There are a lot of things that I don’t enjoy doing. Things like spending time with small minded people, watching the news, and reality TV. Sometimes these things are easily avoided, but other times, they provide a significant barrier to accomplishing my goals. Then there are times that the barrier is more of a wall. A big stone wall. With those special arrow slits where they can shoot out but it’s really hard to shoot in. Like this:
Sometimes, you decide to walk away from these situations. Other times, you decide that the goal on the other side of the wall is worth going after. It’s times like these that you need to make a tough decision. Do you step outside your comfort zone on your own or do you enlist the help of someone to get you to your goal.
When I began writing, I found that there was a huge wall between what I felt I could do and what needed to be done for me to succeed as an author. Not only one wall, but two. One was keeping me in my comfort zone and the other was keeping me out of the promised land.
When I joined SCBWI (The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) I found that these two walls had begun to intersect. I found out that there were people in the industry whose job it was to deal with all the stuff I don’t enjoy. They negotiate contracts. They submit your work for you. Some of them even provide a bit of editing help. Who are these miraculous people? Agents! I so needed one.
So what did I do? Nothing. Remember that wall. It was still there. It is still there. It’s not going away on its own. But, with a bit of help, and some pushing, I am working around it. How? Glad you asked.
It took a few years, but eventually, I queried an agent. I know. I’m totally living on the edge. Right? Well, maybe not right on the edge. I already kind of have a working relationship with her. You see, she used to be an editor. In fact, she used to be my editor. And my totally awesome book that is coming out in August, well, she had a lot to do with that. So you see, I didn’t exactly smash down a barrier, but I’m working on it. And I’ll keep slowly pecking away at all of them until there aren’t any left.