Friday, December 3, 2010

Sometimes You Just Give Up

I have.
On more than one occasion.
Ask my CPs Kim and Lori. They have the tortured emails from me to prove it.

October 3
I'm at that point where I've put so much time and energy into it that lead nowhere that I just don't want anything to do with it. I swear I don't ever want to query again.
October 25
I still think it's a great story for younger middle grade, but we'll see. I'm not getting my hopes up again.
November 14
I give up.
Seriously.

But a funny thing happened in the depths of depression.

I found hope.
By encouraging someone else who was down.

November 21
I have to believe that persistence and luck are the only ingredients missing for us right now so we just have to keep trying and not be one of the people who gives up because it WILL happen. Hopefully before we're dead.

She wrote back:
You are right, of course you are. I think I just need a break from the submissions, for a bit. Anyway, sorry to bum you out.

I responded:
Oh, you didn't bum me out. I've been depressed for a while. But the funny thing is, after I emailed you, I sent out another query. It had been sitting in my query folder for a few days. I just wasn't sure if I should send any more out. Writing that note to you reminded me that I can't give up no matter how depressing it gets. Beth Revis wrote ten books before she found an agent. Cindy Pon queried 121 people with the same story before landing her agent. So yes, it's hard, and yes, we'll go through periods of hating the process, hating going through this torture. But in the end it will pay off...

Let me tell you people, that ONE more query I sent out...it paid off.

The agent wrote back the next day to say she liked the chapter I'd included with my query and wanted to read more.

One week later, she emailed to ask if we could talk on the phone.

She could probably hear my squeals in New York!

Yesterday we had a wonderful conversation.

And I am now the newest client of Michelle Humphrey at International Creative Management.
Did you see that? Let me make it easier to read...
I am the newest client of Michelle Humphrey at International Creative Management!!!

I don't think I'll ever get tired of saying that!  
And trust me -- between 4:05 p.m. yesterday and right now, I've said it a LOT of times :D

Lesson learned? Even when you're at the bottom and it's hard and you think you've given up, you can't. Try again. Send out one more query. Take one more chance.

It could make all the difference.

100 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

OMG! Sherrie, that's wonderful. I'm so excited for you. I was sad this morning (the crying kind) because of news I just received from a friend. You have just made my day. :D

Congrats!!!!!!!

Anne Gallagher said...

Sher-rie, Sherrie Ba-by!!! I'm going to be singing all day.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I'm so HAPPY for you! That is the most fantastic news I've heard all week!!!

What a great Christmas present!!!
Congratulations again!!!

Michelle Scott said...

I seriously needed to read this today. Thanks. I've really been struggling, and it's so good to hear another author say, "Keep climbing that mountain!"

Very best of luck to you : )

Beth Kephart said...

Many congratulations, Sherrie!

Sandra Cormier said...

Just last week I came off a complete slash & burn and two revisions based on an agent's suggestions, which resulted in a pass. I was so close I could taste it.

Now I'm reworking my query but I look at that long list of agents and wonder where I should start. Again.

Oh, well, time to dust myself off and get back on that horse.

Thanks for the kick in the butt. I really needed it right now. And congratulations!

Anna said...

That's fantastic news - congrats!! The lows are so low, but the ups are awesome, aren't they? Yay!!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

How could you HIDE that monumental and exciting piece of information in this post??? Much as I love taking the hand up and hope you offered your readers first, I want to hear you yell this from the rooftops.
Woo-hoo! Yay! Congratulations!
You SO deserve this. :D

Kristan said...

Omgomgomogmogmogomgomgomgomgogmogmogmgomgomg!!!! Congratulations!! I've heard great things about Michelle. I hope you'll both be very happy together. :D

storyqueen said...

Yay Sherrie!!!

You are right about so much of it being persistence and luck. (I know for me, those are VERY important ingredients.)

However, in your case, don't forget about the healthy dose of talent you have!

I am so happy for you.

Shelley

Karen Akins said...

Oh, Sherrie!!! Congratulations!! And I seriously, seriously needed to read this today.

Looking forward to more great news. :)

Corey Schwartz said...

OMG, love this post, Sherrie! Super huge congrats to you!!!

Kristin said...

Woo hooo, SHERRIE!!!!!!!!!!
Made. My. Day.
Congrats to you both.

Laurel Garver said...

Wha, wha, wha??? You tease!

You lovely, agented tease! I am laughing and clapping with joy. What a fabulous story and fabulous news!

Yay Sherrie!

Casey McCormick said...

LOVE this post Sherrie!!! CONGRATULATIONS (again) (and again).

XOXOXO

Wishing you the best of everything for this new step in your journey!

Laura Pauling said...

Ahhhhhhhh!!!! I'm sure you can hear my partying from NE!!! Congrats Sherrie!!! I am so excited for you! And can't wait to hear more good news in the future!!!!!

Stephanie Blake said...

Congrats! So happy for you!

Laura Pauling said...

and I'm dying to know the title and blurb of your story - can you share?

Paul Greci said...

Congrats Sherrie!!

WindyA said...

Woohoo!! So happy for you! Big CONGRATS!! I think this calls for a the adoption of a new virtual dog! ;)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

AAAAAAAAAAH!!!! omg

That is so amazingly, incredibly AWESOME! I am so, so happy for you!! And you know what - I was just saying to my husband that I know so few successes (Beth was one that I quoted to him), and it breaks my heart because I know so many GREAT writers.

And here you are!! Getting that success you deserve. BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T GIVE UP.

So. Awesome.

Now, I must go brag about you (yes, I knew her before she was famous ...) ...

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Here's me, bragging on you.

Angela Felsted said...

I'm glad you found a good agent.

Valerie Geary said...

Sherrie!!! You little devil! Hiding the news at the bottom (I loved it!) What a great, great story! Congrats congrats congrats!

LTM said...

super congrats to you! All the best w/your book~ :o)

Catherine Stine said...

Found your blog through Susan Q's post. Congrats! I've spoken to Michelle and she is great!

Kelly said...

HURRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BIG CONGRATS to you, Sherrie! I am so happy for you!
This is such an inspiring story as you've been down about querying as many of us have and persevered!

Carolyn V. said...

AHHHH!!!! Congrats Sherrie!!!! I'm so happy for you! I'm doing the happy dance. Woo hoo!

Christina Lee said...

I am going to SQUEEEEEEEEEEE for you all over again.

THIS was SO worth putting our conversation on hold yesterday!

Oh yeah baby!!!!!! CELEBRATE!

Kate said...

Wonderful news. well done.

Candyland said...

WOO! Congrats lady!!!

Robin Mellom said...

Sometimes, there just aren't enough exclamation points.

Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I LOVE the way you told this story. You are such an inpiration. :-)

hugs! R

Rebekah Joy Plett said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! THIS IS SOOOO WONDERFUL!!!! I am squealing, even though you can't hear it. What a great way to go into the new year! You deserve it.

Quinn said...

That's amazing! Congratulations!!!!!

Lori W. said...

Even though I knew what was coming, you made me tear up again (the happy kind)! Congrats, Sherrie! I knew you'd get to write a post like this someday and now you have!!! Soak up the joy!

JEM said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! You totally deserve it. Many happy squeals coming your way from Texas :).

Kimberley Troutte said...

Enjoy, my friend. You deserve this. You write so beautifully and work so hard. And what a great agency!!!
Ah, I knew you when....

Becky Levine said...

You have worked so hard for this--hooray!!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

You know what I think, but I'll say it again: congratulations, agent-mate!!

Here's to a wonderful 2011.

salarsenッ said...

I just heard!! Way to Go! Congrats. So excited for you.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

O-M-G! O-M-G! O-M-G! Sherrie, that is such wonderful, fantastic, spectacularly exciting news!!!! I could not be happier for you - seriously. Congratulations!! :-)

Anne R. Allen said...

This. Is. Just. Awesome.

I thought it was going to be one more discouraged writer post--I'm reading a lot at this time of year--but instead--OMG success! It does happen.

Indigo said...

Congratulations! ((Huge hugs)). Thanks for the pick-up. It's just what I needed, I've been slumping it lately. (Hugs)Indigo

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats! That's great. Do the happy dance.

Kim Baker said...

Excellent news, Sherrie! I just signed with my agent in October. Isn't it an awesome feeling?!

Congratulations!

Melissa Sarno said...

Wow! Congratulations! This is a wonderful story. There are so many ups and downs when it comes to querying. (Send me the full! Form rejection 7 months later!) I think it's hard not to go crazy. I often wash my hands of it and say, 'That's it! I'm never sending a query again!' But then I think...what if the next query I send is the person who likes my book? ;-) Your story proves that it very well could be!

Jackee said...

HOORAY!!!!!! Oh, Sherrie!! :o) I'm so happy for you. I know we've talked before about being depressed we'd never get there. But you did, just like I knew you would!!! Huge, congrats, my friend! And congrats to Michelle. She has great taste. :o)

Here's to many years of happy news! Thanks for sharing your wonderful success story with us.

~ Jackee

gwendandridge said...

I'm so pleased and proud for you Sherrie. This is a grand Christmas present--for both of us.

:-)

vivian said...

WHEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! I am so excited for you!!! I KNEW this would happen! Congrats!!!!

Myra McEntire said...

OMIGOSH SO AWESOME!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS!

You were one of the very first encouraging bloggers I "met" and I am over the moon with happiness for you!!!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

AHHHHHHH that is so exciting. HUGE congratulations! *tosses glitter and confetti and streamers!*

Emily Anderson said...

That is amazing, Sherrie, amazing. Such great news. Congratulations. Michelle seems really nice. I hope you enjoy working with her. Good luck with your publishing endeavors!

Krispy said...

OH MY GOODNESS, CONGRATS!!!! There aren't enough CAPS LOCK and exclamation marks for this, and I don't want to hurt your eyes. :D

Funny how the universe delivers sometimes when you're super down. CONGRATS AGAIN!!!

Tiana Smith said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I love hearings stories like that, it gives us all hope. I'm so excited for you!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Yay! That's very awesome!!!

Carolyn Abiad said...

Interesting how you titled this post "Sometimes You Just Give Up"... And congratulations!

Lisa Schroeder said...

Um, so Sherrie, apparently while I was having a bad day and then taking a NAP, you were announcing this amazing news! SQUEEE!!!!

So, so, SO incredibly happy for you. Congratulations!!

Gregory K. said...

Well let me just say "w00t!" Great news (and a great post, too)!

Anonymous said...

YEAH, BABY!

Such a wonderful post, and you SO deserve to be represented and have your writing all over the planet!

Enormous hugs and a few shimmies,
~Thalia

Tammee said...

Yea! I've been a follower but not a commenter, but this has to be the exception. Congratulations, this is great news for someone who is always positive and supportive of other writers.

rilla jaggia said...

Yay, Sherrie! Congratulations!

Barbara Jean Hicks said...

Sherrie, SO cool! Congratulations! Can't wait to read the post that says you've sold the manuscript--I know it's coming!

gtrine said...

Hey, Sherrie, congrats!...and thanks for the inspiration.

Robin L said...

Congratulations, Sherrie! I'm so glad all your hard work and sheer doggedness paid off. HURRAY!!!!

Carol said...

Congratulations Sherrie! So awesome and amazing! An important thing for us all to remember, we should never give up.

Lisa and Laura said...

HOLY CRAP Sherrie!!!!! We are so freaking excited for you! We've heard absolutely amazing things about Michelle. Congratulations!!!!!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! Sherrrrrrrie!!! I'm so so thrilled for you. Congratulations, my dear! That's such good news. I'm so glad you stuck with it. Wooo-hoo! Can't wait to hear that PM announcement!!

Cathe Olson said...

YAY Sherrie. Your success is very inspiring.

Anonymous said...

What was the genre that you sol? congratulations!

LeishaMaw said...

Congrats! That is fabulous. :)

I come to your blog by way of Susan's, and I'm so glad to have found it. :)

Congrats again.

Denise Jaden said...

Congratulations from another agent-mate! You are going to LOVE Michelle!

Jean Ann said...

Sherrie, yea, yea, yea!!! I am so happy for you. And you are dead on right. Never give up!

Great post. We can tell you are a wonderful writer.

Doing the happy dance!

Cinette said...

Congrats! Great to hear that your perseverence has paid off:-)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

OMGoodness, Sherrie! Congratulations! What wonderful news! I'm so excited for you. Even more good things are on your way. (happy dance)

I hope you and your family are out having a wonderful celebration this weekend!

Rebecca said...

Great post! And congratulations!! It is so encouraging t hear stories like this.

Yat-Yee said...

Sherrie: that is absolutely fantastic news! So glad you didn't give up! Way to go!

T. Anne said...

I have tears in my eyes I am so HAPPPPPPPPPYYYYY for you!!!! Huge congrats! I couldn't be happier if it was me. You deserve it and I am SO thrilled you never gave up! In fact you inspired me to keep on keeping on...


Yay!! Happy dancing for you!!!!

Shelley Sly said...

Congratulations on getting an agent! I'm your newest follower, and can't wait to hear more about the book! :) :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats! I'm so excited for you.

Melissa Gill said...

I just found your blog from Shrinking Violet. First of all huge congratulations on your signing with an agent. That's so exciting. Also Thank you so much for your post about not giving up. What a wonderful story. I find myself re-energized!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Sorry I didn't make it over here earlier! I had such a busy weekend. I've already congratulated you, but here I go again! CONGRATS! I hope your book sells quickly and you get on shelves fast because I'd love to read the book. :D

Tere Kirkland said...

Wow, I just saw this! Congrats!!

That is just amazing news. Persistence pays off, baby!

Natalie said...

Congratulations! I'm so glad your persistence paid off. :)

Weronika Janczuk said...

SHERRIE!!! I couldn't be happier for you. Congratulations! :-)

SWK said...

Woohoo! Well deserved. Many congrats! - Stasia

Susan R. Mills said...

This is so exciting!!!!!!!! Wow! Every time I go on blog break, one of my buddies signs with an agent or sells a book. Congratulations!

Janet Johnson said...

Congratulations! So awesome for you!! And I needed to hear this, too. Thanks for sharing your story. :D

TerryLynnJohnson said...

what an amazing story!!! HUGE congratulations!!!
I just LOVE how you layed out the events and emails that led to that one more query. So WONDERFUL!!!
I know the feeling of the amazement of finally finding the perfect agent!!!!
I'm so happy for you!!!

Rena said...

Congratulations!!!

Gerri L said...

* Bravo, Sherrie! Your amazing post has inspired me not to give up, ever.

Elana Johnson said...

YAY!!! I just saw this on Susan's blog, and came right over to congratulate you! I'm so happy for you, Sherrie! Can't wait to read about your sale!

kathrynjankowski said...

Fantastic news, Sherrie! I just read about this at Shrinking Violets or I would have congratulated you earlier. Are you still smiling? ;-)

Julie Musil said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Your perseverance paid off big time!

Mrsblogalot said...

Hi Sherrie, I came over from Susan's blog to give you a hearty congratulations!!! How incredibly awesome to have a dream come true!!! And you keep saying those words, you've earned them!!! I read your first chapter btw and LOVED it! (-:

Nice to meet you girl and best of luck!!!

Lola Sharp said...

OMG! I'm so sorry I'm late to the joyous news!

CONGRATS!!!✩☆∴*★∵∶。◦°✰*¨*•.¸¸ ☆∴*★∵∶。◦°✰*¨*•.¸¸✩ ⋰˚☆

I feel so sad that you were that depressed about it before. But I love the way you shared your news...the honesty.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Sherrie! You ROCK! I'm so proud of you for pushing yourself for one more. *Sigh*

Now for the exciting journey of becoming public!

(if you ever need someone to review your book for your blogtour, count me in!)
elizabethmueller6ATgmail

~Elizabeth :)

Myrna Foster said...

Congratulations, Sherrie! I came over here from Jackee's post. It's heartening to see another writer's hard work paying off, isn't it. I loved Beth Revis's story.

Best of luck with the next stage of the game! I keep reading that luck is one of the vital ingredients ;)

Jill Corcoran said...

WOOOOOT!!!
Congrats. That is wonderful:)
Happy dance all around.

Meagan Spooner said...

Wow, congratulations! And such an inspiring story to share with those of us still slogging along. I love hearing about how writers got their agents, and when there's some adversity mixed in it's always that much sweeter. Thanks for sharing!

Janna Qualman said...

Congratulations!

Beth said...

Congratulations! What a thrill for you! She's supposed to be a wonderful agent.

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