready for a literary agent yet; perhaps I need the advice and encouragement of a fellow writer first...

My application is sent, the acknowledgement email pinging immediately into my inbox. And now the wait...

Will she pick me? Please?

I’ll let you know what happens...

~ ttfn ~