Whenever anyone goes to a conference, they are usually warned to not stalk the agents/editors in the bathroom. I have always heeded that advice. Who wants to be bothered all the time?
But I admit at this writer's conference, I did step out of my comfort zone a little.
Okay. I didn't really stalk anyone. Sort of.
After my disappointing appointment with the agent, I signed up the next day to see an editor of a publishing house I was really familiar with. These appointments were on a first-come one-on-one basis. What did I have to lose?
He waited for me in a corner set up with comfy chairs. I smiled and said I was Terri and that I was there to pitch my book. He had me sit next to him and chicken that I am, I handed him my One sheet to read. Then he asked to look over a few pages. Yeah, I carried some with me.
I breathed little as he read. Then he told me what I'd already been hearing for two days. "You write well, but unfortunately we are taking on only historicals right now." To soften the blow, he suggested I see another editor at the conference.
Well, I had pretty much given up by now. I don't read historicals. I can't write them. So I headed back to my band of friends at our table. One of them told me I should definitely see the editor suggested as she had and he asked for a partial from her. Um. She writes historicals.
But they urged and so I looked. She said he was going to be wandering the hallways in case someone wanted to meet with him.
That someone was me.
Now I'm not a nervy take-charge kind of person led to stalking editors in open hallways but this time I did. Walked right up to him, introduced myself and said, "Does your publishing house consider contemporaries?"
They did--if it had a romance theme. Fortunately, mine did, I recently learned a day earlier at my agent-who-wasn't-taking-on-clients meeting.
We sat and talked for over a half hour or more.
This acquisition editor put me at ease and shared so much about himself as well making me see him as a real person who was also a writer and loved what he did. He shared about his own rejections and encouraged me not be so realistic about my own.
Did he ask me for a partial? You bet.
But most of all, his final words provided a reminder I needed to hear about this writing journey. When I joked that it was okay to reject me; I know it's part of the whole process, he told me something I hadn't been doing at all.
Save a little room for the magic.
Are you doing that today with your writing? Are you believing even amidst all the rejections that maybe today could be the day?