By TAMARA MOSS
It’s Christmas Eve in 2014, you have just decided to quit writing and oh how I wish I was there to console you. You’ve been submitting to publishers and agents for eight years. You’ve been getting rejected for eight years. You’ve watched good friends rise to impossible publishing heights in leaps and bounds while you’re stuck in the dankest of pits. You have experience dark, dark thoughts in dark, dark times because failing and failing and failing doesn’t make you strong, it makes you weak, and you feel weak for quitting.
But you are not weak. It’s the best decision you can make for yourself right now. You’ll put away your writing books and your ideas folders, and you’ll replace them with curriculum resources and teaching files, and that’s okay. You need that break. You need to rest and recharge. In about four months, you’ll write a spectacular story because your fingers itch to create. You are a writer. It’s embedded into you. Getting rejected – and even quitting – doesn’t change that.
You won’t write this story for publication. It’ll be for your best friend, because she’s why you started writing in the first place, and she’ll be there long after the published books are gone. It’ll be the most honest book you’ve ever written. It’ll be your heart story.
You’ll find the courage to send it to publishers in the end. You’ll get rejected again. But this time, it’ll be okay, because you’ve remembered why you love writing. You’ll write another manuscript that will get rejected.
But then you’ll find Lintang. And with Lintang comes an editor, a publishing team, an agent and not one but three books in your first year as an author. You’ll get to go to schools and tell this story to children, who’ll listen with wide eyes and open mouths, then ask you to sign books and bookmarks and notepads and whatever they can reach, because you did something incredible. And you’re an excellent presenter, because those years of rejection forced you to go into teaching to earn money, which means you know how to walk into a classroom and talk to kids for an hour without hesitation. Pretty handy, huh?
It was the not knowing that wrecked you. Not knowing if you’d ever be published and hold your own book in your hands. I know how much it hurts.
But I’m here to tell you that it’s going to happen. Your dreams will come true. Stay strong. Look after yourself. I’ll see you in four years, babe.
Tamara Moss works as a teacher and author in Western Australia. The first book in her Lintang series was a CBCA Notable in 2018, and shortlisted for the Readings Children’s Book Prize. Find Tamara:
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