|Lucky elephant can be purchased here|
If you've tried to hook an agent or an editor without traction, don't take this as a sign to close shop and give up. Instead take it as an invitation to try things in a different manner.
PART ONE: ideas on how you can get out the rut that has left you without a book deal;
PART TWO: thirteen motivational quotes on determination.
Consider adding the following to your arsenal of ideas:
- Join or start a critiquing group. You can start slow and join one of the many online critiquing groups, or you can take out an ad in a trade publication;
- Attend a writer's conference. The SCBWI offers local and international conferences for children's book writers. Mystery writers can enjoy a conference offered by MWA, and Romance writers as well as many other genre specific writers can experience a great event through Writer's Digest annual conference;
- Participate in schmoozes. Many writer's organizations offer free monthly or quarterly schmoozes. Topics include: creating compelling characters; writing query letters; first pages; etc.;
- Read more books in your genre. If you want to write books for middle grade readers, read more books in that genre;
- Ask your local librarian what needs are not being fulfilled;
- Read a current craft book;
- Attend a workshop;
- Visit professional help sites like Dryden Books or The Purple Crayon to possibly engage in one of their service offerings;
- Participate in a webinar. Travel is expensive, whereas a webinar is an event in which you can participate from the comfort of your living room. Google "writer's webinars" to find current listings;
- Subscribe to a trade magazine to keep your creativity juices pumping;
- Get business savvy and read blogs as well as Do's and Don't's Lists. There are a lot of blogs on how to write a query letter. Make sure your query letter follows guidelines. Make sure your manuscript is professionally formatted and ensure your word count is appropriate for the genre (i.e. I doubt a publisher would consider a 3000 word picture book when the word count limit is generally 500-1000 words max);
- Participate in events to keep ideas fresh. For example you can visit Julie Hedlund's blog and learn how to participate in her 12x12 event for picture book writers. Here you will receive critiques and attention from some of the top agents in the industry;
- Participate in online chat groups centered around your writing interest. Twitter offers great forums like #kidlitchat , #yalitchat and #indiechat. You simply set up a Twitter account, and enter #kidlitchat in the search to see when the chat groups meets (the kid lit group meets on Tuesday evenings at 6pm Pacific Time and 9 PM Eastern Standard Time);
- Don't give up. I can't believe that a dream would be placed in your heart if you were not meant to pursue it, so read the "perseverance" quotes below and stay motivated. This is your year!
|Read books in your genre|
|Participate in Julie Hedlund's event 12x12!!!|
1. Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. - Newt Gingrich
2. Others can stop you temporarily - you are the only one who can do it permanently. - Zig Ziglar
3. Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
4. The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination.
- Tommy Lasorda
- Tommy Lasorda
5. The difference in winning and losing is most often not quitting. - Walt Disney
6. The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. - C C Scott
7. Constant dripping hollows out a stone. - Lucretius
8. It's hard to beat a person that never gives up. - Babe Ruth
9. The train to success usually runs on the track of determination. - Poh Yu Khing
10. If you have the will to win, you have achieved half your success; if you do not, you have achieved half your failure. - David Ambrose
11. You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. - Margaret Thatcher
12. You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction. - George Lorimer
13. J.K. Rowling had twelve rejections, but she persevered…it’s when she tried her thirteenth publishing house that she got her yes!