Chasing my crazy dream in the writing world…

Monday Musings: It Only Takes One Yes November 24, 2014




386,196 (estimated-but close)


Number of words I’ve written over the last four years.




Total number of manuscripts queried




Total days in the query trenches (UGH!)


48 (estimated)


Number of  times people told me it, “It only takes one yes.”




Number of times I wanted to scream when I heard above saying.


Why am I sharing this? Because when I was in the query trenches the last thing I wanted to hear about was that elusive “yes” waiting for me. After so many rejections, those words, while said with good intentions, lost their meaning. Now I want to swallow back every one of those screams, and give a huge bear hug to each person who said that to me, because they were right.


Here’s the reality of it all. Each query sent, and rejection received, feels like a small stab in the heart. After a while you begin to believe it will NEVER happen for you. That magical email will NEVER appear in your inbox. As someone once aptly posted, “you’ll never get to join the adults table where all the agented and/or published writers sit.”


Well I’m here to tell you, you are WRONG!


I’m not saying your “yes” is going to happen tomorrow. Or next week. Or even next year. But I truly believe if you keep writing. Improving your craft. Connecting with other writers. Letting new critique partners look at your work. IT will happen one day. I’m a living testament to that.


There were so many times I wanted to give up. Querying felt like a roller coaster. In one day I got FIVE full requests. A week later, guess what? FIVE rejections. And then guess what happened? One of my critique partners signed with an agent. Then a few days later, another got a book deal. What did I do?  I celebrated with them. Sent them virtual hugs. I was so happy for them. But when the celebrations were over, I cried and then screamed. I even wanted to toss my laptop in the dumpster. It wasn’t that I was angry or jealous, I just wanted my own “yes.”


How did I get through it? I kept writing. Pushing myself to try new things. Going to conferences. Making connections in publishing. Working, writing, and sharing all my hopes and fears on this blog. All of it I believe contributed to me connecting with an agent.


Yes, it’s true. You’ll hear stories about people writing one manuscript, sending two queries, and getting an agent. But I’m here to tell you, that is NOT REALITY. Research some of your favorite authors. You’ll see how often they were rejected. Learn how many times, even if they were agented, their books didn’t sell. Find out some are on their second or even third agent. What separates them from other aspiring authors? They NEVER gave up. They kept writing. But most of all they kept believing their “yes” was in the shadows waiting for the right time to appear.


So if you’re in the trenches right now, or pulling back after an unsuccessful push, take a deep breath. Even step away from the computer if need be and think about your goals. Can you live each and every day without expressing yourself via writing? If so, then maybe it’s time to stop. But if you get up every morning itching to touch the keyboard, new characters begging you to bring them to life, then get back to work. Continue planning and plotting. Keep believing your “yes” is coming. You just have to put your head down, focus on your goal, and most of all keep writing!










10 Responses to “Monday Musings: It Only Takes One Yes”

  1. emilygmoorewriter Says:

    Thanks for this post. It couldn’t have been better timed. Cheers to that elusive yes for everyone!

  2. lwreyes Says:

    I needed this today. Really. I’ve been at this for eight years now. I’ve had three books published with small presses, for which I am deeply grateful. But not only haven’t I made any money, I’m in the hole thousands of dollars from trying to promote my own books. My dream is to get an agent and publish with someone who will actually pay me to write. I have collected not dozens, but hundreds of rejections. And I’ve wanted to quit more times than I care to admit. But I will say that in that time I have managed to write 17 books, and each one gets better and better, which means I get closer and closer to my dream. But strangely, that dream is not quite as important as it used to be. I am now publishing – my books and other people’s books who I believe deserve to be seen. And I get a lot of pleasure from the whole process. I still believe that one day I’ll get that agent and publishing contract, but I also believe that it’s not the end all for me anymore. I really do have other options, and maybe one of those is the right one for me.

  3. Thank you! Waiting is hard. I’m in a waiting phase and need to hear this as volunerable as it makes you feel to share. I am very grateful to have amazing people like you to keep sharing the struggle process and showing the steps are all forward even when they don’t feel that way.

  4. katz Says:

    How many times did you hear “you’re a winner already because you wrote a book?”

  5. Ben Says:

    Nice. Congrats.

  6. Great post! It’s just what I needed at this point in my journey. Blessings and success to you!

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