Milestones


My blog just crossed two milestones and I didn’t even notice!

First, last weekend marked ONE YEAR since I started the blog. Happy blog-birthday to Rants & Ramblings!

Second, my cumulative “unique visitors” count just rolled over 100,000. I sure never expected that!

So, thanks to all of you who visit the blog, whether you lurk or actually leave comments and let me know you’re here. You’ve made this a really fun journey, and it’s because of you that, despite the constant time and energy crunch, I persist. Thanks for being part of the fun!

And a Q4U…

Speaking of milestones. Got any important writing milestones to share? We’d love to hear your story!

Rachelle Gardner is a Christian literary agent affiliated with WordServe Literary Group in Colorado.

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Books & Such Literary Agency. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!

31 Comments

  1. Shari on November 10, 2008 at 3:47 PM

    >Happy blog birthday!

    I recently reached a “finished revisions” milestone. (Yay!)



  2. Ralene on November 9, 2008 at 8:31 PM

    >I don’t really have any milestones because I’m just starting out as a writer. However, I wanted to stop in and congratulate you on your two milestones! Thank you for all your hard work, it has been wonderful following your blog.



  3. Adam on November 9, 2008 at 2:03 AM

    >Dear Rachelle,

    Congratulations on your current milestones and many more to come in the future!

    My milestone- I came across a website (Actually two) that has given me inspiration and encouragement. It just so happens that your persistence through the time and energy crunch that you battle has allowed us the opportunity to visualize our own milestones, one at a time!

    Thanks and have a Blessed day!



  4. Yvonne on November 8, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    >hee, hee…that’s funny! The same thing has happened to my left shift key. I’m stumbling around while waiting for my new keyboard to arrive.



  5. Krista Phillips on November 8, 2008 at 3:54 PM

    >This is my first comment but I do read your blog often:-)

    I DO have an important milestone. A year ago this month, I FINISHED my first novel.

    Finished the first draft anyway, but writing ‘The End’ was a huge accomplishment.

    At the time it was truly a miricle of God that I finished. I’m a mother with 3 young daughters and a pretty demanding day job. I started the book in August and wrote during my brief lunch break, at the airport during business trips (we were going through a merger) and late into the night. It was a labor of love, except instead of lasting ten hours it lasted three months, and the tweeking continues!



  6. Anonymous on November 8, 2008 at 11:10 AM

    >I found my missing h

    I like to write on a Dell lap top. Several months ago my fingers were flying nimbly above the key board when a small black and white piece of hard plastic fell into my lap.

    “Wow!” I thought. “What was that?”

    I picked it off of the floor and saw it was my h.

    “Bummer.” I said. I looked to see if maybe I could snap it back in its place but apparently the little snapper thing was broken as well. I thought about using super glue so I stuck the h carefully into my wallet determined to make it the store after work and buy the magic adhesive that holds almost everything together.

    Several days went by and when I looked for my wayward letter it had disappeared. I turned my wallet upside down and inside out but my h was definitely gone.

    I still write. I did still have the remainder of the alphabet. I still had another twenty five letters.

    In fact there was a small hard rubber point protruding from the place formerly occupied by my h, and if I struck this little thing carefully and deliberately I could still form the letter…..h…that is….

    Months later I was still writing….but without my h. It turns out h is in the center of the keyboard and it’s almost impossible to write a paragraph without it. The becomes te and without becomes witout…you get the point.

    I made do without the h for quite some time and didn’t realize till later that it began to affect the rhythm and structure of everything I wrote. Writing became a much more deliberate exercise. I would have to go back over each paragraph and then fill in the missing h’s. Writing wasn’t as much fun and I spent less and less time at it.

    Eventually I called my computer guys and bought a new keyboard.



  7. Inspire on November 8, 2008 at 8:19 AM

    >Thanks, Rachelle for allowing us to share our milestones.

    After submitting to 48 agents, God took me in a different direction. . . straight to Barbara Scott, Abingdon’s fiction editor. My historical, ‘Surrender the Wind’, will be released in the fall of 2009, when Abingdon launches their fiction line. This is a huge milestone for me.



  8. Anita Mae on November 8, 2008 at 7:33 AM

    >Hey Rachelle – good job on the milestones. We’ve responded to you because you’ve given us what we need. See…we all win!

    You caught my eye with your Yo-Dawg-Show-Me-What-You-Got contest when my lovely CP (waving at Gwen) mentioned your blog. I’ve been a follower ever since.

    I’ve had 3 major (for me) milestones in the last couple months:

    1. I attended the ACFW conference and met 2 real live editors and 1 super agent (Is there somewhere we can nominate you for ‘Blogger of the Year’ or something?

    2. I finaled in 2 contests with the same ms.

    3. Last week, for the first time ever, I sent a partial ms off to New York. (Yes, there’s a story there.) I held it in my hand so long the postmaster left me so I could be alone with it. I’ve had one child leave home and this feels the same. I put everything I could into it but is it enough to make it in the big world? We’ll see if it comes back…



  9. Shelley on November 7, 2008 at 9:28 PM

    >Happy blogiversary! This is my first time here I think.

    A milestone for me came in 2006. I had been dabbling in writing off and on since high school (mostly off though), but in 2006 someone told me about faithwriters.com and I visited the site. To make a long story somewhat short, they have a weekly writing challenge where you can end up being published in one of their quarterly books (if your piece places in the top 8 of the editor’s choice picks). Anyway, my second story ever submitted received the number 8 placing of the Editor’s Choice, and was published in the book for that particular quarter!



  10. Kim Boynton on November 7, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    >My milestone? I referred to my story as a manuscript today for the first time. I’ve been reading posts here today for the first time and I see that there is a difference between those with a story and writers. I don’t think I have oodles of books in me. I have the story of God’s restoration of my family from the ravages of addiction. I am trying to figure out where to go from here. What I see here makes me excited to explore the possibilities.



  11. Katy McKenna on November 7, 2008 at 2:34 PM

    >Magnificent Milestones, Rachelle!

    I still can’t believe my own MM, in having the good fortune to sign with (drum roll!) Rachelle Gardner.

    I also survived a huge professional edit of my novel, and feel that I learned so much in the process.



  12. photoqueen on November 7, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    >Rachelle, congratulations on your milestones. I usually just lurk here, but as I’m learning about the publishing industry and planning for a career change, your blog has been extremely helpful and one of THE top sources about what publishing is really all about.

    As for milestones, I’m coming up on a big one next month – my 30th birthday. 🙂

    Thank you for your blog!
    Mary



  13. Florence Moyer on November 7, 2008 at 11:46 AM

    >Congrats on your milestones! You write an excellent blog and deserve the traffic.

    My milestone just lately has been the sale of my tenth book. Not all of them were to the same publisher or even the same genre–but that’s ten books to NY publishers, so I’m happy.



  14. Karen Witemeyer on November 7, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    >Congratulations, Rachelle! May God continue to bless you through 2009 and beyond.



  15. Anne L.B. on November 7, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    >I was recently discussing with one of your other clients that it’s been about a year, and I’ve been watching that counter. I blinked and WOW! ~103,000!

    Works out to about 400 average hits every business day, and since you didn’t start out there you must be pushing the 1,000 mark some days.

    I’m pleased to be part of this, and to see God blessing you.



  16. Cheryl Barker on November 7, 2008 at 10:45 AM

    >My recent milestones: I, too, had my 1-yr. blog-iversary, and I also attended my first writers conference (I know I should have gone before now!). While there I won first place in the non-fiction article category of their writing contest — my first win ever in a contest! What a gift from God. Isn’t He good to us?!



  17. Anonymous on November 7, 2008 at 10:25 AM

    >Congratulations on your milestones, Rachelle! I’m a daily reader of your blog, although an infrequent commenter. Thank you for all you do for the writing community.

    My milestone is that I’m ready to re-submit a manuscript to an editor. Over the past 2 1/2 years, the editor and I have communicated from query to completed manuscript. Earlier this year, I received a kind rejection on the full which included the reviewer’s comments and an invitation to re-submit.

    Since I’m feeling vulnerable with this comment, a second and downright wimpy milestone is that I’m posting this as anonymous.



  18. Jeanie W on November 7, 2008 at 9:17 AM

    >Happy blogiversary! Thanks for all the time you dedicate to sharing information about writing and the publishing industry.

    My latest milestone: I just finished polishing a manuscript to the point where it’s ready to submit. I still have all the publishing milestones on the road ahead of me, but I’ll reach them someday.



  19. Kat Harris on November 7, 2008 at 9:09 AM

    >Congrats Rachelle! Those are awesome milestones.

    My milestone probably won’t seem real huge unless someone else has been in the newspaper business, but I just survived by third presidential election as a reporter without going completely insane. 😉

    Have a good weekend!



  20. Marla Taviano on November 7, 2008 at 9:00 AM

    >Congratulations, Rachelle! How exciting!

    My milestone: Book #4 releases in January. I’ve gotten a book published every year since 2006. I’d love, love, love to keep the streak going!



  21. Catherine West on November 7, 2008 at 8:56 AM

    >You’re so popular! Only because you have such great clients, you realize. Ha. Kidding!
    Milestone # 1 was definitely getting the most awesome dream agent. Actually, that’s not entirely true because I never dreamed you could be my agent since you weren’t one when we first met. :0)
    Milestone # 2 was recognizing (and believing/accepting) that I have reached a level where my work is being submitted to editors by an agent.
    When I stop to think about this in terms of where i was two years ago, even one year ago, it’s frightening. In a good way!
    Milestone # 3 was having an editor request a full manuscript. Even though ultimately she didn’t take it, and that was hard, I’ll never forget the feeling of that day. I suspect it will only be surpassed when I actually get an offer. Until then, I’ll hang on to that memory for encouragement.
    Have a great weekend!



  22. Marcie Gribbin on November 7, 2008 at 8:55 AM

    >Happy 1st Birthday, Rants and Ramblings!

    (and a big whoo-hoo for Lisa Jordan for the newspaper gig!!! Yeah, Lisa!!!!)

    Blessings!



  23. lynnrush on November 7, 2008 at 8:54 AM

    >Congrats, Rachelle.

    My Milestone is—I Made it to the FINALS of a writing contest! My first!! It’s so very exciting.

    Congrats to everyone and their milestones as well!



  24. Joe Iriarte on November 7, 2008 at 8:47 AM

    >Congratulations!

    I’ve cut 30,000 words so far from my (formerly) 120,000 word behemoth.



  25. Michelle LaRowe on November 7, 2008 at 8:45 AM

    >I’m getting my first custom designed website to honor the release of my third book, Working Mom’s 411 in Feb. My 4th book will be out the year after! Thanks Greg at Wordserve!



  26. Yvonne on November 7, 2008 at 8:28 AM

    >This month marks one year for me, too!

    Last year, I just found out that my novel didn’t win a contest. Instead of giving up and feeling like a failure, I decided to get serious about writing.

    I joined FaithWriters and Christian Writer’s Forum. I edited and polished my novel and began searching for an agent. I sent articles to magazines and sold some. I started a blog. I’ve met lots of wonderful new friends, just like me.

    It’s been a great year of growing and learning.



  27. Kim Kasch on November 7, 2008 at 8:24 AM

    >Congrats on both milestones Rachelle. I started blogging in July and thought 2,000 hits was good – WOW – 100,000 that is amazing but I’m not really surprised because you offer a FREE service: educating all of us wanna bes in the wonderful world of writing.

    Keep up the great job!! I’m one of the 100,000 that love reading your rants and ramblings every day.



  28. Lisa Jordan on November 7, 2008 at 8:15 AM

    >Congrats on your milestones! Great accomplishments. Although I can see why your blog has so many readers. It’s one of the best in the business. 🙂

    I’ve been crazy busy the past few weeks working on a very difficult project for school. Yesterday, that baby was submitted, so that’s one milestone! I learned teamwork is not fun and God used me to eat a healthy slice of humble pie. I accidentally offended another team member by something I said. E-mail is so hard to reflect the intended tone, but she took my words the wrong way. Instead of arguing with her, I apologized because I felt that’s what Jesus would’ve done. So that was another milestone.

    Yesterday I received a terrific writing opportunity. I’m working on another school project with a friend and fellow classmate. The project is going so well because of the timing of certain public events. As part of our project, we are writing an article to raise public awareness about the effects fetal alcohol syndrome has on early learning. This article will be published in three separate publications–our local paper, a newsletter distributed to early childcare professionals, and PG Magazine, a newspaper magazine that services our county and one in bordering NY. One article with three publishing credits. 🙂

    I e-mailed the editor of PG Magazine and mentioned in addition to being a student and childcare provider, I’m also a writer and asked about submitting more articles to her publication.

    She replied and said they don’t accept random articles because they have a schedule and regular contributors. She said she has one spot left for a regular contributor on a bi-monthly basis and offered me the job!! That’s another milestone.

    Even when things were so stressful the past few weeks, God has been so good.



  29. Karen on November 7, 2008 at 8:02 AM

    >My milestone came this year (just last month!) with the release of the first royalty published book with my name on the cover. Although I share authorship of A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts with five other ladies, I was rewarded with hearfelt enthusiasm from my grandson.

    Seven-year-old Tyler, who is just beginning to read, held the book in his hand and ran his finger over the raised letters of my name. The corner of his mouth turned up in a half-smile and he nodded his head. “Cool!” No royalty check will will ever compare.



  30. Gwen Stewart on November 7, 2008 at 6:41 AM

    >Rachelle, much of what is valuable about the craft and business of writing I learned right here. CONGRATS on your milestones!!

    Two of my own:

    August 5th: a fantastic agent offered me representation.

    A milestone I’m working toward now: finding the heart to write with my own voice without apology–even if what emerges needs editing and consists mostly of rainbows and butterflies–and standing strong against those who misunderstand how deeply writing matters to me. I’m almost ready to embrace myself as a writer despite the scoffers. What a milestone that will be! 🙂

    Congrats again, Rachelle!



  31. l.s. in Hawaii nei on November 7, 2008 at 4:19 AM

    >Dear Rachelle,

    A milestone. My mother was a published writer and poet…she died when I was young. Her father, my grandpa, was a publisher of a children’s bi-weekly magazine.

    I am a pastor’s wife living in Hawaii and am nearly fifty years old. I have just begun to write. Once, last year, I decided to enter a poetry contest. I wrote a villanelle which took me four long days of crossing out and rewriting. Finally, I submitted it. To my great surprise, I won second place. Since then, I have a fixed desire to write something of greater length, something my mother and grandpa would be proud of.

    Thanks for the valuable advice you post here in a safe, Christian environment. I am one of those former “lurkers”. Well…here I am. If you come to Hawaii I would love to meet you someday.

    Many Blessings,
    l.s. in Hawaii nei (beloved Hawaii)



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