One of the best things about this stage of my life is how much I actually get to learn on a day-to-day basis. As a child, I always loved school, and though it has changed throughout the years, I have found that I am even more in love with learning.
Anthropology gives me an opportunity to learn about other people and expand my mind in ways I had never known before, and I am so thankful for all that I have learned about humans and the ways we all live, even when it does depress me. But outside of college and all the wonderful things I’m learning through anthropology and creative writing, I have been doing so much research about the publishing process and what I need to do to get my stories published, and it excites me to think that someday soon, I might see my own book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble.
So, as I announced last week, I am now seeking representation for my novel, True Power, and after sending out some query letters, I have already received one response back–my first rejection. The first few people I told gave me sad looks, but I think this is an amazing experience for me.
We all knew I would not be accepted the first time around, especially in the very first response back. Though it will always be a let down that someone did not want to read my work, I do not feel deterred by it; in fact, if it is possible, I am even more inspired.
In high school, I sent out a single query letter for my novel, Undeniably Underestimated, and I never received a response, which is a rejection, of course, but I really wanted to see some sort of feedback.
I am very thankful that I received a response at all, and though I didn’t receive feedback about what exactly the agent did not like about it, the agent did say it just was not the right fit and wished me luck finding the right representation for it. The kindness in the response made me feel a lot better, too, and I just became even more eager to hear back from the other agents while I send out another round soon-ish.
There is so much to be learned in this stage of my writing career, and while it will probably be a slow process, as it is for most writers, I am ecstatic to learn everything I can, and even if there are some failures with this project, I will learn something for the next one.
This week, I also had an amazing experience in my Intro to Creative Writing class as I got to listen to a poet, Veronica Patterson, read her work Wednesday evening, and she was a special guest in our class Thursday afternoon.
On Wednesday, I listened to her poems, and they were so vivid and emotional and raw that I felt heartbroken and complete all at the same time, tears poking at my eyes and a contagious smile on my lips. My favorite that she read on Wednesday is called Margaret, and on Thursday, she shared a bit more about the emotional poems she has written.
Needless to say, I fell in love with her words, and I immediately bought one of her books of poetry. While she signed it for me after class on Thursday, we talked about how to write about heavy and emotional hurdles when it still hurts to think about, and I appreciated how honest she was, how much she was willing to share with me.
When I left the classroom after our conversation, thinking about how much I love writing and how beautiful it can really be, I opened up the book she signed to see the message she left me.
“For Nichelle– Your words will fly. — Veronica”
If there ever comes a day that Veronica Patterson might read this, I want her to know that I appreciate these kind words, and I really needed them; I have thought about them ever since. Hope has rooted itself in my belly, and I can’t wait to see what grows from it.
There are so many opportunities to learn in my life, and I am so grateful for everything, every webinar, every writer I might meet, the resources my mom provides me with. Everything. Absolutely everything!
I am so full of gratitude today, and I simply can’t wait to see what else I’ll learn through my writing career.