Post-DVpit and Pinching Myself

Uh. So. Things happened on Wednesday when my tweet did much, much better than I had ever anticipated or even imagined. Last year, I got less than ten likes from different agents in total across six tweets.

This year, things were much different.

dvpit tweet

I didn’t go viral. I didn’t get national celebrity status. I didn’t make the news. But I did get all this attention for my little book. In general, I like to think that I’m a humble person, dreaming big but being realistic. Though I dream about working full-time as an author, I don’t expect to be raking in the big bucks, swimming around in cash, or having enough to throw to charity and still live more than comfortably. No, that’s SUCH an impossibility and it’s a joke for me to even consider that.

All I want to do is earn enough as an author to live comfortably. That’s it.

Sometimes it feels like a big dream because, while I’ve been middleclass and even close to upper-middleclass at one point, my family has had its ups and downs. We have debt piling up, emergencies taking away what we’ve saved, things that always got in the way of making the most of what we have. Sure, who doesn’t dream about being filthy rich?

I’m a daydreamer.

And yet I don’t like getting my hopes up.

The thing about DVpit is that it’s an amazing opportunity for marginalized creators to have their voices heard. While I wasn’t about to scroll through the tweets much, it’s clear that it is a very active. A lot of writers participated, as did agents and editors. I fully expected mine to get hidden beneath it all, just as it did before. I’ve never made it into contests or had thousands (or even hundreds) of followers to support me. I don’t have the mental and emotional capability to reach out to people every day.

My phone went off all day. Retweets, likes, comments! Agents, editors, friends, other writers, bookbloggers, and so many others! I checked my notifications briefly while I was at work, unable to fully process what’s going on aside from seeing the numbers rising. Because I work in a patisserie, I don’t have much time to use my phone and I definitely can’t ever use my laptop there. So, as all this attention was happening, I was working and thinking, No, this is ridiculous and NO FREAKNG WAY.

I didn’t fully process it until tonight when I was showing my mom what happened.

This pitch existed in several different forms since last October’s DVpit. It’s been tweaked and tweaked until it came to this version and I still wasn’t entirely happy with it but I threw it out there. I guess it worked? Over 60 agents expressed interest, over a dozen editors did as well.

What did I do? I waited until I could breathe and the names and numbers weren’t blurring from my anxiety. It felt like there was so much pressure on me, that my book was getting so hyped and didn’t even deserve it. My book? HA. My book would never be so hyped—but I was wrong.

I only hope I deserve it all.

Once I calmed down, I wrote down the names of the agents and editors by hand. I organized them alphabetically by literary agency/publishing house. And then I started plugging all this info into a spreadsheet, keeping track of what they wanted from me. And then, I decided who I wanted to query. Just like regular querying, I’m doing these in batches, but also making sure the agents I’d love to have represent me are the ones who get it first.

Now, some queries and materials are out there.

It feels like I have NO IDEA what I’m doing. Through all this, I’m relying on my friends to help me figure out my thoughts and reminding me of how amazing this all is. They’re all seeing it, so it must be real, right? It’s not a dream. Something I joked about—wow, just wait, I’m going to get SOOOOOO many likes—became real.

This happened.

I can hardly believe it.

Fingers crossed for good news to come!

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March 2018 Reflections

LIFE UPDATES

  • Nonfiction piece on Ruru Reads
    • ICYMI: I had a nonfiction piece about first love and being fetishized on Ruru Reads that you can read here! I also wrote an open letter to go along with the publication in case people I know in real life read this piece and have some thoughts, which you can read here.
  • Working on Multiple Projects AT ONCE IS A LOT OF WORK WHY DID I DO THIS
    • So I’m trying to be ambitious and get a lot of things done. There are so many ideas in my head and so little time to get them all down. Sometimes I just start projects and let them sit for a while now that I’ve got some words down for them. At first, I was beating myself up over the fact that I did this with both RivalAssassinsWIP/B&B and BakingFigureSkaterBook/RFRE, but I realized I did this before. I wrote the beginning of WQC while I was drafting WTB because I needed to get that opening scene out so I can focus on WTB. And then as I was doing revisions on WTB, I started THTS because I had the beginning perfectly formed in my head.
    • So basically, I realized I’ve been doing this multiple times. Start, get the voice, and return to the main thing that I get done. It’s not always novel-length stories either. There are some short stories in my folders that are incomplete or in  need of serious, little things the size of a chapter or two in my novel-length projects that flow out in the moment so I can silence all the noise.
    • Maybe I’ll write a full post on that silencing-the-noise thing. I was telling someone the other day that I don’t have characters speaking to me or imagine worlds first like they do, I’m one of those writers who has an idea that’s like a seed and it grows and grows – or ideas like a web that’s constantly expanding. One small point that grows and expands until it’s this whole thing. And, sometimes, the starting point just needs to get down before I start building it, just so it feels like it’s getting the attention it demands.
  • No longer the New Girl at work
    • I’m adjusting to my job well, I think! I’m getting the hang of things to the point where I’m being allowed to help train the new person at work. It’s a little stressful because I don’t do things perfectly and there are still things I’m uncertain about, but it’s nice to look at it as seeing all the things I have learned and can do. That’s kinda why I like my accountability threads on Twitter – being able to visualize my progress and look at how far I’ve come.
  • Struggling to enjoy books
    • I do read a lot lately, but I might be burning out. Last year, I had a goal of 50 books. This year, my goal is 100. It’s a big jump and who knows if I’ll actually accomplish it. I don’t have as much time to read anymore because my commute to work isn’t as long as my commute to school. And books lately haven’t been as good as I hoped they were. I’ve been losing interest. Maybe in April I won’t strive to read as much as I planned (8-10 books per month) and just focus on my WIPs.
    • In trying to combat that lack of interest in novels, I’m trying to read more poetry! It’s an interesting adjustment and it does help me work on my prose and vocabulary so my writing isn’t repetitive or dull. That’s not to say that people who don’t read poetry write in repetitive or dull ways, but my writing gets that way. It’s my extra boost of inspiration especially since my writing often stems from a single line that’s beening playing over and over again in my head until’s written down.
  • Preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo
    • this is part of my ambitious streak! So, in combination with working on multiple projects at once, I’m trying to get a schedule together to accomplish my goals. In the mornings, I’ll be writing. In the evenings, I’ll be editing. Since I do want a life outside writing, however, that means I won’t be cramming in edits every night which is fine with me. Who knows if I’ll win Camp NaNo? I’m still going to try and use this month as motivation to be productive. Hopefully I won’t get stressed out and hate myself if I don’t accomplish that 60k word count I’m aiming for.

BOOKS I’VE READ

  • Everless by Sara Holland ★★★
  • A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole ★★★
  • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton ★★★
  • The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory ★★★
  • Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest ★★★
  • This Impossible Light by Lily Myers ★★★
  • Easy by Marie Ponsot ★★

FILMS I’VE WATCHED

  • Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
  • Love, Simon (2018)
  • Tomb Raider (2018)
  • The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
  • The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)
  • Expedition China (2017)
  • When We First Met (2018)

TV SHOWS I’VE WATCHED

  • This is Us (2016-)
  • Black Lightning (2018-)
  • Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
  • Versailles (2015-)
  • Timeless (2016-)