November 3, 2010

Aspiring Author

'Mum, a publisher rang and they want to publish your book. They're going to ring back at the same time tomorrow,' said Sienna.
'Did Sienna take a phone call while I was out?'
'Yes, she did,' replied my son Zane.
The next day, the phone rang at the same time just like Sienna said.
'Hello, is that Mrs Taprell?'
'Yes it is.'
'It's Julie here from the Australian Security Company. It's about your alarm.'
Yes, this really did happen.

My two children were at home when I quickly went to the shop to buy some milk. Sienna had only started answering the phone and this was her first message. Of course I couldn't blame her. Maybe, 'Australian Security Company,' sounded like 'Publishing Contract,' to her at the time, or maybe she'd seen me obsessively checking the letter box every day for a reply from publishers. Sienna knew that I'd sent my manuscripts and that I was waiting on a reply. Anyway, I smiled and thought that this is part of the whole roller coaster ride of the aspiring author.
It feels strange calling myself an aspiring author, but really, that's what I am. Even though I've been writing for a few years. I'll still be an aspiring author until I get that contract in the mail. For me, that day will be like Charlie Bucket opening the Wonka Bar to find Willie Wonka's Golden Ticket! I suppose until I get a cheque or some form of payment, then I'll have to wait until I can call myself a fully fledged, fair dinkuim, hunky dory, published author. Most people know that you can have all the talent in the world, but there's more than talent needed to make it as a published author. If you're willing to study the craft of writing, take the knock backs on the chin, and you're determined enough to keep sending manuscripts out, then one day you may receive that lucky golden ticket in the mail.
Many writer's say to be proud of your rejections. Don't wallow in self doubt and give up. If it's really what you want then acknowledge any feed back you might be lucky enough to receive, and send out your new cover letter and manuscript the same or next day. It's almost like replacing a negative with a positive. This has worked for me. That's not to say that I haven't had days when I've had self doubt. I usually go and research how to write and read some inspirational picture book authors and then get back to writing.
I'd loved to be a published author, but I know that nothing comes easy and with hard work comes great reward. For the moment, I'm happy being an aspiring author. I'm going to think about the last scene in the movie, 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.' Willie Wonka turned to Charlie and said,

'But Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man that suddenly got everything he ever wanted. He lived happily ever after.'


Angela Sunde. said...

Oh, I love that last quote! Another great post - you are a natural and that publishing contract will come. I am sure of it.

Charmaine Clancy said...

Great memory! I remember my daughter taking a message for me years ago when I was job hunting. She said "someone rang for you about a job", I asked who it was and she said, "I think it was that guy of that show 'Lost'." I thought it amusing that kids just assume anything is possible.

Great to find your blog :-)

Vicki Stanton said...

I'm with you Renee on the beauty of picture books. To me, the best picture books are a work of art. I loved your recount of 'the publishing contract'. I have to admit I may not have taken it as well as you. I would have spent the rest of the day in my pyjamas eating chocolate! Great blog!

Karen Tyrrell said...

Hi Renee, At last I can leave a comment thanks to you adding Name /URL to your comment profile!
Love your inspiring BLOG about writers quest to publishing. Your anecdotes are charming and heart felt. Good luck with your personal quest to publishing...cheers, Karen :))

Unknown said...

Hey Karen,
Thanks for your persistence and kind words. It's great to have you visiting my blog. Cheers ;)

Katrina Germein said...

We all wallow in a little bit of self doubt sometimes, even if we plan not to! The important bit is the not giving up part. Great attitude. Good luck :)

Unknown said...

Thanks Katrina for visiting my blog. It's hard to remain positive sometimes but I always tell myself, 'You've got to be in it to win it.' I've visited your blog and read your post about Illustrator Envy and how you came to write, Big Rain Coming.' It's a fabulous picture book.