I’m trying to handle all this unpredictability
In all probability
It’s a long shot, but I say why not
If I say forget it, I know that I’ll regret it
It’s a long shot just to beat these odds
The chance is we won’t make it
But I know if I don’t take it, there’s no chance
Cause you’re the best I got
So take a long shot…
~Kelly Clarkson, “Long Shot”
Unpredictability has never been something I’ve particularly enjoyed. Okay, that’s an understatement. I have always been the type of person who likes to have things planned out ahead of time. I like to know what’s going to happen when. I like predictability. And this journey to get my books published? It’s definitely anything but. When I began this process, the entire thing was something unknown to me. Sure, I’ve been doing as much research as I possibly can, but there’s still SO much to learn that can really only come with experience — experience that I hope every day to have the opportunity to gain soon. Something that I’ve already learned from the experience thus far is that unpredictability is okay. In fact, it can be better than okay — because, “when nothing is sure, everything is possible.” Sure, I wish I could know what lies ahead for me in this journey. I certainly wish I knew what day will be the one when I get the response from a literary agent that I’m hoping and praying for. But the unpredictability of this all doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It doesn’t have to just signify all the unknowns that come with a journey like this. It can also symbolize all the possibilities, all the opportunities. There are so many that could (and, fingers crossed, will) come from this — and in that sense, the unpredictability of it all could actually be a good thing.
So yes, in all probability, this dream of having my books published is a long shot. Most literary agents say on their websites that they get hundreds of query letters each month (and some per week!). That’s a lot, a REAL lot. There are so many talented authors, so many wonderful ideas for novels. That in and of itself makes this journey a long shot. These agents get so many queries all the time, and I have to admit, sometimes it’s a little discouraging to know that mine is just one of hundreds. I know that it could take quite a long time for this dream of mine to happen. I know that putting myself out there like this, putting my writing – my “baby” – out there like this, is at times initimidating and nerve-wracking. I know that a lot of agents nowadays aren’t accepting unsolicited queries, which makes the long shot seem all that much longer sometimes. I know all that, but I also understand that dreams DO come true, that with hard work and dedication, long shots ARE attainable. I know that even though it may take a long time for this dream to become a reality, that it means WAY too much to me to EVER give up. I know that even though this was intimidating at first, I still “did it afraid” (thank you, Melinda!!) and concentrated on how very excited I was instead of how nervous I was. I know that I will never forget this dream of mine, because I would indeed regret it … more than I can ever begin to express. I know that I will never give up on this, NEVER, and that I will continue to work every day towards making it a dream come true — and I know that it will mean that much more when it DOES happen one day.
Do I hope and pray every day for the response I so want from a literary agent? Of course. Do I cross my fingers every time I send off a query later, hoping that that will be the one? Of course. I want this more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my whole life — and that is precisely why I won’t let the fact that it’s a long shot stop me. Because, after all, a long shot is better than no shot. If I don’t take this shot at it, then I have no chance of having my dream come true. That’s not an option for me. I’ll take the long shot over no shot at all any day. Maybe the fact that this IS a long shot is something I can use to encourage and inspire me. After all, nothing worth having ever comes easily, and something you love so much, something that’s your passion, is absolutely worth fighting for. Nothing’s out of reach unless you allow it to be. Sure, the stars are high in the sky, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach for them. Sure, it may be a long shot, but that’s light years better than no shot at all.
Always, always, ALWAYS believe in your dream and do everything you can to make it come true. Don’t let the fact that it’s a long shot stop you — let it motivate you to work even harder, dream even bigger. I can say with all the certainty in the world that I will always believe in this dream of mine, and I will always do everything in my power to make it come true. I’m sending out my second set of query letters for the shortened version of the novel this week, and I’m just as excited about it as I was when I sent the first letter out back in October. See, and that tells me that this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. It’s been a year and three months since I first started writing this — and every time I sit down to write (only ten chapters left to write in the sequel, aka books four through eight!!), I’m still filled with just as much excitement as I was that first day. Every time I write a new query letter, I’m still filled with just as much hope and excitement — even though I know it’s a long shot. It’s a shot worth taking and a shot worth believing in — because every long shot has that glimmer of hope in it, and as long as we hold on to our hope, ANYTHING is possible.
Oh yeah, and as for my vow to wait until March 10th to listen to Kelly’s new album — well, if I hadn’t given in, I never would have had the lyrics for this entry … ;-)