Yes, you can!
Today's Guest Buccaneer is MG & YA Writer C. B. Catalano, who's newly signed with Suzie Townshend of New Leaf Literary.
One of the hardest things about the writing process is holding on to hope. Writers probably have the thickest skin out of anyone I’ve met. A profession where you are rejected, sometimes literally in the hundreds, before you get that yes. But yet, we persevere because we’re holding on to that hope.
Well, what do you do when you feel yourself faltering? How do you pick up that pen, pencil, or keyboard and continue on? How do you keep saying yes I can, when all you want to do is throw your computer out of a window and go snuggle in your bed for the next six months?
Because, if you don’t hold on to that hope, no one will ever be able to read your words. Those amazing, beautiful, unique words that have formed from your daydreams, fears, love, and hate. The ones that no matter how you try, you just cannot get them to leave your head. And yes, not even that bottle of wine, or 4th whiskey on the rocks can get them to leave the building. Not that we’re complaining, of course.
But there you are, full of words, all the words and you’re about 60,000 deep on your wip, and you’ve been querying the ish out of your last ms, and on your gazillionth Twitter contest, when all of a sudden you get an email notification. You know. The one that starts Dear Author, thanks but . . .
And it’s one thanks but too much for you to bear. And your heart breaks. You feel it slither down your torso to land in a broken blob at your feet and you want to cry. (and maybe you do and that’s okay!) Because it’s all too much. Your words suck, you suck, hell, the town you live in sucks just cause you happen to be in it, too. You don’t know why you ever thought you should be a writer, and you’ll be damned if you’re gonna let it take one more shred of your soul.
Well, this my friends, is why I’m writing this. To tell you why we need you. And hopefully, when you get to that point, and I feel like we all do at some time, maybe you’ll find this. And not give up that hope I mentioned earlier.
You can’t give up because we need your words. We need those stories that are bottled up in your head to get us through our day, life, marriage, job, kids, boyfriends, girlfriends, and best friends. I need your story to be there for me when I’ve had a bad day. Without you, how do I escape reality and go on an adventure? I want your pirate ships, your spaceships, and your love triangles. Please take me to the Congo, or Peru, or the red ant colony invading Pluto. Maybe a little girl needs to read your story where it shows her ruling the world in jeans, and maybe a little boy needs one showing him doing the same in a dress.
Perhaps someone needs to learn how to trust again, and another needs to learn to let go. Without your stories they might not ever get that chance.
You, dear writer, can’t give up because you give the world hope. And when a writer loses hope the world suffers.
Repeat that to yourself. The world suffers. Because books have the ability to take us away from a world of pain. It can heal hurts. And you are the soul doctors that can make that happen. And your story might just be the one someone else is looking for to find that healing. Or, alternatively, maybe they just need a good laugh, cry, or scare. Maybe they are house-bound and you’re story gives them the ability to be free.
So how do you not give up hope?
- 1st- Find a Ride or Die. A CP that will stick by your side through bad, worst, and good. When you’re at your lowest let them help you find the light again.
- 2nd- Keep writing. With every paragraph you hone your skill. So what if the last 4 manuscripts didn’t find a home. Write the 5th and keep pushing.
- 3rd- Take breaks. Everyone needs brain breaks. If you find yourself losing steam, go find something in the world that eases your soul and fills you with joy. Once you find your mellow, try writing again.
- 4th- There is no right or wrong. It’s your journey, so if it takes weeks, months, or years, YOU DO YOU- and don’t pay attention to what others are doing. It will just add stress you don’t need. And if you try to compare yourself, or your process, to another writer you’ll end up unhappy cause you aren’t doing you, you’re doing them.
- 5th- It really, really, only takes one yes. So what if you’re on your 150th query. There’s a chance that that 151st is the right one. So when you can, shake off that last rejection, and keep on keepin on. If you don’t give up you will find your place. I don’t know if that means an agent, self pub, or whatever path you’re trying. But it will come. And it will be the right path for you.
So when you find yourself thinking oh heck no, I can’t even. (And you will) Remember, YES, you can. And you WILL! Because we need you to. The world needs you to keep up hope so we can find that hope for ourselves in your words.
About the Author:
After C. B. Catalano realized she spent more time daydreaming than living in the real world she began to write down those dreams to share with others. Then the trials and tribulations of being a teenager got in the way, so she put the pen away for a bit. But once she had her kiddos she found herself creating magical worlds again, and filling their nights with bedtime stories. Eventually, her kids talked her into picking up her pen and writing them down once more.
Now she's ready to share those daydreams and bedtime stories with the world.
C.B. is newly agented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend with New Leaf Literary and so excited for her next step on this amazing journey. When she's not writing MG and YA, she can be found wandering around the Pacific Northwest with her 3 kids, and husband. After moving 21 times in the span of 7 states and 18 years she thinks she may have finally found a place to call home (for now) and aims to explore all that Washington has to offer.
You can find her on Twitter @C_B_Catalano!