I stumbled across VE Schwab’s blog today and noticed she’d been writing about writing for 10 years. I fell into a deep black hole of reading every single blog post, stalking her journey from completing the manuscript to finding an agent to getting a book deal to where she is now. It’s:
B) A flipping good idea.
I wondered why I don’t talk about writing. It can be a very lonely, time-consuming, isolated, you-don’t-understand-unless-you-do-it, kind of thing. But she met authors through blogging about writing; and I want to put myself out there, too, and say…
HELLO. I am a writer. And if you’re a writer, I’d love to chat. More writer friends, please and thank you. We can start a little group or you can just read these posts in silence and come forward when you’re ready, too.
But this is where I am:
In 2015, I started my current novel (and only my first completed novel – unless you count my 12-year-old self writing a long scrambled piece about a terrorist attack survivor honouring her dead parents by jumping off Niagara Falls and suriving –
yeah, let’s not talk about that). I finished it around last year before starting the second, third… and then fourth, draft. It’s called:
I Am Hostage.
I’m pretty proud of that title if I do say so myself. I think it came to me in one of those moments where you’re falling asleep but your mind is still searching through the archives of everything you wrote that day, and then I came up with a piece of dialogue in which my MC refers to herself as a ‘hostage’ and voila – I had the title of my book.
I don’t like to talk about what my book is about. I really, really hate it. I’ve told people in “real life” and they stand there, bat their eyelids at me and say 1 of 3 things:
- Wow – how did you come up with that? (I. DON’T. KNOW.)
- I would read that. Are you going to be the next JK Rowling?
And I’m not criticising these responses. They’re fine. But I would love if people were a little more interested, whether that was in a good or a bad way. For example:
A) That sounds unique/interesting/fun. Tell me more!
B) That sounds boring/confusing/weird. How are you going to carry out that plot?
And then, hey, we can talk about, and I won’t feel like you’re viewing me as this wishful thinking wanna-be novelist.
But – I will talk about it one day, in a post, on here, when I have the courage.
However, those who have read it have really, really loved it. Despite them all being members of family and therefore, at least a little bit unintentionally biased – I know my parents are honest creatures (let’s not deny it) and I do trust their opinion and feedback. (My dad’s feedback consumed almost 6 months of my life as I tried to navigate how to rewrite so much of the book.)
Anyway, now I’m here. With a finished manuscript, as good as it can get (I think) without professional eyeballs on it and so, I’m going to submit it.
I have chosen 104 agents whom I might send my manuscript to.
I’ve chosen my “long-list” (you might say) of those 104, and my “short-list”.
I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’ve read a ton of books about it; I’ve watched a ton of YouTube videos; I’ve stalked my favourite agents; I’m going to memorise their submission guidelines and obsess over every word before I hit send.
And then, I guess… I’m just going to see what happens.
I feel a million butterflies just thinking about it and I won’t lie – I fantasise every day about getting that email that might request my full manuscript, which might lead to a phone call saying, ‘We’d love to represent you!’ which would lead to a publishing deal which would read to people reading my words.
It’s a dream but I don’t think it’s that crazy.
After all, it’s what I love to do the most in this world.
So thanks for reading this stream of words and hi, hello, welcome to this journey, I’d love for you to stay & chat.
Find me on Instagram at @bethsbookshelf and we can talk there and maybe exchange details! 🎉