“Believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”
~Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy)
Hopeful. Nervous. Excited. Anxious. Inspired. There are so many words to describe how I’m feeling now, how I felt this afternoon when I sent off my first round of queries for my new novel, Reflections of Me. It’s funny, I thought maybe this time would be different. After all, I’ve been here before. I’ve sent the queries, I’ve checked my email over and over (and over), I’ve gone on the emotional rollercoaster that this journey embodies, I’ve taken to heart the comments and feedback agents have given me. So this time, it would only follow that things wouldn’t be the same, right? Wrong.
Well, actually, maybe that’s not entirely true. If it’s possible, every emotion is even more magnified this time. The hope is higher, the excitement greater, the inspiration stronger. I’ve made no secret of the fact that writing this novel was very special for me. There was something indescribable about the experience, something that transcends explanation. To say this novel is like my baby is the best comparison I can make. It was a pure joy to work on from the first day of brainstorming straight through the last day of editing. Even the query and synopsis were fun. This book, it didn’t just entrench itself in my mind. It entrenched itself in my heart and soul. There wasn’t a single day that I didn’t want to work on it, and I’m already itching to start planning its sequel. I’ve said for years now that writing is my work of heart, and this just proved it all over again. It showed me firsthand how much passion writing can invoke, how much pure happiness it can bring. No matter what the future holds, no matter what the queries bring, I will forever be glad that I took a chance on this story. I understand now that when something won’t leave your thoughts, it’s for a reason. It sounds corny, I know, but it’s like this book was meant to be mine.
I’ve always been one to believe in serendipity. Yes, it’s beyond important that we make our own luck, but sometimes it can’t hurt to believe in fate and fortune, too. So when I was in NYC on Sunday (to see Jordin Sparks in “In the Heights” — she was fantastic!) and this restaurant was directly across from the theater, I had to smile. My main character’s name is Sofie, but one of her advertising clients insists on always calling her Sofia.
Good sign? I’m choosing to believe so. We also stopped at Rockefeller Center, which will always be one of my favorite parts of the city. The flags, the surrounding buildings, the ice rink that’s open now … all of it has an energy and atmosphere all its own. Just being there, feeling that adrenaline and inspiration, is exciting in its own right. A stop by the Simon & Schuster building made it even more fun – and meaningful, knowing I was just days away from sending my first queries. It may be silly, but every publishing house excites me, makes me warm and fuzzy. I can’t help it, and I don’t want to.
As I start this next step on the journey, I’m going to keep on believing that things happen for a reason. If I get a chance, I’ll take it. If it changes my life, I’ll let it. I’ll embrace that opportunity with open arms. Is this road an easy one? No, but as the wise words of Meredith Grey remind us, nothing worth having ever is. It’s worth it, though. It’s so worth it.