“Here’s the point: God is in the resume’-building business. He is always using past experiences to prepare us for future opportunities. But those God-given opportunities often come disguised as man-eating lions. And how we react when we encounter those lions will determine our destiny. We can cower in fear and run away from our greatest challenges. Or we can chase our God-ordained destiny by seizing the God-ordained opportunity.
But I was stuck and not willing to take the risk. Months had passed since I had a “chance” meeting with children’s author Judith Sierra at her garage sale. Judith was very encouraged about my writing ideas and gave me the contact number to author and senior editor, Andrea Pinkney at Scholastic Inc. Before I was even in the door I had kept myself from knocking.
I was afraid of taking the risk and being rejected. I was doubting whether or not there was an audience for my book. I was doubting whether or not a publishing company would even display interest in my topic. And the truth is, I didn’t really know how to approach her so I did nothing. That is until I took a serious look at regrets.
“In his book If Only, Dr. Neal Roese makes a fascinating distinction between two types of regret: regrets of action and regrets of inaction. A regret of action is ‘wishing you hadn’t done something.’ A regret of inaction is ‘wishing you had done something.’”-Mark Batterson
I knew that if I remained in the state of paralysis I would regret not reaching out to Mrs. Pinkney. So after acknowledging my fear I began to break it apart with knowledge. I began to read tons of books on the writing process, including Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, Guide to Literary Agents, Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents, and The African American Writer’s Handbook. After filling up with great information I didn’t stop there. I took the first step and submitted a query letter.
I didn't have any idea if Mrs. Pinkney would respond to my query but within 10 minutes I received a reply! I was elated and although nothing has really panned out from connecting with her, I moved through the door! I overcame one of my first obstacles and let go of the weight of fear. Now I’m carrying less baggage for the journey.
Ayanna is a debut author that enjoys writing fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for children. She finished her first manuscript in 2015 and is currently working with a literary agent to represent her work to Publishing houses.