Achieving a Goal
I love certain reality television shows. Top Chef and Project Runway are my favorites. Mostly because these showcase creative individuals using their skills and talents to produce something from nothing, in an ungodly short amount of time with usually the craziest of resources. Create a couture dress with candy! Cook a four-star dish using the ingredients from a vending machine!
During each show’s elimination or the final cuts, judges ask the contestants why they deserve to stay or win. One of the answers I cannot stand is, ‘Because I work really hard and I deserve this.’ I disagree. Just because one works hard doesn’t mean he or she will create something amazing or worthy of recognition. If everyone on the show ‘worked really hard’ then how would the judges ever choose a winner based on that sole criteria?
Four years ago, I worked really hard and wrote my first novel in 15 years. It was bad. I won’t deny it. The story was there, but that was about it. Writing after a long absence wasn’t like riding a bike: I needed more time to develop my skills. Knowing this, there was no way I would tell an agent, ‘You must take me on and publish this because I worked really hard on it.’ They would laugh me out the door. However, I met my goal of returning to my passion and writing a book. That was a great first step.
I then took that hard work and added to it, honing my skills by writing a lot more as well as attending workshops, critique sessions and writing groups. Three books later, I thought I had something that, along with the hard work, might be good enough to send into the world. I pitched it to an agent at a conference.
It’s now a few months later and I’ve signed a contract for literary representation. I’m absolutely thrilled to achieve another goal on my list – first was writing a good book and the second was to obtain a great agent. Now, as she constructs the marketing plan and sends the work out to publishers, I hope the third goal of receiving a publishing contract isn’t too far off. If I do get one, I can say, ‘Thanks for thinking my work is good enough.’ The hard work and persistence may have helped a little, too.
The Purcell Agency http://www.thepurcellagency.com/author-biographies.html
Don’t wish for it, work for it.