Wednesday, January 11, 2012

ALMOST PUBLISHED: Abbi Goes for the Gold

The Pink Heart Society proudly brings you a writer we predict will be the next big thing. Join us in welcoming aspiring author Abbi Cantrell as she shares the wild ride of the ALMOST PUBLISHED.

 "Almost there . . . "

Remember that scene in Star Wars where Luke Skywalker sits in his X-wing fighter zooming through the trenches of the Death Star? After two failures, he’s the only hope to defeat the Empire.

Luke sure had a lot of people gunning for him – the Rebel Alliance, several star systems, and entire movie theaters as viewers sat on the edge of their seats.

Sitting in the seat as an ‘almost published’ writer kind of makes me feel that way. All the writers and authors I’ve met since I started this journey now look at me to join the world of the published. Why shouldn’t I?

“What if I don’t make it?”
“What if I miss that tiny window of opportunity no bigger than a Tatooine wombat?”

So over the next few months, two things are going to happen: We’re going to party like Han Solo or do the Grand Moth Tarkin shuffle in condolence.

Isn’t that how publishing goes? The upswing: You get a request for that full mss you’ve been working on for 6 months. You’re feeling good.

Then you get this e-mail from the Dark Side.

While we love your story, it doesn’t fit our needs at this time.
P.S. I am your father.

Back to square one. Or something like that.

But, in my mind, if you keep holding on, you’ll get there. Persistence will get you everywhere.

So who’s going to be around to remind me and others of this roller coaster ride never ends? The friends and family who've been around since day one. That's what important. That's what counts.

There’s two things about being a writer I tell myself:

1) It’s all about being positive
2) It’s not a competition. It’s about being yourself and achieving your goals.

So, I’ll be here once a month sharing my ups and downs (with more ups than downs hopefully).

I’d love to how other writers feel about the ‘almost published’ phenomenon. What are your thoughts?

Til then,

Abbi ☺

Check back the second Wednesday of each month to share Abbi's journey. In between, be sure to check out her website, @abbi_cantrell and group blog, Seven Sassy Sisters.


  1. It won't be long until you are a published writer. Then it will be something else completely. Each experience is different.

  2. Karina Bliss told me once that being 'almost published' is like being 'almost pregnant'. In other words you can't be. You either are or you aren't, there isn't any in-between. I kind of feel the same. Here's hoping you step into the 'you are' camp soon!!

  3. Abbi, I'm so looking forward to watching your journey. And hang on to your confidence and motivation. It took me 23 yrs and 18 rejections from Harlequin before I sold my first book to Special Edition - it can happen - believe in yourself, put your work out there. Good luck!

  4. HI Abbi, Love your post... I spent three years in the 'almost published' camp after I decided to write professionally... And a lot more years in the 'pretending to be almost published' camp when I was just dicking around really! I agree with your two points absolutely. It is about staying positive, believing you can and will get there even if you don't know when. Because every story is different and who the hell knows which one will have that special something to catch an editor's eye? And it isn't a competition... A good example is those New Voices entrants who didn't place who have since been published and the finalists who are still working towards that goal.
    I'm going to enjoy reading your column... And the best of luck with shooting that Tatooine Wombat right in the eye!

  5. Hi Abbi
    Really looking forward to following your jouney! Loads and loads of luck!

  6. Hi Abbi! I'm right here with you in the almost published camp. I know I can finish a manuscript. I know I can final in contests. I know I can write a partial which generates a request for a full - I've done all these things more than once. I just can't sell. That means in addition to your two points, I have to figure out how to write something someone likes enough to buy. That's a tall order and honestly, I'm more critical of my attempts now than I was a year ago. Rejection does that. :) Thanks for putting your journey out there (and letting me be a part of it).

  7. You trekie you! And what the heck is a tatooine wombat?

    Excellent post, Abbi! You're one of those writers that make me scratch my head and wonder, "Why the heck hasn't some agent/editor snapped her up?" May your stint at writing this column be a short one.....because you can't write under the headline Almost Published once you are....right?

    Next time I go out I'm buying a bottle of bubbly moscato so we can skype-celebrate your first sale. I know it's coming!

  8. Okay, I laughed really hard at the "And I'm your father line." But I think your point about this not being a competition is really valid. There are enough readers and now thanks to e-books, enough shelf space for all of us.
    Good luck on the journey. I know you'll get there.

  9. Oh, Abbi! I <3 you!! You always make me laugh! And you can bet your big "walking carpet" that I'll be with you for every step, cheering you on and shooting a few Tatooine wombats along the way.

    Bring on the Hans!!!

  10. Hi, Maria! I agree. Each experience is different. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    Jackie, Karina's right. I want both of us to be on the published side soon!

  11. Thanks, Helen! That's why I call it a phenomenon. You can sense someone's almost there, you just don't know when it's going to happen.

    Thanks, Heidi. But, it seems the time spent as 'almost published' is worth it, doesn't it? Learning the process, meeting colleagues, etc.

  12. Hey, Kat. You're exactly on the mark with your comments. I've been thinking my own ideas are too eclectic so I'm trying to make them more 'mainstream' while keeping some of my quirkiness and maintaining my voice. Thanks for being here w/ me. I know you'll get there.

    LOL, Wendy! I know what you're saying. As I told Kat, I think I need to change a few things w/ my writing and I will get there. Thanks for the confidence in me. I would love to Skype again soon!

  13. Thanks, Lynne! I guess I'm not a competition-type person. I like celebrating with people. And, you're right. There's plenty of room for everyone.

    Aimee, I <3 u too. I knew you'd appreciate the Star Wars references. :-)

  14. Oh, wow--love all the STAR WARS references! (STAR WARS is a big deal to my son, so I'm a bit of an expert ;)) I can tell I'm going to like following your journey here.

    I think you're spot on about staying positive and pursuing a writing career being about the individual, not a competition.

    Good luck in your quest, young paduwon. I see success in your future!

  15. Hi Abbi,

    Count me in for the wild ride too....
    I so agree with your 2 points...


  16. Hi Abbi, great post. Very valid point.

    I'm taking on the same quest too. I've learned to relish the up's because you just know there's a down turn coming. But if you hang on, here'll be another upswing. What a crazy, crazy ride. *G*

    Good luck! I'll be looking forward to following your journey.

  17. Looking forward to reading your column/blog Abbi. Caroline x

  18. With your attitude and talent, you'll go far, Abbi. I'm so looking forward to following your career and reading your books. :)

  19. Thank you, Julie. That means a lot to me. I really enjoy your books!

    Thanks, Sri and Jennifer. I hope my posts can help you along the way. It's a tough journey.

    Thanks, Caroline!

  20. Hey Abbi,

    I've loved being a part of your journey so far, and I can't wait to celebrate your call with you WHEN it comes!

  21. Abbi, so glad to have shared some of the ride with you! I love your writing, you always make me smile. I'm very sure that "almost" will be swapping with "newly" very very soon. Can't wait for that Call party!

  22. First...WENDY...You just said Trekkie and she had Star Wars references! Shame!!

    Abbi, I love this post. You're a strong woman, and it takes a strong woman to make the journey. I have every confidence in you. It is an honor to call you my CP, and my friend.

  23. Thanks for pointing that out, Maisey! I just realized my faux pas!

    I try...

    Shoot...I think I may have blundered on the sevensassysisters blog, too. Going to check...