It's interesting to note that getting an agent is just the beginning of your writing journey. You work hard to get your writing out, try to learn from rejections, and improve your craft. Then, the unthinkable happens and an agent sees something in your writing (which is like seeing something in you) - something that makes them take a chance. So you think: "I have arrived." The truth is, however, that you've only just begun.
Once you sign with your agent, edit your work, and get it ready, the waiting begins. As I've mentioned, I'm not an overly patient person, but I am trying and this journey is definitely improving my skills in this area. What I've found though, is that, in addition to becoming a stronger, more active writer, getting an agent has opened my eyes to so much more.
This morning I had an engaging back and forth, via Twitter, with an author who has a new book coming out. Not long ago, Sharon Draper, author of the beautiful 'Out of My Mind', thanked me, via Twitter, for a review I did on her book. I've connected with a number of different people in this world that I did not know existed before I met my agent at a writers' conference. To keep in the loop, and because I kept hearing about it, I started following people, including Carly Watters, on Twitter. By doing this, I was exposed to this huge world full of people just like me, that are in love with the written word.
Of course, I don't actually know these people, but their words and thoughts resonate with me and make me feel like part of a community. It's a long road to getting your book published and it's nice to know that I'm not walking it alone. I like the comfort of hearing about the experiences others have had and are having. I like the posts about writers that are struggling with their characters, plot lines, or word count. The questions that other writers ask, make me think and question my own writing.
It's all part of a process and, to be truthful, there's no way of knowing that you'll make it for sure. However, whatever the outcome, meeting Carly, having her take a chance, connecting with other writers, exploring all of the reading and writing tips and links that I've found since that conference, have made me a better writer. Writing is part of who I am, so in a sense, it has also made me a stronger person.
This is a world that I did not know existed six months ago. It's like buying a new car; once you buy it, you suddenly see them everywhere. Now that I'm a part of this unique writing world, I realize how many people are on this journey. It makes me grateful to be one of them.