This Is Where the Rubber Meets the Road
When I decided to become a literary agent, I received advice from several wise people who knew what I was getting into. They told me it would be a steep learning curve, it would be challenging to build my business from the ground up, and that it would take a few years to really start seeing results.
Numerous times over the last three-plus years I’ve felt challenged nearly to the breaking point. There have been moments I’ve wanted to give up. But something always made me think back to the beginning and all the great advice. Then I’d think, “Oh yeah, they said it would be hard. I guess this is what hard feels like.” Realizing that things were progressing exactly as expected, I’d gather the strength to continue.
There are going to be times like this in your pursuit of publication. There are going to be times when the waiting is interminable. You’ve been advised again and again that the publishing business takes patience, and that’s true even after you have an agent, even after you have a publishing contract, even after you have books out. You’re going to freak out and think, “I am so SICK of waiting.” That’s when you should look back and remember how many times you were told this would take patience, and tell yourself, “Okay, this is it. This is where the patience comes in. I can do this.”
You’ve been told that the published-author life isn’t glamorous and in fact can get pretty stressful when you’re trying to write one book, while doing revisions on another, and maybe even marketing another. And you might think, “This is CRAZY, how am I expected to do this?” That’s when you remember all the times you read on blogs that it would be difficult, and tell yourself, “Okay, this is what I signed up for. They said it would be difficult, and this is what difficult looks like. I can do this.”
Those hard moments, the ones when you wonder why you’re doing it, the moments when you think you want to give up… those are where the rubber meets the road. Those moments are when you prove to yourself who you are and what you’re made of. Those are the moments that separate the men from the boys, the writers from the wannabes. They are your moments of truth.
You never know what you’re made of until you’re tested. Until you hit the hard parts, everything is hypothetical. You don’t prove your commitment until the moment you don’t feel like you want to be committed. You don’t prove your stamina until you’re tired but still must go on. You don’t prove your strength until asked to lift something you think is too heavy.
When your moment of truth comes, remind yourself: They told me it would be hard. This is what hard feels like. I can do this.
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© 2011 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent