Bookshelf of old books

More On When Hard Work Pays Off

A few weeks ago I wrote about hard work paying off, and used one of my clients as an example because she had recently signed with a literary agent to represent the memoir that she worked on with me.

Well today I have another client to brag about: Susannah Q. Pratt whose book, More or Less: Essays from a Year of No Buying was released earlier this year!

I have shared about Susie before because last year, her book won the 2021 EastOver Press Nonfiction Prize, which included publication—and her book is out in the world and available for purchase!

Here’s what I want to say about hard work: even though we may never know exactly when, it DOES eventually pay off.

Susie started working with me in September 2020, and she had been working on her manuscript collection of essays for several years. She was feeling like she wanted to bring the project to completion, but she wasn’t sure what her next steps were. She still had work to do on the manuscript, but didn’t know what.

Concerned that the project was not relevant in the current pandemic moment, she wasn’t sure anyone would be interested in what she had to say. Not only did she want some guidance and feedback, but she also wanted a thought-partner, someone who could help her wrestle with the topics that she was writing about.

And here’s the most important part: although she felt frustrated and discouraged, she didn’t give up. She kept working at it, and ultimately finished the manuscript in May 2021. She submitted to the EastOver contest the same month.

Listen, I can’t tell you how many writers I talk to who ask me about getting published. They want to know what to do, how it works, how they can get the attention of an agent or publisher. And, sure, their strategies for building your platform, making you more attractive to agents and publishers.

But do you know the one thing you absolutely must have to get published?

A complete manuscript.

No one gets published without actually finishing their book.

That’s what Susie did. She started with a partial manuscript, and during our time working together she put in the hard work to complete her draft. And now her book is published.

I can’t say it enough: if you want to get published, then you have to do the hard work and finish writing a complete manuscript draft.

And, though I can’t promise when, I can tell you that, if you keep at it, your hard work will pay off.

Just look at Susie. And, if you’ve been getting my emails for a while, you know that Susie isn’t the only one who has had success after working with me and my team.

So cheers to Susie! I’m so proud of her and honored to have been a part of her journey. You should definitely buy her book—but don’t take my word for it. Here’s what essayist and author Eula Biss has to say about it:

“In this lively collection of essays, Susannah Q. Pratt observes the culture of middle-class consumption from a pause in her own participation. This pause allows her to consider how our lives are ‘both confined and defined’ by that which we own. The resulting meditation on want, need, excess, and garbage asks profound questions about waste, time, and the lost art of thrift.”

Get your copy of Susie’s book here.

Happy reading!


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