One of the bravest things you can do for yourself is to accept the very fact that you will create a lot of things with your heart—a piece of unpublished writing you concocted at the coffee shop while waiting for a friend, an accidental photograph you created with your low-resolution camera, a raw…
“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. And by doing it, they’re proven right. Because, I think there’s something inside of you—and inside of all of us—when we see something and we think, “I think I can do it, I think I can do it. But I’m afraid to.” Bridging that gap, doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that—THAT is what life is. And I think you might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s special. And if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself. Now you know. A mystery is solved. So, I think you should just give it a try. Just inch yourself out of that back line. Step into life. Courage. Risks. Yes. Go. Now.”—(via stephkramer)
“You’re going to discover that conversations are best at 4 am. The heavier the eyelids, the sincerer the words. Those are the talks you’ll remember. It’s ok not to know the answer and silence is not awkward. It’s shared, so share it more often than not.”—
“You know the value of prayer: it is precious beyond all price. Never, never neglect it — Sir Thomas Buxton — Prayer is the first thing, the second thing, the third thing necessary to a minister. Pray, then, my dear brother: pray, pray, pray.”—Edward Payson (via nonelikejesus)
It’s always a good idea to begin your research as early as you can, because A LOT is still not enough. When you round up your data, make sure you check out every website, twitter, or other networking site an agency might have.
To jump-start your research, here are all the resources I’ve compiled over the process of my own querying journeys (also, these sites are free, and a few of them have donation pages or additional services if you do find them helpful):
Query Tracker — is updated quickly, especially when agents close to submissions for periods of time. QT has individual message boards for each agent page so writers who are querying can see approximate and recent response times that other writers are getting. Additionally, agent pages also have graphs and lists of clients and other useful things.
Absolute Write — is a forum for writers that has a whole branch for members to discuss agents, response times, goings-on, so on and so forth. Other helpful threads include workshopping chapters and queries — which, if you’re fairly new to querying, is highly recommended.
Literary Rambles — is a blog run by Casey McCormick and Natalie Aguirre, and they post really sweet, in-depth profiles and blurbs from interviews of literary agents in the YA (young adult), MG (middle grade), PB (picture books) and CB (chapter book) realms.
Writer Beware — is sponsored by the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) with support from the MWA (Mystery Writers of America). They update with publishing scams and schemes and traps with advice on how to spot and avoid them. They also have a blog and a facebook page.
“Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see.”— Rumi (via stxxz)