The Big Jump

So today I did something CRAZY. It was insane. I really probably shouldn’t have done it. Someone should have stopped me. OK. You can’t un-ring a bell, so I’m just going to say it. I set a meeting with an agent and an editor. That’s right—when I go to RWA in July I will be meeting with an agent and an editor to pitch them my novel.

That silence you hear is me sitting and staring blankly at the computer screen when that window that read ‘appointment set’ flashed on my screen. I got caught up, you see. The RWA members that placed in the Golden Heart contest got first dibs, then PRO and PAN members, and then general membership. I figured that by today there would be so many slots taken up that I better try immediately to get my name down or I might not have a chance at all.

Turns out I was both right and wrong. Editor appointments seemed to have been filled so quickly that I went through several selections before I found a window of time that worked. It’s important to remember if you’re a newbie out there (well newer than me anyway) that you cannot just pitch to anyone. The line, publisher, editor, agent must all be looking for material that your novel fits. If not, it doesn’t matter if you’ve written the next Gone with the Wind, if that agent is only looking YA, you’re out of luck in that meeting.

If it goes well in July, I’ll post about the meetings and reveal the identities of who I am meeting with. Until then, I figure I better not jinx myself. In the meantime I will be doing LOTS of research on the agent and editor and making sure that my work fits their niche.

Confirming these appointments is a big step for me. It’s a big step for any new writer. I feel so official. I also want to run away and hide and say “I’ll try again next year.” A year and a half seems such a comfortable distance right now. Nine weeks, or 75 days seems crazy. Finish this manuscript in 75 days? Really? Well, the words “The End” are already written but there’s much work to be done! Maybe it will never be perfect but I can get it a lot closer. I have moved onto the couch of a coffee shop for eight hours a day to ensure this. OK my stomach hurts now so I’m going to move on to think about something else. My characters are eating beignets and drinking Louisiana coffee with chicory–probably because that’s what I would like to be doing right now.

Tell me, gentle readers, have you ever taken a big career leap that felt scary? If you are a writer, what happened the first time you did a professional writing pitch? I will be doing my first and most important two in the same day! I could use your advice!

Until Next Time,
~V

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