Wow. Thank you guys so, so much for all your congratulations and kind words.You have no idea how much I appreciate it, and how giddy I was (and still am!) as your kind words poured in. I'm still trying to figure out how to get back on track with blogging consistently while maintaining a certain level of quality, so bear with me please!
This post is one part thank you post and one part very flimsy how-to advice (because nothing works for everyone and what worked for me might not work for you).
Fact: I could not have revised my manuscript or gotten on the query train, or stayed on the query train (I think at one point I said:
I am incredibly blessed to have a mother and two sisters who have supported me every, single step of the way. I am doubly blessed to have friends in the young adult community who cheered me on all the time, who cheered me up when I was ready to throw the towel in, who made sure to tell me that what I was feeling was normal and that patience was necessary and that I was awesome (whether that's true is up for grabs, but flattery never hurts during any part of this process).
And I think the best and most important thing that I've taken away from this process** is that you need that. You need a support system that will prop you up when you want to fall down, who will force you back on the train while telling you that it's going to take you somewhere amazing. Whether you find them on Twitter (how I met Sarah), or on a forum (how I met Kristin and Dawn) or through their blog (how I met Tahereh), go out and meet people. Connect. Make friends. They will be invaluable once you get on that train (I really have a thing for trains today, I don't know why) and really, desperately want to jump off.
How have you all met friends and critique partners? And are you talkers or lurkers on blogs? Inquiring minds (aka the lurker) want to know!
*Apparently I also really like parenthetical asides today.
**Lord knows I didn't learn patience. Not even a little bit.