Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Because I HAVE To

I write because I HAVE to. It's as simple as that. Honestly, I can't imagine doing anything else and I'm fortunate that I can stay home and work at this instead of being part of the real world grind. The make believe world is the perfect place for me. This whole thing started for me fifteen years ago. Back then, I was clueless about the publishing world and after finishing that very first book...a very long book...I quickly learned this alien universe didn't want any part of ME. E-publishing was new in those days and NY was really pretty much the only alternative. Twelve manuscripts and many years passed before I finally gave up on the whole thing. Well, not the writing, I kept that up but I just never submitted anything.

Anyway, that was a long time ago and now I have a number of books out there but the bottom line is: I didn't give up the writing even when I very much doubted I'd ever see anything published. Why did I do it? Because I HAD to. Yep. Those voices kept hollering and begging to be fashioned into characters so I indulged them. Yes, those old manuscripts are still in my closet gathering dust and will probably never see the light of day but that's okay. It was all part of my journey.

So, what's the hardest part about this business? For me, it's the rejection stuff. There's nothing worse than working on something for months and being unable to sell it. Remember those twelve manuscripts in my closet? At least half of them have NEVER been sent to a publisher because I just couldn't handle the rejection. Years ago, I found it completely debilitating and realized I just couldn't do it anymore. It took some time and some courage to start submitting again but I managed. A couple of years ago I told myself...okay, one more time. I'll try it one more time. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

It sold. I couldn't believe it. Maybe the stars were aligned in my favor or something and I still recall reading the letter several times before actually believing it wasn't some collosal mistake. It had taken me fifteen years to realize this dream and I guess my point is...you can't give up. Even in the face of rejection, even when everyone around you says it's stupid and self-destructive to continue. Mom always told me there was a time and place for everything and I guess, finally, after all those years, it's finally my time.I'm a writer. I do it because I love it and because I HAVE to.

8 comments:

  1. Yay you! I'm so glad you didn't give up!

    Now... about those manuscripts in the closet. Why not have another look at them? I suspect that your writing style has changed drastically. But you just might be surprised at what you find.

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  2. So, glad you didn't give up, Regina. :D The rejections can be enough to take the wind out of most anyone's sails. :D

    I agree with Anny. You may want to dust off those old manuscripts now that you have some experience under your belt and you know what does and doesn't work. I had a shoebox manuscript, my first attempt at a full length novel. It was darned near 200K words and... it sucked quite frankly. But the premise was sound. I applied what I'd learned over the years, broke the book down into more manageable bites and wound up turning it into a three book deal, the first of which should be released next year.

    It may be worth another look. :D

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  3. ACK!!!The very thought of going through all those manuscripts makes my head ACHE...OOWWWWW. I DID rework one of them and sold One Dependable Man to The Wild Rose Press. Wow, was that ever a JOB. Kind of like fiddling around with a jigsaw puzzle. Hmmm. You guys might have convinced me to give it a shot.

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  4. but honey, ODM is such an AWESOME book! I'm so glad y0u nade the effort. Now start digging!

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  5. Good for you! See, if you'd given up, you wouldn't be the author you are today:)

    I went into a semi-funk when I received my 1st rejection. But then I remembered Dr. Seuss was rejected like 28 times before he was pubbed, so I looked at it as 1 down, 27 more...and I'm still no where near that!

    I'm with the others. Dust off your other stuff and see how it goes...even if all you do is give the characters new storylines.

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  6. Well, I've been thinking about it today and there ARE some of these I could work on, fix up. Three of these were full length historicals and the rest contemp. Thing is...I just wasn't at a place in my life where I could handle the rejection. I handle it much better now, thank goodness. Thanks for the support. (((((((HUGS))))))

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  7. My first book at 180K is the one I turned into the Mystic Valley series. A chunk here, a chunk there... still have a few more chunks...

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  8. Spoken like a true creative artist...

    As I was telling one of your co bloggers here... whatever you do, if you do it joyfully and lovingly, if your act of doing it is purely not economical, then it is creative. If you have something growing out of it from within you, it is spiritual, it is creative it is divine.

    So If you are looking for fame and then you think you are creative, you will miss. Then therein comes the businessperson, the politician the ambitious.

    For one truly creative person. If fame happens good, if it doesn't happen good, but that should not be the consideration. The consideration lies in the enjoyment of what you do...it is almost like your love affair.

    Regina, I posted a book Review for your co blogger James Goodman on my blog. It would be an honor if you come & check it & comment upon it!

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