When I was fifteen, I got the writing bug. I was sitting down at school one day and an idea hit me. I remember rushing home and writing like crazy. I'd never had something that I loved so much. I was just the "smart kid" who did well at school. That was all. But, now I had writing and soon that become the most important thing. More important than anything, even doing my school work. I wrote a lot. And as my life derailed I continued to write in the hopes that once I was finished, I'd get published and all of my dreams would come true. Once I was published, maybe things wouldn't be so bad.
Fast forward to a few years later, after completing the mammoth 200,000 word manuscript, I set my sights on getting published, for real. I read everything there was to know about query letters, the dreaded synopsis, literary agents and publishers. I sent out query letters to literary agents and I waited.
During the time people would ask me if I'd heard anything back or if I was published yet and I was 200% sure that yes, of course I was going to hear something back and that yes, I would be a published author soon. I'd written an entire manuscript. Me. I was so sure.
I got rejected. Again and again. And it hurt so much. Getting published was my goal and yet, I kept getting knocked back until there were no literary agents left to query. If they didn't want me, what was the point?
Looking back now, I know I was naïve. I learned that getting published is not everything. Does it hurt to be rejected? Yes, but what's important is that you keep going. It's great to yearn for a better life for yourself, just like Ariel, but that shouldn't be your only focus. It took me a long time to learn that. It's going to take some time for me to achieve my dreams but I can't sacrifice my entire life for it. I have to live and writing just happens to be one part of that.
Anjulie Te Pohe
Founder of Koru Mag | Mookychick contributor | Avid reader and writer of YA | Takatapui (Maori & bi/queer) | She/Them | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org