WAITING

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Waiting for responses can be so hard. In writing, it can be unBEARable (yeah, I just did that).

Why you ask? Well, we send our work off to an agent, editor, publishing company, somewhere, and we wait for a response. We HOPE for a “Yes! You’re work is incredible!” But we know the reality is we aren’t going to always hear that. In fact it can be quite rare. Many times, as I’ve personally discovered, and many writers have mentioned it happening to them, we NEVER hear back- not even a form rejection.

Let me give you some stats that I have over the past year from a picture book manuscript that went through a mentorship at Highlights Foundation, and left in sparking condition:

Sent to 35 agents, editors, small presses, and mentor/fellowships.

16 said no - 15 form rejections and 1 loved it but had to pass

13 no’s because of time, meaning they never replied, even after the three month nudge reminder

6 I am waiting to hear from

1 Revise and resubmit (I’ll be sending a friendly nudge soon)

That’s just ONE manuscript. There were to other PB MSs I sent out to a couple agents, but were either rejected or heard nothing. I did stop sending them after some critiques came back with the same issues. It also does not count the poems- single, groups, and chapbooks- that I’ve had rejected, as well as a couple short stories in the past year.

All told, I’ve had 35 rejections, and waiting to hear from 14.

It’s disheartening seeing those number. I was disheartened counting them. Twice. To make sure they are accurate.

The 29 that have said No to the one PB make me want to give up on it. It’s polished. It’s undergone some changes since April as two editors mentioned the same flaw, and both said how to fix it. One is whom I’m waiting for.

It makes you want to quit.

But, when you love something, and you believe in your work, you can’t. Ever.

So, you don’t. You keep at it and you just. Keep. Writing. And revising. And revising. And rev (okay, you get the point). And YOU SUBMIT AGAIN AND AGAIN!

Tomorrow is a big day.

It’s the reveal of a mentorship program for PB writers from #PBChat. The process of applying was incredible. Regardless of the outcome, it was a thought provoking application to fill out, one that has helped to push me along, and get me back into a writing groove (Even on here!). Tomorrow several PB authors (possible chapter book authors as one mentor was accepting them as well!).

I’ll just have to let you know.

But, for now, we’ll just have to wait.

How do you deal with waiting or with rejections? Let us know!

StoryStorm 2019

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I’ll be joining many others for StoryStorm.  For those that don’t know, StoryStorm is a challenge to come up with 30 picture book ideas in 31 days. Originally, it was called Picture Book Idea Month held in November, but creator Tara Lazar switched to to January a couple years ago to give everyone a fresh batch of story ideas to work with for the new year.

I first did StoryStorm back in 2015, when it was PiBoIdMo.  I have “won” the challenge each year, and some of those ideas have been turned into manuscripts. For the ideas that do not get turned into a manuscript, I keep them on file on my iPad, and also as a small booklet in my bag. 

I create a file on Scrivener for each year, with each idea following the same format:

Idea # 7


Characters:

Setting:

Problem:

Adventure:

Solved:

Notes:

I used to keep each as a separate notecard on scrivener, but putting them in one file is so much easier. From there, I just fill in the info that comes to mind when an idea slaps me on the back of the head.  The idea might just be a location, characters, or a problem.  I rarely end up with just one part filled in.  I usually get three of them filled in.  Many of my ideas come from Storybird.com For ideas that come from there, I write in the notes what pic it was.  On my account, I try to remember to favorite them so I can look back at them.  Sometimes I’ll e-mail myself a link for the pic.

 

Do you participate in StoryStorm?  Where do you get your ideas from?

NaNoWriMo? StoryStorm?

NaNoWriMo, StoryStorm, 12x12, ReForReMo, etcetera.

All worthwhile contests and events.  Do you participate in any?

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NaNoWriMo is one I’ve ‘entered’ many times, but never completed.  Most of the time, I set a goal of poems, and picture book manuscripts, and, in the distant past, getting in 50,000 words for fantasy novels.  I once hit 35,000 words, but that’s as close as I’ve gotten to 50K. I never hit my goals for poems AND PB manuscripts, but have hit for one or the other.  I’ve had word goals for early chapter books, and for middle grade fantasy books, but never came close to reaching them.  For me, getting in those high numbers are not a goal I want to really do.  It leaves me feeling like I’m just practicing writing, rather than going for quality.  Yes, I do practice writing, often, but doing this much in one month is not for me (anymore!).

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StoryStorm, formally called PiBoIdMo, is about creating thirty (PB) ideas in a month.  This, I love.  I’ve gotten so much joy out of reading different authors posts for how they get ideas, to perusing art work on line for inspiration, as well as doing a favorite ast time of mine- people watching. I’ve hit over thirty ideas each time, and will do this event year after year. Most of the ideas I get are for PBs, though I’ve also gotten ideas for CBs, MG, and YA.

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12x12 is Julie Hedlund’s 12x12 Picture Book Challenge. I did 12x12 for five years, but did not join last year. I may this year, but I’m not sure.  The goal is to write twelve picture book manuscripts in twelve months.  I’ve ‘won’ 12x12 four out of five years I was in it.  There are two levels of 12x12, with Gold being the highest.  A bonus of being a Gold level member, over the Silver level, is being able to submit to one of two featured agents each month, and having your PB being placed at the top of the slush pile.  A draw back is that I usually only get an actual rejection from about 60% of whomever I submit to.  I also have not submitted each month as both agents may not be for me when I research them.  It happens! 12x12 is also a cost for each of the levels, so that’s another consideration.  I didn’t join last year as I was saving money for a week long writing conference during the summer, and I may go there again. A plus of being a member is the AMAZING level of support you get from other writers as ALL levels from beginner to already published.

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ReForReMo is Reading For Research Month.  I signed up once, but I never completed it.  The idea is to read a book each day that can serve as a mentor text to help you with your own writing. There are daily posts all month long during the heat of the event, and weekly posts throughout the year.  It’s another great opportunity to help you learn to delve deeper into the craft of writing.

Did I miss any? Let me know!

What’s your favorite? Let us know!