Today's post is courtesy of Elana Johnson's Never Surrender Blog Fest to celebrate the release of her sophomore novel, Surrender. Possession was awesome and I'm sure Surrender will be too.
About the blogfest:
All you have to do is blog about a time you didn't surrender. Trained for a marathon? Queried agents? Had to study for an entrance exam? I'm looking for inspirational stories that you have experienced. Hard things you've accomplished because you didn't give up. I want to be inspired by you!
Anyone who blogs this week for the theme can enter to win one of three $15 B&N gift cards. Everyone who blogs this week will receive a SURRENDER swag package.
Don’t blog? Put the cover of Surrender up on your FB wall, or pin it on Pinterest, or change your twitter avatar to the cover. Use the words “Never Surrender” somewhere to go with the picture, and link back to this post.
When have I never surrendered?
I've always wanted to be a writer. Always. I still remember the first story I wrote. It was an awful and complete mess but I had been so proud of it! It had been all of five pages too, if I remember correctly.
The first full length novel that I wrote I started in the 6th grade. Literally wrote some of it during class. Sh, don't tell my mom.
It took me forever to finish it, mostly because I took long breaks from it (read: years). I ended up not finishing it until almost nine years later. It took me FOREVER but I was done.
I edited it and polished it and sent out queries. Lots of queries. Lots of rejections.
So I edited and polished it some more. Posted my query several places for feedback. Some authors mentioned that they thought the premise was more MG than YA.
Had an online pitch session with an agent. Agent suggested the same thing.
Took the suggestion to heart. Rewrote the story as MG.
Edited, polished. Wrote other stories. Actually, wrote other stories throughout the entire process. Had some of the other stories published.
I haven't started to query this particular story more yet because although I'm calling it upper MG, I think parts of it are still reading as YA, not MG. It's not ready yet. I know now that the agents had been right to reject the story I had sent them. It wasn't ready yet. It's still not. I won't make the same mistake of querying a story before it's ready again.
Will this story ever see the light of day? I hope so. It means so much to me. But I realize now that it might not be the one to get me an agent and I'm ok with that. I have more stories to write. And I can write much faster now. Twice now, I've written a 80K novel in one month.
Somewhere along the way, I became a writer.
Never give up on your dreams. Never surrender. To say you only die once is a lie. If you give up on your dreams before you achieve them, a part of you has already died.
When have you never surrendered?