Saturday, March 18, 2006

A writer's work...

Yes, yes, that old saw. Turned on its ear a bit, but it's true. Writing is a never ending process of trying things, messing them up, fixing them, falling down, and getting up again.

Which is what I wanted to write about.

I know that my fellow Cobblestone gals don't know this. The publishers don't either. Not many people do, but I've been thinking about it and I think it's important to write.

About two and a half years ago, I was sure I was one submission away from making it big. I had many books out there in the pipes. Every partial I wrote got requested (which is a topic for another day). Though I got rejections, they were pretty positive. I was flying high, I was high-spirited and gung ho.

Then in October of 2004, I got an early morning phone call saying my father had died. It was a shock and wasn't, at the same time, as he'd been sick for a while. Still, he was my Dad, for better or worse.

What ties this into writing, though, is that that very same day I had a manuscript returned to me. The rejection letter was specific about what was wrong with the book, but it was a resounding no thank you.

What was the manuscript?

Fortune's Fool.

Six months later, my father-in-law died as well. Needless to say, it was not a good time around my home. My writing fell by the wayside. Every time I looked at something I'd written, that rejection on that day in October came back to haunt me and I just gave up. My RWA chapter mates were encouraging and supportive. My friends told me I'd write again when it was time. I, on the other hand, was convinced I'd never write anything worth completing again.

And then Fortune's Fool sold.

And I've been filled with inspiration to write again.

It may sound silly, or petty, to need that little boost, that vote of confidence that someone who *isn't* a friend or a relative has faith in you and believes you're worth the risk, but sometimes that's exactly what gets you up and going again.

I've said that writing is like a drug, and I meant it. It's addictive, but it's not cheap, and it certainly doesn't come without cost. The high won't last forever, I know, and I have to keep writing to keep earning my "hits" of satisfaction, but now I know I *can* do it.


Shelli Stevens said...

I'm sorry to hear about the passing of your father and father-in-law. That's a hard thing to work through. And I think everyone hits a point where they need something to encourge them, give them that push. I've come close to quitting a few times.

But you're here now! You sold your first, and I doubt last, book! Be proud and start writing or subbing that second book.

paz said...

What a touching background that led to the eventual sale of Fortune's Fool.

BTW, your cover looks terrific! Actually all the Cobblestone covers look terrific. ;-)