Represented (an announcement)

I have some good news.

I’m a represented writer. As in, I have a literary agent. YOU GUYS. I can’t even believe I’m typing that. It feels … not real. Amazing. Incredible! And I’ve also found a way to feel angst. Let me explain.

A few months ago, I met Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She read an excerpt of my book, said she loved it (!), we hit it off and I felt really good about her and our potential together. She is warm and kind, is a published author herself, and has tons of experience. After sending her my full manuscript-in-process, our schedules finally aligned last week, she said all the right things (amazing things!) to me and then officially offered representation.

I accepted (duh). (Then because the baby was sleeping, I may have gone out my front door, squealed at no one in particular (we’re the only house on a dead-end street, thank you baby Jesus), did some breathing exercises to calm down, thanked Jesus for real, texted my husband, messaged a couple friends who knew about it, then floated around my house for the rest of the day.)

I’ve been holding it close for a while, I know. There are a few reasons.

At first, I thought for sure she had made a mistake and I wouldn’t really be getting the contract in the mail, that she’d cancel once she realized her error. And then when I got it, I held on to that for a few days, too, trying to wrap my head around it. (I know. Neurotic much? I’m already sorry, Wendy.)

To be honest (because that’s what I am, friends), I think that keeping it quiet, holding it close and letting it sit on my desk also had to do with a deep, nagging whisper, a shame and fear of failure that is so close to my bones that sometimes I can’t even find where it starts. It was my inner critic, taunting me with messages of unworthiness. Some of your very favorite writers and bloggers are also Books & Such clients, she sneered, and you’re not good enough to be in that club. You don’t have the same following, the same admiration. (Even if I did, something tells me the critic would still be the loudest voice in my head.)

I felt amazing for about two days after talking with Wendy, and after that I’ve been battling with myself, fighting fear and failure — and believing that failure is more painful when someone’s watching. (And when I finally get that down, say it straight, I realize that’s a lie, too. Failing with someone at your side is always way better.)

It’s all about being enough — again.

And so even when I was hearing Wendy’s affirmation, when I was holding the contract in my hands, I didn’t believe it could be true. You don’t deserve that, the critic pipes in again. You’re not good enough for it.

Isn’t it amazing — and astounding, and infuriating! — that those same fears and lies that keep us from trying are the same ones that are there when we actually succeed at something? Are you embarrassed when you do well and are recognized for it? That could be a clue that you’re walking this road with me, friend.

But then in the midst of a scattered afternoon this week, even when it didn’t feel like the perfect moment, I said Self, it’s time to let go and dive deep, stand up to fear, fall back in trust and hit that critic square in the mouth. I read through the contract, then signed, dated and mailed it.

I’m now officially represented, and damn. I think that means I’m writing a book.

Eek!

  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin @ Joyful Mothering

    Oh my goodness, Kim!!! Rejoicing with you!!!!!! Oh girl, you were totally talking to me about my critic. It crept up on me this morning as I was tapping away on my eBook that to me just doesn’t seem that great (even though the content is pulled from posts that got lots of attention, though I’ve deleted some things and added some things). But still. I’m just gonna write. Then I’m going to send it to some close friends for opinions and go from there.

    Woot! So happy for you!

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thank you so much, Christin! Yes, the most important thing is to keep going — I find, especially for longer projects like a book or ebook. It takes longer to see the shape of it when it’s coming together, but just keep writing! And I’m glad I’m not the only one with the mean critic. She gets quieter if you keep coming back to it despite her protests. :)

  • http://www.gillianmarchenko.com Gillian Marchenko

    great post, my friend! So glad you are putting it out there. YOU SHOULD BE CELEBRATED, and hell yes, you are WRITING A BOOK!

    xo

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      love you, friend! xo

  • http://renewing-your-mind.blogspot.com Kelly J Youngblood

    Regarding being embarrassed when we do well: the other night my husband had told me that dinner was good. I don’t even remember what it was, at this point, but I shrugged it off and said “well, you grilled the [whatever]” and all I did was open x, y, and z and put them out to go along with it. He said to stop it and just “say I’m damn good at what I do”. :D Something to that effect, anyway. He made an excellent point.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      YES, Kelly, exactly. Constantly dismissing my success doesn’t just affect me, it’s also annoying for the people around me who are proud of me! I finally wrote this post after my husband asked me why I hadn’t announced anything yet. After I wrote it, I thanked him for being proud enough of me for both of us — he helps push me in that direction.

  • http://www.elliestumbo.blogspot.com Ellen Stumbo

    Congratulations Kim, how very, very exciting!

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thanks so much, Ellen! Feels good to announce it and give myself permission to celebrate a bit!

  • http://www.sarahbessey.com Sarah Bessey

    CONGRATULATIONS! Wheeeeee! So excited for you! Totally deserved.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thank you, lovely! xo

  • Anne

    Congrats Kim! Awesome News. And so well deserved.

  • http://www.somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/ suzannah | the smitten word

    woohoo! congrats and blessings over the whole process. let go and dive deep:)