wine on the keyboard

My journey

by Kay~Kacey on 8/9/2005

this post by by Kelly made me think about my own writer’s journey. I’ll share some of it here, and hope you share yours in my comments, or on your own blog…

I’ve always written. But I started writing romance about 12 years ago. Yes, 12 years–not published. Well, my first attempts were pathetic. I found RWA. Writer’s groups. GEnie online RomEx group. That helped :mrgreen:

I floundered around trying to figure out WHAT kind of romance I really wanted to write. I got rejections. And more rejections. I had some major life crisis moments–like a divorce and raising 3 little kids all of a sudden and taking care of a house on my own. Worrying about how to make housepayments on my own. That kind of thing. Kind of sucked the creativity out of me, and my writing dribbled down to not much.

When life settled down a few years later….got remarried, ironed out the stepmonster thing…I came back at writing full steam ahead. I now treat it as a career. Lots of proposals out there. I write much faster now–or more efficiently because I’ve figure out a method that works for me. I always have lots of submissions out. I keep track of them on a spreadsheet. I keep up with the market, new lines, editor hopping, what new authors are selling what and to whom. I do affirmations and positive thinking. I write. And I write some more.

I have a small group of friends who I’ve known for all of these years that stuck with me through the lean writing times. It wasn’t that I wasn’t disciplined….I just gave all my energy to just getting through each day. My true friends have stuck with me though, and I am undyingly grateful for their empathy when my life was upside down, as well as their kick in the pants to get back into writing.

I’ve cut myself out of a lot of groups and away from romance writers who don’t really write seriously. I’ve cut out a lot of negative people because it sucks my energy. I’ve lost some good friends a long the way when they got published and I didn’t…and it hurt. A lot. People I thought I knew have surprised me and caught me off guard. But I picked up and moved on.

I’ve figured out who is helpful and nice in the writing world, and who just like to stir up the pot, or are not to be trusted. I’m smarter about it now. And I’ve met some wonderful people in the last few years, and some great bloggers. I love to read about their struggles to publication in their blogs.

So I continue along my really long path to publication. Treating it as a career–even though I haven’t sold. And to all of you seriously pursuing a career in writing…I salute you :beer: and cheer you on, and wish the best for you.

So how long have you been writing? What have you learned? Have you found a group of supportive friends? Have you been surprised by who helps you when you least expect it, and who has moved on? So comment here, or if you want, blog about it on your own blog…and post a comment here to come read about your journey on your own blog.

And I thank all of you out here in blogger land who do share your journey. The struggles. The rejections. The requests. The head banging :wallbash: when you’re writing your synopsis or the middle sags, or the resolution won’t resolve.

Here’s to us! The career minded writers who are going to make it some day!:beer:

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Kelly B August 9, 2005 at 10:17 am

I was motoring along treating my writing as a hobby thinking that would get me where I wanted eventually until my company restructured and after 15 years I found my career getting sucked down the proverbial toilet. That woke me up when I realized ‘hey, I really don’t want to work in an office for the rest of my life’. I made writing a priority and have written nearly every day since. I have every intention of one day being able to say writing is my full time job. Sometimes it takes a life altering event to give us the kick in the pants we need.
:twocents:

Kelly =) August 9, 2005 at 10:33 am

Kacey, your post is way better than mine! Thanks so much for sharing this, and I’m sorry for the friends you’ve lost and cheering those who have stayed.

But you’re right, you find out who your true friends are. And as I posted in my comments, I know your hard work will pay off! Good things come to good people, and those who work thier butt off!

Teresa August 9, 2005 at 11:15 am

Great post, Kacey. My journey started when I mentioned to my parents that I wanted to write and my dad didn’t agree that I should choose that as a career. Accounting was safer in his mind I think. I was already on the accounting path (and I still have days where I love it, too bad today’s not one of them), and so I stayed on it all through college. The entire time making up stories and listening to the voices in my head. But I didn’t do anything about it or with them. I even remember trying to get my friend to coauthor a book with me. She wouldn’t go for it. Too bad. But finally after I married six years ago I actually started writing down the stories in my head. And I just announced to my husband one day that I was going to do this. I checked out eHarl and found their wonderful community and that’s where I learned of RWA. From there I learned of GRW. And I joined both.

Right now I’ve got three finished manuscripts. One hidden far far away. One is Q&S on an editors slush pile. And the one I just finished is cooling off. And I’m working on two more projects at the moment. I want to be one of those that have several submissions out there always working. I also wish I could write faster and better. But I’m getting there.

Oh yeah, and you asked about my lapdesk. It was a gift a few years ago. Each year my husband gets me something that will help with my writing. That lapdesk was extremely hard to find, and I was told I was lucky. I have no idea where it came from, but I love it! It helps soo much.

Sorry. I got a little long winded.:oops:

Michelle August 9, 2005 at 1:48 pm

I’ve been lucky, in that my close friends have stood by me, no matter what. I took four years off from writing romance, but I came back again…stronger and more confident. I dumped a critique group that was sucking my energy away and joined up with a solid group of friends who are my rock.

Larissa asked the other day what writing fears we have. It occurred to me that I’m no longer afraid of selling or being successful. I want it, and all the problems that may follow. Like you, I want this as my career and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make my writing stronger, better, and more interesting.

Leslie August 9, 2005 at 2:38 pm

:beer: Amen, sister! I completely agree with all your comments — especially getting away from the writers groups who do nothing for you (and sticking with that small group of friends who will be honest with you). I posted my thoughts about it on my site (under my Bio [kinda did an interview with m’self, hehe… that was pretty fun – try it!] where I talked about my experiences, etc. Love the way you tackled this!

Oh, and I think I’m definitely going with the Mandarin Orange Cake for the potluck. I’ve pretty much talked myself into it and can do nothing but think of that dessert! :love: Think I’ll do it in a long pan instead of the 3 round ones… lots easier to carry! Feel free to try that recipe and tell me what you think. It’s a super summer treat. Thanks also for the kind wordse RE: my revamped site. :wink:

kacey August 9, 2005 at 3:07 pm

KellyB, you’re so right about making writing a priority. You just have to make your mind up, then do it.

Kelly–your post on your blog just really got me thinking about all this.

Teresa…lol on the “my dad didn’t think writing was a good career choice.” I have a business degree myself… :mrgreen:

Michelle, thanks for pointing out Larissa’s post on fears. I just went over and read it and all the comments. Interesting.

Leslie, thanks for stopping by. And I read your bio too! Fun way to do a bio.

Rene August 9, 2005 at 3:35 pm

Oooh, great post, Kacey.

I’ll do a journey post later in the week. Loved reading about yours.

Sharon August 9, 2005 at 3:39 pm

Kacey, I think a lot of us mirror each other in some ways. I was just thinking about this the other day, how fluid the journey is and how it’s always changing.

I too have left groups, circles etc because I’m always pushing forward. It’s hard, but it’s too easy to get bogged down in the mud if the people surrounding you aren’t as motivated as you are.

Im currently trying hard to hurdle a few bid ass hurdles, so cross your fingers for me! :mad2:

Sharon August 9, 2005 at 3:39 pm

er uh that’s BIG ass not bid ass in case you’re wondering. :rofl:

Tori August 9, 2005 at 3:51 pm

Took me awhile to get it written, but I just posted on my blog about this. At least I think I answered your questions. Maybe. :rofl:

kacey August 9, 2005 at 4:55 pm

Sharon…bid ass huh? :mrgreen: Any way, yes, I’ll cross my fingers for you and hold out good positive thoughts.

Tori, I popped over to your blog and read your journey. FINISH THE BOOK. :wink:

Suzanne August 9, 2005 at 5:34 pm

What a great post!! In some ways I’m jealous of you guys who have blogs before selling. It’s such a fantastic way of documenting the journey. Very cool. And I do think blogging is a daily affirmation, too, of the journey–and the determination and sheer will to make it, which is so much of what it takes in this business. Go, Kacey!

Mary August 9, 2005 at 9:57 pm

I agree with Suzanne, the blog thing is great.

Melissa August 10, 2005 at 9:28 am

Your post is wonderful, Kacey! Thanks so much for sharing. I plan on blogging about it on the Villa in Tuscany blog. When I wake up, that is. :coffee:

Jill August 10, 2005 at 12:28 pm

Kacey, I really enjoyed this post!! Thanks for sharing, it’s nice to know we’re not alone.

Mary August 10, 2005 at 8:25 pm

Great post! I’m very fortunate in the people who surround me, who support me. :love: My journey has been lonnnnnnng, but I’m not sorry.

Leanna August 11, 2005 at 8:03 am

Hey, Kacey! Loved reading about your journey. I guess we all have those ups and downs on the way to publication…and after. I published. It’s been ten years since that first call. Wow. amazing to think back to that time. But after a few years, I took a break while my kids were small. and now, I’m right back trying to break down that publishing door again. so I completely understand where you are (twice over!). Some days are ‘Eeyore days’ and others are ‘over the rainbow days.’ Hope you’re having an ‘over the rainbow’ kinda day. :)

Steph T. August 11, 2005 at 1:02 pm

*waves* Awesome post. I love hearing about other people’s journeys through the writing world.

I think I’ve blogged on mine before – started writing again a few years back when my daughter was born and very sick – but the past two years I’ve absolutely treated it like a career. (It really helps that my husband views it that way too.)

You’re whole point about knowing who to trust is vital – this business is tough enough without constant negativity. Between my crit partners and the friends I’ve made blogging, I’m quite content in my online world now.

And we’re absolutely going to make it!:beer:

Cece August 13, 2005 at 7:00 pm

I remember posting this on Mary’s blog a while back but I totally don’t get hobby writers. but it’s not for me to understand. Going to blog and will link back :razz:

Peggy August 14, 2005 at 8:06 am

Kasey, enjoyed your post. I submitted my first ms 15 years ago, go a R and gave up. Tried again five years later, got a R and gave up. Repeat, repeat. I think it took me every five years to gather up my confidence and try it again. This last birthday I turned 38 and told myself this was it. I was going to finally get serious. Joined RWA, found eharlequin, bloggers, other writing groups and “feel” much stronger as a writer. This time, I’m plowing forward. No doubts, no fears, no second guessing myself. And it still might take another 15 years but at least I’m doing what I love!

Danica August 15, 2005 at 5:44 pm

Kacey, what an awesome post. I could so relate to a lot of things you said. It is so important to keep moving forward. I love what Sharon said about that. I really believe that you become like those you hang out with, and it’s so cool to see so many of us out there pushing hard to reach our goals. You’ll make it. We’ll all make it. :)

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