08 May You Gotta Be In It To Win It
In the spirit of last week’s inspirational posts, and thanks to my LDStorymakers conference-high (I said conference high; I got with the program.), I have one last bit of inspirational wisdom to share.
So, you gotta be in it to win it. Why is Michelle talking about the Lottery?
Wait, is Michelle saying that I have a greater chance of winning the lottery than I do of getting published??
Wait, why is Michelle talking in the third person???
Oh yeah, she does that when she’s exhausted. But it’s really annoying. Totally. Ok, switch it up. Done. (I don’t know for sure, but that may have been a conversation between two Michelles talking to themselves in the third person(s?), also known as the 6th people).
Ehneewayyy, I (Michelle) don’t know the exact odds, but I’m going to guess that it’s not true. You know, that thing about it being harder to get published than to win the lottery. Maybe close, but not quite true.
But the point—yes, believe it or not there is a point—is that with both of them, you gotta be in it to win it.
So where is this coming from? Well, as I said, I just got home from LDStorymakers conference (which was awesome, thanks for having me) and I requested a bunch of material from people I met there—in pitches, in the hallways, on the elevators, and so on.
But get this: my conference experience has been that less than half the people I request material from will actually send it.
But, but…but I’m dying to get a request to send a partial to an agent.
I know you are. But still, less than half the people will actually send me the material I requested.
In fact, let me tell you the sad tale of Jessie.
Jessie sat at my table at dinner on Friday night and said, “I’m pitching to you tomorrow.” I said, “Great! Looking forward to it.”
Jessie and I then proceeded to have (what I thought was) a really great time at dinner with one of my clients, Kasie West, sitting between us and a bunch of other conference attendees at our table.
We laughed, we told stories, etc. etc.
Saturday arrives, pitches are going fast and furious, and my timekeeper comes in to tell me that the next person canceled and I have a break.
It just so happens that the person right before had given an excellent pitch and I’d rushed her out. So I said call her back if you can catch her. And we spoke for 10 more minutes. (Brief aside: please note, I didn’t instantly jump at the chance for that 10 minute break although I do value my break time. I’m there to meet writers and I’m excited to do so.)
But later I looked more closely at the name of the person who had stood me up and—you guessed it—it was Jessie.
Holy crap, I thought. I guess she really didn’t like me!!
So later, I saw Jessie with Kasie and some of the others. “What happened???” I cried.
Actually, that’s a total lie. I didn’t do that.
I whispered to Kasie that Jessie had stood me up. I said I wondered what happened. Kasie gave me a look like I know we’re all totally ridiculous but we’re authors and we can’t help ourselves and said that Jessie thought she had offended me the night before.
Um, can we say totally stunned??
Without bothering with the details (I know, totally unlike me but this story is getting kind of long), I will say that I confronted Jessie (keep in mind it was the end of the conference and I was kind of exhausted, and I might have yelled a little bit) and told her she was COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS!!!!!
We’d had a great time at dinner. Because I didn’t 100% agree with her on one comment she thought I was offended?? She’s a lawyer for goodness sake. She argues with people for a living. And we didn’t even argue.
Just cut out the ridiculousness, people. Please.
What is the worst that can happen? I won’t like your book and won’t represent you. But if you never tell me about it, then you’ll never know. If you never send it to me, you’ll never know.
Only you can decide if you believe in yourself and your writing enough to honestly, actively pursue publication. But if that’s the path you’re taking, then don’t let stupid stuff stand in your way.
Agents WANT new clients. Agents want AMAZING new clients. Maybe that’s you. Maybe not. But if you don’t send your manuscript out when an agent requests it, then you’ll never know if that amazing new client could have been you.
Don’t stand in your own way.
You gotta be in it to win it.