Monday, April 4, 2016

Finding Your Niche In All You Do

         We tell our kids the same thing all the time. Try, try again. Try until you get it right. Don't give up. Start again. Practice makes perfect. We have ingrained this mentality into our culture. We say the same thing to our friends, co-workers, parents, nieces, nephews, etc...

         Stop and think about this though. What happens when as hard as you try, you still fail? Let's be realistic here. Not everyone is going to make it to the top. Not everyone is going to be drafted to the NFL, or the NBA, or any other national sports league. Not everyone is going to make the team. Whether it is the middle school team, high school team, AAU League, or any other league.

         And lets face it, you might write that novel, edit it, edit it until you just run out of changes, query it and get rejected. Do you stop? No. You try again. Why? Because that is what makes us better writers. And you should. You get back on that horse. You take that master piece of yours and it edit it again. You send it to partners and you are thrilled when they rip it to shreds. Now we are getting somewhere. You edit again, and again and again. Now you tackle that query. You work on it night and day. You walk away, you send it out for critique. You edit again, and again. Until you just don't know what other changes you can make.

     You do your research on agents. You send your query out in small batches just to get more rejections. Finally you get a request for a full. You are on cloud nine. Nothing can upset you now. Months pass as you try not to think about your baby. You start to work on another manuscript, although that first baby is never far from your thoughts. Finally you hear news. The agent isn't interested. Suddenly you can't decide if you want to scream or cry.

     Seriously though, what happens when a manuscript just isn't working? How long do you play this game until you finally put it aside and say. Okay, I love you but I have to move on. And when you do look into yourself and see your work as other people see it? Maybe the style of writing isn't working, maybe it's the genre, maybe it is the demographic?  Try didn't styles of writing, different genre, play with YA, Adult, Picture Books. You might find you actually enjoy one more than other, or you at better at one over another.

     We all have gifts. The trick is not to dwell on our weakness, but to find our strengths and work on perfecting those. We are all good at different things. That is what makes us unique. Find what you are great at, work on that, and excel. That is goal for this year. What is yours?