Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in May of 2010 I overflowed with writerly confidence.
My manuscript had received a positive critique. The words "you're almost ready" had been uttered. I left with marching orders . . . to submit fiction proposals to three agents and one editor.
And I intended to.
As soon as I incorporated all the changes that I now knew I needed to make to my novel. I expected it to take a few months. And it did.
Five months, in fact.
And then life happened. A lot of life.
One planned pregnancy suddenly included many unplanned complications. One wanted new home brought with it much unwanted drama.
And five months turned into six. Then seven. Then twelve. Then fourteen.
Somehow, I had become one of "those" people who never submitted the material that was requested at a conference. It was embarrassing.
And it was too late.
Or was it?
My dear friend and mentor, Edie Melson, said submit. She pointed out that the worst they could say is no. (And let's face it, the odds of that happening are high regardless).
So on Tuesday, I hit send.
I've received emails from two of the people I submitted proposals to. They didn't say "too late" or "this would have been awesome if you'd sent it in a year ago" or "sorry, Charlie."
They said, "Got it. Gonna look at it. We'll be back in touch."
And I thought it was too late.
So what's the lesson here? You can't win if you don't play.
Or in writing terms, you'll never be published if you don't submit.
I'm not expecting to hit a home run my first time at bat. I know rejection is coming and I'm not looking forward to it. I'll need chocolate, and lots of it, to get through this.
But at least now I'm in the game. I'm not sitting on the sidelines "hoping to be published" but not taking any steps to make that dream a reality.
So what are you waiting for?
Did you attend Blue Ridge, Southwest, ACFW, Writing for the Soul, Mt. Hermon or any other conference and did someone ask you to send them a few chapters or a proposal? Did a faculty member suggest you query a certain agent?
It's not too late.