Writing and publishing can feel slow, but look back to a year ago and mark your progress. It's amazing how encouraging that can be. #writingA lot of people seemed to appreciate the idea, and then one of my awesome CPs tweeted this:
— Kate Brauning (@KateBrauning) August 21, 2013
A year ago, I just started my internship, had no CPs, and hadn't even had the idea for my current ms. A lot changes in a year. :) #keepgoingHer tweet inspired me to try to get the hashtag going, and I asked writers to use the hashtag and tell everyone where they were a year ago and what had happened since then. I thought it might be encouraging, given how slow writing and publishing seems to be sometimes, and given how hard we try and how invisible progress can be, to take a look backwards and see how far we've come. For example, here's one of mine:
— Alex Yuschik (@alexyuschik) August 22, 2013
A year ago I was an intern. I had 1 very much 1st MS. Now I'm an editor and am finishing my 3rd MS. #keepgoingThe hashtag exploded. It trended for nearly three hours. It was amazing to see how many authors and writers and even agents chimed in to encourage each other, and offer encouragement to writers who expressed frustration with a lack of visible progress. I definitely recommend looking up the hashtag on Twitter and scrolling down to see the tweets from the 21st and 22nd. (There are some general encouragement quotes and health-related tweets since then that don't appear to have anything to do with writing, but that's okay! We'll share.) Here's some of what went on:
— Kate Brauning (@KateBrauning) August 22, 2013
One year ago I was getting on my agent's nerves waiting to go on sub. That ms is THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR due out with FLUX Oct 8th #keepgoing
— Dawn Klehr (@DawnKlehr) August 22, 2013
This time last yr I was waiting to hear back on an R&R. Now I'm agented, on sub, & have completed a lit agency internship! #keepgoing
— Tonya Kuper (@tonyakuper) August 22, 2013
A year ago I'd just signed w/my first agent.Now I'm a published author whose debut hit the Teen SciFi bestseller charts- 3 times. #keepgoing
— Leigh Ann Kopans (@LeighAnnKopans) August 22, 2013
When I got an agent, my 1st book never sold. After a year of trying she told me to write a new book. New book was THE IRON KING. #keepgoing
— Julie Kagawa (@Jkagawa) August 22, 2013
A year ago I was 5 chapters into my MS. Now I'm agented, the MS will be a real book, and there's a movie option. #keepgoing
— Victoria Aveyard (@VictoriaAveyard) August 22, 2013
My last rejection from an agent was demoralizing & made me cry. The next submission led me to @NicLitAgent & 3book deal w/Penguin #keepgoing
— cecyrobson (@cecyrobson) August 22, 2013
My 1st book got me an agent, but never sold. My 2nd book did. My 3rd book didn't. My 4th book did. The road can be rocky, but #keepgoing.
— Victoria Schwab (@veschwab) August 22, 2013
I thought about quitting after shelving "the book of my heart"; the very next ms got my first agent and first sale. #keepgoing
— DahliaAdler (@MissDahlELama) August 22, 2013
#KeepGoing, but if you need a break (even a long one), take it. It's not giving up. People change, goals change, and that's okay.
— Krista Van Dolzer (@KristaVanDolzer) August 22, 2013
I love the #keepgoing hashtag. No one said getting published was going to be easy. Kudos to those who persevere, we're here to support you.
— Carly Watters (@carlywatters) August 22, 2013
A year ago I'd just signed w/my agent after writing my ms from the ICU waiting room. Now I have a 3 book deal w/ Sourcebooks. #keepgoing
— Elizabeth Michels (@southerntart) August 22, 2013
This time last year I was crying over rejections. Now I’ve published a book and sold another manuscript. #KeepGoing #keepgoing
— Lisa T. Cresswell (@peach83352) August 22, 2013
A year ago, I'd shelved a whole trilogy and was just about to start querying a new book...that one got me my agent. #keepgoing
— Emmie Mears (@emmiemears) August 22, 2013
I have two books out that I am crazy proud of, despite people telling me I couldn't do it and didn't have enough talent. #KeepGoing
— Nazarea Andrews (@NazareaAndrews) August 22, 2013
The #keepgoing hashtag is helping me send these queries out. I think I can, I think I can... :D
— Sarah Epps (@saraheppswriter) August 22, 2013
Rejected by agent who said she couldn't hear my long ms "clunk out of her printer anymore." Was despondent. Now w/better agent. #KeepGoing
— elisa nader (@elisanader) August 22, 2013
6 years filled with REJECTION; just signed first deal on book #4 #keepgoing
— Amy L. Sonnichsen (@alsonnichsen) August 22, 2013
Having one of those blue/discouraged moments. Peek in on twitter and what do I find? #KeepGoing lol love my twitter peeps.
— Amy J. Hawthorn (@AJHawthorn) August 22, 2013
8mths ago my soul was in pieces, I'd rewritten my book a 1000 times, but kept getting screwed by trends...it just took one yes! #keepgoing
— Louise D. Gornall (@Rock_andor_roll) August 22, 2013
Few months ago I wanted to quit for good. I rewrote my 1st chap for a month, won 2 contests, and signed with my agent last week. #keepgoingSeveral things amazed me about all these tweets.
— Natalie Knaub (@Nata1ieK) August 22, 2013
- Everyone gets told no. Even Victoria Schwab.
- Progress can be invisible. One day can change so much.
- Subjectivity-- you've heard it.
- Putting in the work and gaining the experience does matter- it's not 100% subjective. Your work will show.
- It can take a year or eight years or twelve years to be published.
- Writing may not be for you. If you don't love it, do something you do love.
- If you love it, keep going.
And hey, if you feel like your progress has been invisible and you're one of those people who is so close to quitting you don't know what to do, leave me a comment on this post. I'd love to help. It all can change in a day, right?
If you love writing, enjoy the journey. It's work, but we love the work. It makes us better. It sharpens our craft. It gives us common experiences so when it's hard for someone else, we can empathize. It makes us love our successes, because we EARNED them. If you love writing, keep going.