Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things Would Be Different

The first novel I wrote was considered by Avalon Books in NYC. When they rejected it--this was December of 2008--I was crushed. I said at the time, on this blog, I feel like my sails have lost their wind. Now--instead of a writer being considered--I'm just a writer. I feel less validated. Like I have to start all over again...

It's been two-plus years.

Avalon is a quality publisher, and I have friends who've found success through them, but I'm glad my pacing was off, that the editors didn't care for my story's element of suspense, and that my hero and heroine lacked tension. I'm thankful they didn't pick me.*

The writer I am now, without that publication, is the writer I'm supposed to be.

I'm working on my third novel. Somewhere between that first book and this one, I've found my true writer's voice. I've learned that women's fiction is my strength. I've better-established and set the path to my long-term goals, not the least of which is agent representation. (Avalon does not require representation of their authors.)

I've added to my resume, and bolstered my confidence, and have become part of some awesome projects. I've honed and practiced and still continue to grow into a better writer.

If Avalon had thought differently, would I have grown in these same ways? Would I have found another path? Or molded to a certain style of writing, a particular avenue of publication that could have stunted my development?

How things could be different. I'm glad they're not. Really.

Do you have a similar story? Whether with writing or something else, has there been a near-miss you're now grateful for?

* I'm also thankful for the small nudge that Avalon's interest gave me, and my drive to write.


Melissa Amateis said...

I had a lot of interest from agents in my first novel, a Regency historical romance. I am so incredibly thankful that every one of them passed on it. Why? Because, like you, that book was not showcasing the writer I am today. I have grown by leaps and bounds since I wrote that book, and I have discovered that romantic fiction is not my calling any longer. I feel that with the novel I'm writing now, I have finally reached the writing place where I belong. :-)

Great post, Janna. Best wishes on getting your agent this year!

Anonymous said...

I love how you looked at the 'near miss' and came to see it as a blessing. So often I have not received what I wanted to realize later it was not right. There are too many examples to list.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Yes, as a matter of fact, I had an editor interested in my Secret Life of a PW book two years ago, but I would have had to change my voice to suit the publishing house's specs. I'm so thankful I passed on that lead. I like my voice, and wouldn't want to fake a voice just to get published.

You know. You understand. I admire you, honey. God is blessing you.

Indigo said...

We are pretty much on the same path. I think books that come out of us are like a painter's easel, waiting for the artist touch. Some are worthy of a wall to hang on, others are worthy of only us. That's okay, those are the ones that highlight the masterpiece and bring it to fruition. (Hugs)Indigo

Cami said...

I don't have a similar story. I'm still trying to see if I can hack fiction when I know I'm a poet.

These are very mature and beautiful thoughts. I'm glad to hear of your growth and wish you the best as you continue.

Susan R. Mills said...

Your positive spin on things is encouraging. Thank you!

Unknown said...

I started off writing women`s fiction and had one sale (sans agent). After years of not getting anywhere past that I ended up writing YA (though I didn`t realize it at the time :), and over the last few years have really found my voice in that genre. So, yes, I`m glad that things didn`t work out back then, even though I spent years second guessing myself before arriving to this place.

Melissa Sarno said...

I always thought that the most lucrative career for someone who wanted to write was to be a journalist. I was writing for a travel website and I missed a deadline due to unforeseen circumstances. So I couldn't write for them anymore. At the time, I really thought I had messed things up, but it led me down a better path. I never really wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to write fiction.

Sarah Allen said...

Wow, I admire your strength and tenacity. You are an inspiration to me. I am so glad things have worked out for you. Best of luck for the future!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Woman in a Window said...

Every time something is decided in my life, something else is undecided. Yes, love. Yes, writing. Location. Children. How could I want for anything different? How could I angst against any opportunity to grow?

Can't wait for your book!


Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Good for you, Janna. What a great attitude. I hope this is YOUR year!

Patti said...

Sometimes the misses turn into blessings. I haven't had that happen with writing, but it has definitely happened with life.

Diane said...

Are you thinking to submit to them again? Can't wait to see who snatches you up... mark my words! :O)

Tamika: said...

How exciting to be considered:) I've never put my writing in the lap of professionals, I know there is much more work to be done!

In my heart I am certain God called to craft compelling stories. I guess I'm just waiting to feel His gentle urging to move a little higher.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janna -

I showed my fledgling manuscript around too soon. It's a good thing for writers to study, get critiques, enter contests, and practice before submitting.

Susan :)

Glynis Peters said...

I am grateful for my rejections. I have stripped my novels and learned so much more.

Good luck with yours, Janna!

I have an award for you at
Glynis Smy (author)

The Hat Chick said...

Good grief! If you only knew how many times this has happened to me in real estate.

I thought "x" house was the best deal, but something stopped the sale and I would be so upset. Then "y" house would show up...a much, much better house/deal....and then I would be grateful for the demise of "x" deal.

I believe that the stop signs of life are there for a reason.

septembermom said...

You have the right attitude and drive as a writer. There are often so many blessings with those misses in life. Wishing you the best of luck!

Guess what? I actually put up the vlog today. I hope I didn't look too tired in it :) Enjoy your day Janna!

Terri Tiffany said...

Yes, with Avalon and a publisher in England. I turned the second one down and I'm glad I did. I think I write so much better now:)

Heather Sunseri said...

No near misses for me. But with each book, I become a different, a better writer. I know that God's timing will dictate the right timing. I'm not always super patient, but in the end I know His timing will win out.

Anonymous said...

I started several novels but never finished them ... but I guess in all that writing, I found my voice.
I hope you find success with your current novel.

Patti Lacy said...

What a thought-provoking post! I am really proud of you, Janna.

It feels good to be back "home" at this blog after a prolonged absence.
Blessings, dear one.