Wordy Wednesday (“Forever”)

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a memoir/personal essay/whatever I first wrote back in my junior year of high school for creative writing class, and then shortened and revised my senior year to use for college essays. While a lot has happened in my life–writing and otherwise–since I was sending this off to colleges this time last year, the moment I talk about here is still really special to me. (Heads up: The name used below for the literary agent is not said-agent’s actual name, for the sake of confidentiality. The woman, in reality, is super, super nice, so I don’t want to portray her in a bad light.)
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My entire life, I’ve been searching for forever. Other kids want to be lawyers and doctors, but I just want to be remembered. I want to change the world.

There are many ways to go about achieving this. I could be president, a philanthropist, or an animal rights activist. But while all of these are worthy pursuits, none of them appeal to me individually. Instead, I look at the way books can change people and bring strangers closer together, and I see the effect writing has had on my own life, and I know that this – being a writer – is what I want to do.

In January, 2011, I had the opportunity to fly to New York City to attend the Writer’s Digest Conference and its subsequent pitch slam. They lined the conference room’s walls with tables where writers could sit and discuss their novels with various literary agents and perhaps get a business card, which signified that the agent may be interested in representing their project to publishing houses.

I was so nervous, I felt like I was going to hurl.

My first pitch was with a woman named Wanda Wrath, who was severe looking with a last name to match. Upon laying eyes on me, the only minor there, she raised her thin, dark eyebrows and said skeptically, “Hello, what do you have for me today?”

I hesitated a second before sitting down at her table, and forced a smile as I introduced myself. She leaned back in her chair and I noticed her nails were blood red. Perfect.

“Continue,” she murmured.

With a deep breath, I read my pitch and tried to keep my hands from shaking. When I finished, her fingers inched toward her stack of business cards, but then moved away. I felt something die within me.

She didn’t speak for a moment, and my pulse spiked in fear, but then she finally cracked a smile and said, “Well, I think your plot is really intriguing and I’d like to definitely read some of it.”

I didn’t take my eyes off her as she picked a business card up and examined it before sliding it across the table to me. My stomach flipped over.

Genuinely smiling, she said, “I can’t wait to hear from you!”

“Thank you!” I stood up, practically dancing.

Although I received seven more business cards by the end of the pitch slam, none of them mattered as much as the first. I proved myself with it; I not only wanted to be a writer, but I was – and am – one.

Now, as I wait to hear back from a literary agent reading my full manuscript, I dream about how I’ll change the world… While I know my destination, I don’t know what hurdles I’ll have to overcome to reach it and I have a feeling that college will best prepare me to take them on.

My entire life, I’ve been searching for forever. I think college will help me find it.

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Talk to you next week! (If I haven’t already been eaten alive by research papers!)

~Julia

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8 thoughts on “Wordy Wednesday (“Forever”)

  1. Rachel – I am totally impressed with anyone who can write 11,800 words in a short period of time! Very few people can do that! I’m envious! Don’t stress over it – have fun and enjoy the writing experience.

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    • thank you, it has not been easy but i guess i just had a lot to say for a long time and this has become an outlet for me. i assumed everyone was able to write gushing stories but most everyone i know dropped out. i am loving the experience but by my competitive nature i really want to win. it’s actually funny the way i talk to my friends about nano it’s like yeah so i know i cant but i am giving it my all by Friday i estimate i will far from finished but i will finish because a bunch of my friends are interested in the story. that will be winning having people enjoy reading something i wrote. julia’s stuff gives me joy so i want to spread that. thankyou for being encouraging that will keep me going tonight

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  2. so i have no time to read this post because i am so far behind on my nanowrime. 11800 words so far. even though i will not finish in time i want to thank you for inspiring me to ruin my life with writing a short novel.

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    • Honestly, just breaking 10,000 words is fantastic, especially with how late you’ve started. Congratulations! Keep me updated on your progress, all right? 🙂 Good luck with the last few days of NaNo!

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      • thank you for telling me that i thought i was failing. you have made me so happy that when i give up from rushing in two days and am only around 15-16K i will not feel bad. how in the world did you do this in a week my assigned goal is 30K and in 6 days that is not possible ps im now at 12000

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