The Good the Bad and The Ugly of This Writer’s Journey Part One

DSCF0956I’m going to change up the Thursday posts for a while. There will still be devotionals posted but, for the month of May they will be guests posts every other week and I will post on my writing journey in between.

It occurred to me that I’ve never really shared with you how I ended up where I am now. My journey started ten years ago, although I had no idea I was on this journey at the time.

In 2004 a story churned around in my head and demanded to be written. At that time I was a stay at home mom and piano teacher, so finding time to write during school hours was not a problem. Once I’ve made up my mind to do something I go for it without looking back. So without any idea what I was doing, I started writing.

I kept to myself what I was up to because I secretly wanted to be published, and I really dislike failing. I figured if no one knew I was writing then I couldn’t fail–crazy logic, now that I think about it.

Over the next year or so I wrote when the mood struck and eventually I had a finished product. I gave it to a few people to read and they encouraged me to pursue publication. I searched online for a publisher and discovered finding a publisher other than paying a vanity-publisher was nearly impossible for a person as clueless as I was.

With the help of my dad my first story went into print. No, I will not tell you what the book was called or what name I used on the cover. Although the story was great, the writing was BAD. That book is no longer available, except for used copies, and I really don’t want to be associated with it–so my lips are sealed.:) How’s that for the UGLY part of my journey?

The GOOD thing that came from that experience was that my publisher taught me about writers groups. I had no idea groups like American Christian Fiction Writers existed. The same summer my book released, I summoned my courage and stepped out of my comfort zone to attended a local Christian writers conference. This was a huge step for me because at that time I was an extreme introvert and I never went anywhere alone. But, at that point I’d learned enough about writing that I knew I needed to go to the conference. While there I took a class taught by Randy Ingermanson where I learned how to craft a scene.

That night after the evening session I went back to my room and wrote. By the end of the conference I had crafted a short story which I submitted to a Suspense and Mystery magazine that I’d heard about at the conference. And guess what? They bought it! That was the confidence boost I needed to keep writing.

If you’d like to read that story, click on Short Stories at the top of this page. Back then I wanted to write romantic suspense, but that genre didn’t work well with my writing voice. That’s a story for another post though.

I met some wonderful people at that first conference, who have encouraged me through the years. In fact, one of those ladies has been my critique partner and mentor since shortly after that conference.

I don’t regret my choice to vanity-publish because it set me on the path I am now on. A path I LOVE. Next time I’ll share about what followed in my journey to publication. The rejections and the glimmers of hope that kept me moving forward.

My second book with Heartsong Presents releases the first week in June. My blogging blitz started today. If you’d like to enter for a chance to win a copy of A Romance Rekindled check out my first stop here and leave a comment. http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/

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