I stared at the email, half-expecting it to somehow morph into a rejection, but no. It was still a contract offer. Letting out a yelp, I snatched my cell phone to call my husband. Later that same day, after opening another email, I would call him back to share more joy. It was a writer’s dream, and it was all mine. In a single day I’d landed a two-book offer and an agent. Barbara Scott of Wordserve Literary would negotiate the contract for DawnSinger and Wayfarer, books one and two of my epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven. Peace and a quiet joy washed over me. It was as if something out of alignment in my life had slid resoundingly into place.
So how did I reach this enviable position? It came through sacrifice, long hours and pain. I had to develop a focus on writing as a career and work toward my goals no matter what anyone else thought. That’s not to say that my family didn’t support me. They did. But the sometimes-deafening silence that emerging authors hear from the publishing world sends a message, whether intended or not: You don’t matter. Against this silence, a writer can consider herself fortunate to receive a rejection. In the face of such discouragement, it’s hard to keep going, but that’s what you have to do. I can’t teach that piece of the puzzle. It has to come from within.
Would I do this all again? Yes, without a doubt. I’d tackle things differently, though. It wouldn’t take me so long to believe in myself and my writing, for one thing. I’d embrace my journey instead of pining to reach the destination. I’d study the writing craft sooner. And I’d never, ever let anyone tell me what I can’t do.
©2014 by Janalyn Voigt