Sunday, October 25, 2009

Augusten Burroughs on tenacity

I had an agent for a few years, and she did a wonderful job getting my novel Make Nice in front of publishers. (Unfortunately none of them bought it, but that was my fault, not hers.) As most of my friends know, last year she quit the agent business, so I'm trying to find a new agent for my novel Mango Rain (which has had other titles in manuscript, including "Bangalored").

As I start the process of trying to find an agent again, these words from Augusten Burroughs are encouraging.
As a writer, you can't allow yourself the luxury of being discouraged and giving up when you are rejected, either by agents or publishers. You absolutely must plow forward. I believe that if you have real talent as a writer, a true gift, you will eventually be published. But it may not happen according to your schedule. And it may not happen with the first manuscript you create. Or the second. So you have to be, if not patient, at least endlessly tenacious.

Once I decided to write, to be published, I knew it would happen. I knew that if I wrote a new book every six months or every year, if I continued to read great books, eventually I would write something worthy of publication. I understood I might be in my forties or my fifties or even my sixties, but I felt confident that it would happen. The reason I was so confident is because I knew I wouldn't stop trying until it happened. And this is the secret. You don't need to be confident. You just need to be stubborn.

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