Friday, January 7, 2011

I Heart Jane Austen

Okay, I must confess: while I did "nothing" yesterday I also watched the BBC's mini-series version of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice.  All six hours of it.  This is, at least, my 1,000th time to watch the DVD's.  I'm an addict.

While watching I was also doing homework in the Writer's Market book for Children's Books Illustrators and Authors.  I read the chapter that included a Q&A with several agents, outlining what they do and do not like to see in the submissions that cross their desks.  One agent said (I'm paraphrasing): be authentic; write what you know; there's nothing more unique than your own experience.

That's when it hit me: this is why I love Jane Austen (one of the reasons...I could go on for days).  She was true to herself, her perspective, her experiences, even the banalities of her daily life.  How refreshing. 

I don't know why this struck me as so inspirational.  Perhaps it's because...well...I can do that.  I can be who I am.  I can write what I know.  My characters can laugh at the things I find funny and cry at the things I find sad.  I don't have to overcomplicate; I just have to write.

So, for those of you who are interested, here's an update on my writing career:
  • I have submitted five children's picture books and received two rejections & one offer (which I rejected).  I'm waiting to hear on three of the five, and I need to resubmit the other two. 
  • I have started a middle-grade fantasty fiction novel.  I'm very excited about it and plan to finish the outline, story plot, and first three chapters during a writing retreat to Marfa, Texas this spring.  I want to be able to submit it to agents beginning in May (feel free to hold me accountable to that timeline!).
  • I'm submitting a decade's worth of poetry to a publisher this month (wish me luck!).
Now I must put down my computer and take up my pen (my preferred way of writing).  And, of course, raise a glass to Miss Austen.  Here's to you, girlfriend!

1 comment:

  1. Okay, now that's just inspiring! Gotta go process all these great thoughts -- thanks! (PS: I like Jane Austen too, but don't expect to find me watching P&P over and over and over...)