Battling With Hope

Today, I’m gonna talk to you about a thing called hope. It’s one of the best motivators we’ve got going for us, and it’s also a complete and total bitch. It's invigorating, but after a while it becomes utterly exhausting. Empty promises can wear you down.

I write this in a state of hopefulness (please, please, please let an agent say yes) and a state of being sick of relying on hope. It’d be great if my writing dreams could cross over from the realm of ethreal hope to this very solid, very real world. Right now, hope is kicking me in the teeth. “Don’t give up!” she bellows, her boot connecting with my jaw. “You’re gonna get there! Don’t!” Kick. “Give!” Slam. “Up!” Smack. “On!” Crunch. “Hope!”

And there I am, spitting blood and wavering on my feet, knowing that as worn out and hurt as I am by the constant barrage of disappointment hope brings, I’m gonna keep taking the beating because I want an agent. I want to see my books on shelves.

Hope will be pounding me into the ground for a while yet.

So, how do you keep doing it? How do you keep taking the beatings hope dishes out? You do. You just do.

Total cliche, right? But that's all there is to it. You keep going because you want something so badly and sometimes bravery is about pushing onwards even when all you want to do is run away and quit. You can take a break. You can catch your breath. You can go away and get your head together, rebuild the energy resources it requires. But one way or another, hope's gonna take you right back to where you started - sending your book off to agents and hoping one of them loves it.

Look for other things to do, distract yourself. Take a break. Find new inspiration. Have a Netflix marathon. And if something has to give, something can give. Go have that epic meltdown you’ve needed to have for roughly a year (check!). If you’re miserable, find a way out of it. You can and you will, even if it doesn't happen immediately. I know, okay, how crap it is to have to wait on others to give you a yes or a no. I am a pro at it, alright? I hate it, but it motivates me to do better. Try harder. Write better. Being unhappy a lot of the time is not fun. I am definitely relying on the sweet, sweet taste of hope to keep me fighting.

Even though hope keeps kicking me in the teeth.

But someday I'm gonna block that kick. Because hope will become reality. I will sign with an agent and my books will find their way to bookshop shelves.

And so will yours.

Keep up the battle. Don't give up on hope, but don't let hope beat you into the ground. Keep fighting. You're gonna make it.

I'm gonna make it.

(Best. Inspirational. Speech. EVER)


  1. Great post! I think you've covered it all. Give yourself time. Let off steam. Find inspiration. And keep trying!

    If it helps, I almost withdrew my ms from a contest just before the agent round due to *another* disheartening agent rejection. A couple of *days* later, I had two agents offering rep. But - that was my 7th manuscript and more than 3 years after sending my very first query. So practice makes (well, maybe not perfect) better. ;)

    1. Glad you liked it ^_^

      I have a couple of submissions out right now. Here's hoping they'll be the ones.

  2. Excellent post, especially with the news so awful lately.

    I read a post about the finances behind trade vs self-pub deals ( and it's shaken up my view of the industry a bit more than I expected.

    But I'm going to keep querying, going to keep trying. We'll get there!

    1. I had to take some time off Twitter just to shut some of that out. There's a point when you have to put your own mental health first.

      That post is very interesting, thanks for the link. I do keep thinking about self-pubbing an older book to bolster my regular income, but I'm not quite there yet. I want to go the traditional way. And I am going to do it.


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