A few weeks ago, I got a new book in the mail. That’s really not unusual, but this is a book I’ve been wanting for quite a while. When the book finally arrived in the mail, I was excited. Not the we’re-having microwave-chicken-pot-pies-for-dinner kind of excitement (although those do make me happy), but more of a this-feels-so-strange kind of excitement. Actually, it almost felt scary. What book did I receive? Behold this beauty:
Boom. Nice, isn’t it? Of course, I immediately posted a picture of the book on Facebook, announcing how I would be spending my Wednesday afternoon. I happily spent some time flipping through pages upon pages of agents, publishers, magazine companies, and more. ‘Twas beautiful.
To answer a question you may (or may not) be asking: No, I’m not submitting anything for publication. Yet. But here’s what I am doing: I’m learning about the market. I’m learning how the whole agent representation thing works, what publishers are looking for, and how you go about putting all of that knowledge into action.
I’m also working on a book proposal.
See, I’ve got that novel that I’ve been working on for a while now, and I’m in the third-draft stage (I’m currently planning on four drafts total). Revisions get kind of tedious after a while, so I decided to break up all of that by working on other things like a summary, a synopsis, a blurb (like what you’d find on the back of a book), and other stuff. I’m quickly discovering that those things are way easier to talk about than they are to create.
If you’ve ever come up to me and asked what my story was about, you probably got an “Um, well, it’s about this…this…girl…” response. That’s because it’s hard for me to summarize around 70,000 words worth of action in a sentence. Now, I could just tell you it’s a story about love and loss…and that would be true. But how generic is that? I mean, The Hunger Games deal with issues of love and loss (definitely more loss than love, though), and my main character is pretty different from Katniss Everdeen. She doesn’t eat squirrels, for one thing. So that’s where a quick-pitch sentence for the book will come in handy. Not only will it prevent me from awkwardly tripping over my words, it’ll also make me feel like I’m actually answering people’s questions. Because I feel genuinely honored whenever someone takes an interest in what I do. I’ve just gotta get better at explaining what I do. Sigh.
But anyway, I’m still working on the story itself, too. I still have a long way to go (although I do think I’m doing a little better with this book than when I write short stories…but that’s for it’s own future blog post), but progress is happening. I seriously thought about sharing some quotes from it, but that would just be weird, especially since I can’t really tell you what’s going on with my characters without floundering like a, well, flounder.
So what’s the purpose of sharing all this? Just as an update, really. Even though it’s going to be a tough journey (I’m already learning that), I’m sticking with it. I’m learning to always keep learning; to always keep moving forward, even when it feels like I’m standing still. Sure, I may currently be a college student, busy with homework and learning more about the craft of writing, but I’m still actually writing, too. I’m learning this whole thing requires tough skin and a willingness to keep trying.
But isn’t that what life is like, especially for a Christian? It’s not always easy, but we keep pressing on, reaching for our goal, heading toward the finish line. And somehow, despite all of the obstacles and trials we face, we keep running the race. Because the destination is so worth it. And it’s the knowledge of that destination that fills the journey with joy.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” –Colossians 3:23-24
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 3:14
In His love,