I read about this article on a listserv today and I was just going to include the link. But it is so good, so hopeful, so full of encouragement that I lifted the entire thing. Rachelle Gardner is a literary Agent for WordServe, a Christian publisher. She sounds like she’d be a great agent. Unfortunately, she doesn’t accept children’s, MG, YA, or fantasy.
Anyway, read her words and be inspired to keep writing:
“We all have dreams of publication. We dream of sharing our words with others, whether they’re words of story to entertain and inspire people, or perhaps words of non-fiction in which we hope to share some truth that might help others live better lives.
“Our dreams are constantly being threatened by the perceived reality of the difficult publishing industry. We are bombarded with rejection letters and with messages of how “impossible” this road is.
“I’ve been known to pass along some of these “reality checks” right here on this blog.
“But here’s the thing. If you have a deep, burning passion to share your written words with the world, then you – and only you – have to believe with everything in you that it will happen.
“The sky is always falling in the publishing industry. It seems some people are afraid for the future of the written word. But I say, there’s nothing to be afraid of.
“Our options are expanding, not diminishing.
“We live in an information-hungry society. We are voracious consumers of the written word for education, enlightenment, and entertainment. There is an endless hunger out there, and we will continue to need writers like you to satiate the appetite.
“Our options for publishing are expanding from the traditional, royalty-paying commercial publishers to include all sorts of other options for smaller niche publishing, digital publishing, print-on-demand and self-publishing.
“The way we deliver the written word is certainly changing and expanding at the speed of light; this means there are going to be more and more opportunities to share your words with the world.
“You may need to change your preconceived notion of how that’s going to happen. You may need to get more specific in your own mind about who your audience is, and how they can be reached. Nobody needs to reach everybody with their book; your job is to understand who you want to reach, and then begin to learn the best ways of reaching that specific audience.
“Do not be frightened or discouraged by the bad news about traditional publishing. This business is a dinosaur that is in for a big shift, but nothing is going to change the fact that people still want to read.
“Do not allow all the “competition” from other writers to discourage you. Understand that there is room for everyone.
“When you get rejection letters, let them fill you with gratitude that you’ve learned something; at the very least, you’ve learned that this particular agent or publisher isn’t for you at this time.
“Be aware that somebody took the time to look at your work and respond – and let it make you smile.
“Be grateful that you’ve been given the passion and ability to write.
“Be overwhelmed with thankfulness that millions of people love to read, and you love to write.
“Sing praises for agents and editors and small indy publishers who love to help writers’ dreams come true.
“Believe you’ve been given this passion for a reason. Understand that you have to work to bring it to fruition – but you’ve also been given the energy and enthusiasm and time you need to make it happen.
“I believe it for you. I believe it for every single one of my clients. But you’ve got to believe it too. God gave you something powerful – a story or a message, and the desire to share it. God is not in the business of tricking people, or of squandering anything – not talent, not passion, not time. Pursue your God-given passions with an unwavering faith. Praise and bless the obstacles. And keep believing.”
If you want to read more from Rachelle, check out her blog: