So this last weekend I went boating with my family. It was only the second time this season that I've been able to go. (This makes me sad.) But while wakeboarding, I decided that I didn't like my neck very much and threw myself neck first into the water. Okay, that's not exactly how it happened. I may or may not have made a horrible error in judgement going over the wake and caught the front lip of my board and went down hard.
This wasn't Saturday's fall (this was a fall from 2 summers ago), but it looked similar, I'm sure, to this:
I'm now very, very sore. But it got me thinking about wakeboarding. It took me FOREVER to learn how to do it. I'm embarrassed to admit that it took me an entire summer getting out there in the water week after week, trying to figure out how to take the thousand tons of pressure against my board every time the boat started forward and turn it into me on top of the water. People tried to explain it to me, to tell me how it worked for them, etc. etc. In the end, I had to feel it for myself. I finally did it. And maybe that's why I like it so much now (four summers later)--because of how much work it took to learn. Because I'm so dang proud of myself.
Of course I'm going to relate this to writing (I know, I normally don't and tell you to do the "relating" job yourself, but I actually have a story). I was talking to a friend the other day who is on the verge of calling it quits on this whole writing thing. It reminded me of when I felt the same way this time last year. I had recently left my first agent. I had written what I thought was my best book yet. And I had started querying again. I was in my 5th month of querying. Five months! I had honestly thought I would get an agent right away. I had a pretty good request rate, but only had one agent request anything past the partial. So I kept revising and sending more out. Then I came to a point where I was like, maybe I don't know what I'm doing. Maybe I don't know what's good and what's not. I had hit a low and was one rejection away from quitting. I didn't want to put myself through any more heartache. I needed a break, at the very least, I told myself. I was sending out two more queries and that was it.
Well, I'm so glad I did. My agent was one of those. (And Michelle, you might be asking why you weren't one of the first queries I sent out and I don't know. I thought you were awesome, I followed you on twitter, you represented a friend. Okay, maybe I was slightly intimidated by you. But I'm also glad you weren't one of the first because the book was way better by the time you got it.) So what's my point?? Never. Give. Up. If writing is something you love, hang in there. Keep writing. Keep trying. Will your face hit the water every now and again? Yes. Will you be sore for a couple days after? Yes. But will it make your eventual success that much sweeter? Yes. Never give up.