The Brave New World

I am a writer. No matter how many times I tell myself that, it doesn’t sink in, probably because I have nothing to show for it. I know it’s who I am–let’s be honest, I knew when I was about six–but it’s not an easy thing to commit to.

This comes hot on the heels of having finished my first novel, a story steeped in grief, empowerment, and a really fucked up urban legend. It’s something I’m proud of, and it’s the first time I’ve ever believed in the idea that I could not just be a writer but be A Writer. And while that’s all great and cheerful, I am a 22-year-old lost in a landscape of oh-God-this-is-scary bureaucracy.

There are certain things I know I have to do in order to continue on the path to not being homeless while writing, but what I lack is guidance. I know I need people to absolutely tear my manuscript apart, but friends and family only serve to gush and do some great back-patting, not to give solid criticism. (I mean, getting patted on the back is awesome and everything, but a literary agent isn’t as… gentle.) Last night I started looking into agencies. Holy fucking terrifying. I sent out two queries before the self-doubt set in, which I know is normal, but I feel less equipped to understand this industry than the average person because I really, truly have no idea what I’m doing.

I just want to write, y’know? But beyond that, I want people to feel my writing and have the opportunity to carry it with them. My market is young adult, and I know that by having a market I’m already a step ahead, but I am also completely unpublished and young. Young might not be a bad thing: agents and publishers see potential for a long career, which means $$. However, young also means not being taken seriously, and I’ve had enough of that in my life, thank you.

So the purpose of this blog becomes documenting my way through this brand new world in the hopes that, should I ever get some footing, it might help some other young writer holding their manuscript and saying, “Now what?” Maybe with some luck I’ll be able to answer that, but for now, I wait.

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