Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Two Things I Know...
First of all, yes I am still on cloud nine after the endorsement I got yesterday from the amazing Patricia MacLaughlan for my book a Dog's Way Home! I mean, it just doesn't get any better! But I've been thinking about two things people said to me when I told them my good news yesterday: one person at work said to me something along the lines of, "Wow, it's really coming together for you and it seems like it's happened pretty quickly and easily"; my sweet husband said, "You've done it, babe, and you did it all on your own!"
Here are two things I know after writing for the last six years: for 99% of the writers out there (including me) it does NOT come easily or quickly, and no writer does it all on their own. For me, I've been writing seriously--meaning with the intent/hope to publish--for about six years. I first started submitting to publishers about five years ago. That was five years of languishing in slush piles, of amassing form, "Dear Author", rejections from editor's assistants and agents, five doubt-filled years. It wasn't until my wonderful editor at WestSide plucked THE RING from the slush pile a year and a half ago that there was any light at the end of the tunnel. Finding an agent who believed in me was also a huge step. And I found that agent through a good friend! Although writing in and of itself is a solitary affair, all you have to do is read the acknowledgements page in most any book to see that no writer does it "on their own." From the very beginning, I had my critique group to give me support and encouragement and to push me to be better; I have my family who has always believed and my other friends; I am so lucky to have an agent who I trust and to have now worked with two amazing editors who have taken my diamonds in the rough and made them shine, shine, shine.
So as I sit here in my little office at home trying to write a new story and looking out my window at more snow, when I doubt what I'm doing and whether I can do it, I try to be mindful of how far I've come and all the people who've helped me on this journey.