It took me seven years, four books, countless critique groups, and two agents to get me published. True story.
Here's how it went:
I started writing serioiusly in 2008. Joined SCBWI and attended my first critique group led by Amanda Coppedge Bosky. Went to my first writing conference in Miami and heard Donna Gephart and Greg Neri on The First Books Panel. I decided I wanted to be just like they were.
I still do.
Writing went from something I wanted to try, to something I wanted to be good at, to something I was obsessed with. Obsession is a strong word, but I worked at this writing thing for hours a day (after my day job), every day for seven years. I wrote while I sat with my mother in ICU. I wrote until my eyes went blurry. And when I couldn't write any more, I read.
I'd always been a huge reader. I was a reader well before I became a writer. But now my reading took on another purpose. I was reading to learn how to write.
When I thought I was ready, I read in front of an agent. In June of 2011, I was signed by an agent. And I thought...man, I'm on my way. But that wasn't how that turned out. Sometimes things don't turn out the way you think they will. This didn't.
In 2014, my first agent and I parted ways. I told myself I was going to be okay. I told myself I would take my time before signing with someone else. I told myself it might take years. But I was wrong. It didn't take years or even months.
Two days after cold querying Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency, she offered representation. I was blown away. Then she did something even more amazing. She sold my first book. Within two weeks of submitting it, we had an offer. Things don't always work out the way you think they will. Sometimes they work out better.