What If The “Yes” Never Comes?

I stumbled across this image in my phone. Apparently I decided to save it at some point.


I think past me knew that present me would need to read this right about now.

I recently started querying agents with my completed middle-grade novel, hoping to one day join the ranks of published hybrid authors. I’ve queried in the past (I even had a contract, but that’s another story for another day), so I know what’s in store. Lots of prep work. Lots of waiting. And lots of rejection.

And hopefully, one “yes.”

But what if that “yes” never comes?

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I’m a bit of a numbers nerd, so I know the odds aren’t in my favor. My past publishing success might give me a little nudge, but even so, my book might not be right for any lists at this time, as the form rejections say.

Does that mean my book is a failure?

Short answer: NO

Long answer: Look at this part of the quote.

celebrate quote section

There are, at my last estimation, approximately eleventy billion people who say they want to write a book. A small fraction of them start. A smaller fraction of those finish.

Simply finishing is something relatively few manage to do.

Writing a novel isn’t easy. You have to consider things like arcs and settings and dialogue and theme and a few dozen other things and get it all to mesh into something people want to read.

I know I’ve done that with my newest book (and hopefully all of them, ha ha). One of my critique partners said it’s the best book I’ve written, and considering I wrote it for my students, my hope that an agent and publisher loves it as much as I do is greater, somehow. I want to go as big as I can with it, if for no other reason than for my students and kids like them to be seen.

But even if the “yes” doesn’t come soon or at all, I’m proud of it. So I’ll now focus on this part of the quote:

celebrate quote section1

Now, who’s raising a glass with me?

9 thoughts on “What If The “Yes” Never Comes?

  1. Congratulations, Allison. This quote is very right. Often I have people saying to me they don’t know how I do everything I do, they never could. It is the same sort of idea. I am looking forward to reading this book to Michael.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure I celebrate each time I finish something, but if I do, it’s in slightly different ways that would not always be obvious to an outside observer.

    A recent short story that I was particularly proud of, about 4000 words long, I wrote in one day. I was proud of that, but I didn’t really notice the word count until I was nearly finished. It was just something that I was able to work on all throughout the day that day, and I decided it would be nice to finish it – since it was only a short story, after all – and so I did.

    Now, it was in a genre that’s relatively new to me, Horror, and that was another reason to be excited.

    I’d written what I thought was a good story, for a new genre, that was 4000 words long, done it in one day, and it had an ending that I wanted readers to not see coming. (The proprietor of this blog, in particular.)

    Since some people pride themselves on being able to see the ending coming in cop shows and books and whatnot, it’s particularly satisfying to keep them guessing right until the end.

    When I completed the story, that was a small victory. Doing it in one day was another victory. (Many writers could never get 4000 words out in a day; some not in a week. I have a dyslexic writer friend who finds it difficult to write 1000 words in a day.) I found it good, another victory (I’m objective enough to know a first attempt in a new genre might not be so hot). And I was able to brag about it a little the night I finished it.

    The last link in the chain was whether my CP would agree it was good (I figured she would) and if she was able to see the end coming. It was important she NOT be able to do that.

    Now, I’m not going to pat myself on the back too hard for things I should be able to do, just like my daughter doesn’t get a little toy anymore for using the toilet instead of diapers. But celebrations are relative, and small ones can be big.

    I will celebrate what I see as overcoming my hurdles, regardless of their size, and I will celebrate anyone else overcoming theirs, because it’s all relative.

    So how did I celebrate my 4k day?

    I think partly by telling someone else I did it. I think they said, “Cool. I’ve never done that… ever.” And then partly when, after she’d read it the next day, she told me she didn’t see the ending coming.

    That’s when I celebrated. Nothing big, maybe just a smile and my chest puffing out a little.

    Not quite champagne, but I didn’t care.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am….🍻…here, quite literally…✌😀… This quote is going up in my study. Thanks for sharing it. You gave me a reason to like myself for simply finishing something. And I can’t forget your inputs on my short story last time. I remember the lessons. Thanks so much.l Allison.🙏✌🖖🤘

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes. I raise a glass when I finish the first draft and when I click the Publish button. I think hitting the book’s word count goal should qualify, and maybe the 50% point. I recommend keeping a cupboard full of single serving Champagne bottles. They get cold after only thirty minutes in the freezer.

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