Column by Kim Liggett, author of 2015 novel BLOOD AND SALT
(September 2015, G.P Putnam’s Sons). At sixteen, Kim Liggett
left for New York City to pursue a career in music and acting.
After settling down, she created a children’s art education program
and a travel company specializing in tours for musicians. She’s married
to jazz musician Ken Peplowski, has two grotesquely beautiful teens,
and a very neurotic dog. Connect with her on Twitter.
That’s when I decided to get serious. I put on the blinders. I stopped thinking about the market or what ifs and dove into my nearly yearlong revision with renewed vigor. I pushed myself to write out of my comfort zone. I stopped censoring myself and wrote the book of my heart. I put it all on the line.
But I didn’t stop there. I sent it to three trusted beta readers and incorporated their feedback. I read it aloud to my dog, my kids, anyone who would listen. I found an app to make the most boring computer voice in the world read it aloud, which is painful, but a great way to catch repeated words and phrasing. I agonized over every single word and comma. And when I was finally finished, I found that I was afraid to submit. I’d done my absolute best, but what if my best still wasn’t good enough?
That question haunted me.
I knew I had to do things differently this time. I chose five agents that I’d met at conferences, and hit send.
I was prepared to hunker down for an agonizing wait, but something amazing happened! The following day, I got my first offer. And the next day, I got three more.
And three weeks later, BLOOD AND SALT sold at auction to Penguin Random House in a two-book deal. All the work, all the time I put into making it right, paid off in a big way.
The moral of this story is, publishing will wait for you. Take the time to make it right and you’ll be able to move forward with zero regrets. Maybe this isn’t the manuscript that you’ll break in with, but knowing that you gave it your all will catapult you into your next best thing.
Whatever happens, don’t give up. Keep pushing yourself. Stay focused on the writing and good things will come.
Check Out These Great Upcoming Writers’ Conferences:
- Nov. 13, 2015: Connecticut Writing Workshop (Hartford, CT)
- Nov 14, 2015: Boston Writing Conference (Boston, MA)
- Feb. 6, 2016: Writing Conference of Houston (Houston, TX)
- Feb. 19, 2016: Alabama Writing Workshop (Birmingham, AL)
- Feb. 20, 2016: Atlanta Writing Workshop (Atlanta, GA)
- March 25, 2016: Tampa Writers Conference (Tampa, FL)
- March 26, 2016: Fort Lauderdale Conference for Writers (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
- April 9, 2016: Philadelphia Writing Workshop (Philadelphia, PA)
- Aug. 12-14, 2016: Writer’s Digest Conference East (New York, NY)