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Making it true vs Making it big

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 by Marianne Elliott

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A few weeks ago I entered a competition over at Chuck Sambuchino's fantastic blog Guide to Literary Agents

The prize was a critique of your first three chapters from the esteemed Katherine Sands, an agent at Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. This was one of the agencies on my short list of places I would love to call home, so I was keen to get my chapters in front of Katherine. This contest seemed a great opportunity to do just that.

Between entering the contest and finding out the results on Sunday, I received two offers of representation, agonized over the choice and finally decided that I couldn't do better than to work with the fabulous Laura Nolan.

On Sunday Chuck announced that I was one of the winners of the competition. I was thrilled. Only a few weeks ago this would have seemed like just the break that I so badly needed. Now it was reinforcement that I was on the right track. 

Writing is a solitary craft. I spent more than a year toiling away at my kitchen table with no idea whether I was on track to a publishable book or not. I first put my work out into the world in December and already, less than two months later, I've had resounding feedback that I am on track. It's great news. But it isn't success.

For me success has always been about making it true and good rather than making it big. I knew that the process of writing this book would be more significant that the book itself. It already has been. Like all processes it has its own rhythm, its own pace, its own lessons, its own challenges and its own rewards.

This is my life. Right here and right now. What comes next – whether it be a book deal or not – will be my life when it arrives. For now I remind myself why I write and I keep writing.

PS: In case you are wondering I wrote to Chuck to thank him for the fantastic competition and to suggest that he ask Katherine if she wanted to choose someone else for the prize. It only seemed fair to share the goodness!

Related posts coming soon:

  • How I got my agent
  • How Twitter helped me get an agent
  • How my blog helped me get an agent

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9 Responses to "Making it true vs Making it big"

  1. making it true. well said.
    i look forward to following this journey further and to the upcoming posts.
    and i couldn’t be happier for you.

  2. Idelette says:

    That’s fantastic news. So thrilled for you.

  3. Alex says:

    You are one of the most amazing people I know and I don’t say that lightly although that word is overused. You have such integrity! I learn from you everyday! Congrats, friend. You rock in every possible way. xo

  4. cath says:

    i completely agree – that the result is nothing compared to the process… but still – congratulations :)it’s all fantastic news!!

  5. WOW……inspiring, amazing and hearty feedback. True spirited feedback, right back to your kitchen table…!LOve it!

  6. sas says:

    such wonderful news – but not surprising 🙂
    the world needs your voice!

  7. Swirly says:

    You are absolutely on the right track my friend, and I love watching this process unfold for you.

  8. Suzanne says:

    Totally True Marianne. If we’re not in it for the journey, we may as well cash in our chips!

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