Life is really funny sometimes. A few weeks ago I was feeling a little discouraged about where this writing thing was heading. I still enjoyed sitting down and creating my stories, and polishing my manuscripts. But would anything ever happen with it? I tried to tell myself to be patience, that I’m so new to this whole thing and it could take a lot longer than the nine months I’d been trying to get an agent/published for this to go anywhere. Even though what I was telling myself was completely logical, I still found myself doubting that I’d ever find a good fit for my first manuscript. Then something happened. My husband couldn’t find a copy of our marriage certificate, so I dug through a ton of paperwork to find what he needed. In the process, I found my career passport that I put together my senior year of high school. It had my diploma, a ridiculously inadequate resume, and a letter from my principle. The other piece of this passport was a letter I wrote detailing my plans for the future. In it I talked about attending Bowling Green State University, discussed what I planned to major in, and what career I would like to have. It was a trip looking back at this after so long.
The amazing thing to me was the last paragraph in this letter. “No matter what I decide to do, I am hoping that writing will be my main focus. I hope that I will be able to make a living off of it, while it remains something I enjoy doing.” Here’s the funny part, nothing else in this letter happened the way I planned. I didn’t major in creative writing, I didn’t study business, and I most certainly did not become a 6th grade English teacher. (What was I thinking?!) Instead, I changed my major countless times, studied political science and international studies, and I ended up with a meaningful job working with woman with developmental disabilities. But here I sit, close to 14 years later, and I still enjoy writing and hope to make it a career. This gave me the motivation to push forward and keep trying. Because if nothing else, I love what I do.
I decided to start focusing on getting my second manuscript out there. I checked over my agent list, polished up my query letter, and started submitting. My first manuscript could possibly still be published, but I’d given up the hopes that an agent would be interested in it . And then something amazing happened. I received a request for a full manuscript from an agency I had queried in November. She wanted to read my first manuscript, start to finish. I sent it over immediately, and then proceeded to check my email twenty times a day for the next week. Last Thursday was one of those days I picked up my phone to check my email, and tears sprang to my eyes when I saw what was sitting in my inbox. An email from Ella Marie Shupe from Belcastro Agency asking to speak with me about the possibility of representation. WHAT?! I laughed, I cried, I jumped up and down. In short, I was the talk of the children’s museum that day and managed to embarrass the hell out of my daughter.
I had my phone call with Ella Marie early this week, and am beyond excited about her now being my agent. She understood my writing, and had ideas to take it from good to amazing. Her personality was lovely, and I have no doubt that we will work very well together. I can’t wait to get to work and see where this leads me. And even better, I can now sit here with my career passport from Paulding High School, and know that I did exactly what I set out to do so long ago. It just took a little voice from the past to push me along a little bit and remind me why I choose to sit down at my computer day in and day out. Because I love it, and the stories this crazy mind of mine makes up. I’m so lucky that I have found what I love to do in this life, and I know that no matter what the future holds, I was always enjoy my writing.