Thursday, 19 August 2010

Guest Post by Kate Walton: Staying on the Path

Today we have an inspiring post from the fabulous Kate Walton, whom I interviewed back in May. She also made a brilliant parody song for aspiring writers that I still sing to this day. Listen to her words of wisdom, fellow aspiring writers.

First, thank you to Dorothy for asking me to contribute this guest post.  It is an honor.

Quitting.  Throwing in the towel.  Jumping ship.  Leaving it all behind.  Giving up.

Ever want to do it?  If you said no, then you seriously are a super human and far stronger than I.  I’m sure you’ve read or heard, “Publishing isn’t for the faint of heart.”  I know I have, and I truly believed my skin was tough enough, that my manuscripts were good enough, and that I had the iron will to plow through and attain my goal…land a literary agent.  

Then the rejections came. 

They came on queries.  They came on partials.  They came on fulls.  They came as form letters all the way up to the ultra-painful, “After reading your novel, I’m afraid I’m going to pass because…”  And they kept coming until I literally quit, threw in the towel, jumped ship, left it all behind and gave up.  Oh yes I did. 

I just couldn’t take it another second.  And you know what “it” I’m referring to…the agent researching, contest entering, query-revising, query-submitting, query-checking, tear wiping, fist balling, forum reading, blog reading, manuscript reading, and on and on and on.  A writer’s life on the agent hunt ain’t easy, and I was bone crushing tired of it all.  Ache and want filled me up and I overflowed all over my office when I typed on my blog: At the risk of sounding overly dramatic...I think I'm going to take some time off to lick my wounds and do some writer'ish soul searching.

I quit.

That was June 3, 2010.

Time jump with me to June 10, 2010 – a mere seven days later (yet a long 922 days since I completed my first novel. Yes, that translates to 2.4 years).  

On June 10th I wrote a public letter to The Universe…a letter of gratitude.  In those seven days I received two full requests, and one of those requests ended up turning into an offer of representation from Sarah LaPolla at Curtis Brown Ltd.  I am proud to say I am represented by her (proud and chill-inducing-excited).

You know my ultimate point; you’ve heard it before:  If you want it bad enough then do not give up.  It really is that simple.

Stay on the path no matter how many trolls or witches try to lead you astray.  Shut the inner demons up by doing even more…more writing, more conference going, more class taking, more researching, more revising, more reading, more everything.  If writing flows through your veins and feeds your soul, then it IS your destiny.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 


Lacey J Edwards said...

Great post and very inspirational! I haven't wanted to throw in the towel yet, but I'm sure that day will come and I will remember this post!

meghanbp said...

This post can be applied to darn near anything in life. NEVER give up...go for it...and NEVER, and I do mean NEVER take no for an answer.

Thanks for sharing your story....very inspirational!!!!

Martina Boone said...

We're so thrilled for you, K.M. It's inspiring to hear about your journey and you motivate writers to stay in the game. Thanks for the post!

- said...

You know...I think all that you've been through proves to an agent how HARD you'll work for them- that you won't quit, won't shrug off revisions, won't boo-hoo if an editor passes. You'll just work harder.

There will be a big, girly scream over at Inkslingers when we see your sale in PW. Can't wait :)

Christina Lee said...

Oh K.M. you know I heart you! I remember both those blog posts and felt that same way so many times on my own journey. I am so happy and proud of you!!!!!!!

Angela McCallister said...

Maybe we need to walk through fire to handle the aftermath. I know the road doesn't suddenly become easy after that first hurdle of getting an agent. I'm glad you kept going so the world can read your work. Thank you so much for your encouragement!

K. M. Walton said...

Hi, everyone. I'm so glad my lil' ol story is resonating with others. It makes me feel like it was all worth it.

p.s. Thanks again, Dorothy for asking me to write this!

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Thank YOU, Kate, for sharing this very inspirational story. I know I've thought about giving up, but you've shown me I should stick with it! Thanks! :)

Paul Greci said...

Great story, Kim!! And great advice: Don't give up!!

Marilyn Peake said...

Thank you for this. Very, very helpful and inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Congrats again on getting representation.

Doreen McGettigan said...

Very inspiring post Kate! It certainly is not a career for the faint of heart. I look forward to reading Sold!!

Anonymous said...

Ah, Tenacious Kate! I truly applaud you! :D You have earned everything that you're being blessed with. Rock on!