I just can’t help myself. I have signed up for my third trek in three years, this time heading out to Arizona to walk over 70km of the Grand Canyon in aid of Guide Dogs. As always I am paying for the cost of the trek myself and am asking people to donate to Guide Dogs via my JustGiving page.
I had reservations about signing up this year. The first was that I think I’m going to struggle to get another £500.00 out of you lot, and quite rightly so. It’s a harsh economical climate, only the other day I didn’t have enough to get a coffee and a bagel so had to settle for just the coffee. I’ve put in the first £100.00 myself because I’ve also been doing Dry January and figure this is the amount I’ve saved by not drinking for the month.
I was also unsure about whether doing the Grand Canyon counted as a trek. Then I watched Operation Grand Canyon and realised that they don’t mess around over there. This is some real trekking. This isn’t some helicopter ride over the top of a hole in the Earth, I’m going to be amongst the buzzards and the crows.
This week I got my first actual written correspondence from an actual literary agent. This is huge for me. As you may be aware I started sending out manuscripts to agents in 2011. Situation One, Visions Of Violet, The Stamp Collective and Yours Sincerely, Southend have all been packaged up at one time or another and sent out to at least ten agents.
Understandably I received generic responses from the agents I sent out to. Some of them were kinder than others but they were of course, formulaic. I understand that there are a large number of unsolicited manuscripts that are sent to agents every single week and the chance of one of mine making it off the slush pile is highly unlikely. I have always said I know the things I write are never going to be bestsellers but I believe I am fighting the good fight.
This week I received a letter from one of the biggest agencies and from a writer himself. It meant a great deal to me. He pointed out some small things that I could have changed but said I have talent. I wrote an email back to him to thank him for taking the time to respond. When you spend so much time on a manuscript including writing it, editing it and then packaging it to send to agents it can be really disheartening to get them back through the post so soon after they have gone off so the fact that someone had clearly read Sue Key and said it was invention and distinctive has made my week, and possibly even my year. I appreciate I may be getting a little ahead of myself on the latter, it is still January but I am a very happy bunny. It makes all the effort worth it. It makes all the generic rejection letters worth it and it will push me onwards and upwards. There are great things in 2015. Great things.
In January 2014 I decided to take a different approach to my year. I stole the idea from a blog somewhere which has since drifted from my memory but may have been this.
There is no way I could produce a slip for every day but I tried to keep tabs on the things I did and the places I got to go and the people I got to spend my time with to better understand what I get out of life. This is the only way I could think of presenting the ideas.