Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Writer's Journey


I wrote my first book four and a half years ago, sent out my first query soon after and received my first rejection not a few days later. Since that first query I have wrote nine complete manuscripts, queried five and received another 207 rejections. You can throw in some full request and partials but in the end they all added up to rejection. Giving up was never an option for me. Writing is my passion and whether I'd be able to find someone who believed in me or not, I wasn't going to stop.

Eventually I joined Ladies Who Critique and met Kelley. We exchanged manuscripts and from that moment on I had no idea how I ever thought I could make it without a CP. And now CP's.

On 11/11/11 I made a wish at 11:11. It was supposed to be the luckiest day of the year. I wished I would get an agent. Two hours later I got a request for my full and three hours later I was laid off from my job. The job I had been at for ten years. Two weeks later I got another rejection.

Unemployment gave me time to focus on my writing. Even though I hated the fact I felt like I wasn't contributing to society, I realized what I always knew. I wanted to write for a living. Unfortunately the rejections were still coming in and I needed a job.

In April I started my new job and then on June 3rd I got an email from Brittany Booker. She worked for an agent I had queried and was interested in my manuscript. A manuscript I loved so much but gave up on. I emailed her back letting her know I still was not repped and would love for her to take a look. Days past with no answer. On July 6th I emailed her to follow up. She never received my email and told me to resend. I resent and waited. Because you all know, a writers journey is filled with waiting. She was quick though.

On July 11th I got my 209th rejection. But wait. It wasn't actually a rejection. It was a rewrite resubmit with awesome feedback. I immediately threw myself into revision hell. I touched on all the points she mentioned, adding scenes, cutting out an entire chapter, amping up the chemistry. I sent it out to all my amazing CP's. I got all their feedback and jumped back into revisions. August 16th I sent it back with fingers crossed and a racing heart.

October 17th I was driving when I got this gut urge to read my email. I don't advise this. There in my inbox was one email from Brittany. I stared out the window, eyes on the road, too scared to look. I had been rejected 209 times, but this time was different. I stopped querying because I had a good feeling about Brittany. She basically picked me out of the trash. I took a deep breath and looked. Again I don't advise this. And there looking back at me was her answer.

She loved the rewrite and wanted to rep me. I banged the steering wheel, I cried, I laughed. I called my mom. Of course where I was I had no service and she could barely hear what I was saying, but she was able to make out I have an agent. On Friday I made it official.

I, Theresa Paolo, have an agent. I can't believe I can say that. But I can. And it's because I never gave up. I'm not going to lie, I got discouraged as I watched my friends progressing in their writing careers while I was stuck at a standstill. Thrilled for them, upset with myself. But even if I wanted to throw in the towel I don't think they would ever let me. I owe them more than they will ever know.

So please, don't give up. If you have strength and determination you will make it. As I like to say, sometimes you have to walk through the s%^& to get to the flowers.

Now it's time to change my bio from undiscovered to discovered. WOOHOO!!!!!
Oh and because It's official I made an author Facebook page. Please go like me.

30 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm so going to steal that picture to put on my blog announcement for you! :D

    I'm so thrilled to be agent sisters with you! You will love Brittany, she's AH-MAZ-ING!

    Congrats again, my dear! I can't wait for the world to meet Zach and Lizzie :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations! I saw Brittany's announcement, and I've been waiting to hear the story. So exciting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. WOOHOO. I'm so excited for you. LOVE your story and your characters. I can't wait to hold your book in my hands and meet you in person so you can sign it. (We will meet in person one day!) Congratulations my dear!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You told me at the start of this year, that this was our year. My gosh were you ever right!

    Not only will Lizzie and Zach be loved by all but your readers are going to LOVE every story you write. You have a gift for this lady. You and Brittany are going to take the publishing world by storm!

    So, so proud and happy for you. And SO pumped I was there for most of this journey. (And I will be for the rest ;))

    ReplyDelete
  5. Congrats!!! This proves that you should never give up on your dream :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Woo hoo! Congrats Theresa! Now I just need to read more of your stuff :) <3 KSB!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Congratulations! Such an exciting moment!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am so so so happy for you! Can't wait to read the final version!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is fantastic news!!!! Congrats, and I'm so stoked that your perseverence paid off!! High five! :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congratulations! Enjoy exciting times ahead :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congratulations! Your journey is so inspiring and I'm glad you've got what you wanted! :) Keep up your amazing determination!

    ReplyDelete
  12. OMG CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so so so happy for you! *confetti*

    ReplyDelete
  13. Congratulations Theresa!!!!!!! so excited for you :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. CONGRATULATIONS!!! That's such a big step!!! Good luck!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love your 11/11/11/11/11 story! I don't know if you've read my 11:11 stories on my blog, but I am a firm believer in signs. 11 means something awesome (I can't write it all out here because its too long but its on my blog). Congrats and may you continue to find success on your journey!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Woo hoO! Super congrats! And what a great story!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Congrats Theresa. Never give up truly paid off for you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Enjoyed how you told this, such frustration and elation wrapped up together--lovely ending...wait, no--a lovely new beginning for you!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Such an amazing story. Hope you go the rest of the way!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wahoo! Congratulations, Theresa! Have fun along the way! :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. What awesome news!!!
    Best of luck! :D

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congratulations! That is so awesome! I love hearing these kinds of stories. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Congratulations! May you go from strength to strength.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you everyone! I appreciate all the kind words.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sounds like we've had similar journeys--HUGE congrats!!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Celebrate. Congrats. You deserve it.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Congrats! What an amazing tribute to never giving up. I wish you tons of luck!

    ReplyDelete