BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Little Nudges

I believe that there are people who come into our lives to help us find our path in life, and when it comes to writing, I can clearly see all the nudges I received. I'm also grateful to all these people, even the ones whose names I don't remember any longer.
As a child, I always had very elaborate stories for my dolls. I also entertained myself constantly during boring stuff by telling myself stories. It never occurred to me to write any of these things down. When I did try to start up a publication, it was a neighborhood newsletter, not a story.
It wasn't until 8th grade that I started writing and that was because of one of my friends. She started writing a story and used everyone in our class as her characters. When she did something I didn't like with me and wouldn't change it, I decided to write my own story. I went for fictional characters right from the start, though. It always struck me as way too weird to have real people in a book. Heck, I don't even like to use the names of people I know in real life, although there have been times my characters didn't give me a choice.
I can point to instance after instance when I wandered away from writing and got back to it because of someone in my life at that point, but there were other moments that stand out to me, too.
The first editor who rejected me. It was my first finished book and she sent a letter with details about what I needed to work on. I quit writing for six months, sure I sucked, but I couldn't stop permanently and I worked on ways to fix what she cited as my weaknesses. They ended up becoming some of my biggest strengths. Thank you!
The woman who asked me when was the last time I wrote something and when I told her, she said, "You're not a writer. Writers write." That kind of pissed me off at the time, but after I had time to stop being defensive and think about what she'd said, I knew she was right. Writers write or they're dreamers. This was what I needed to hear. Thank you!
Then there was the editor who rejected and put Post-it Notes throughout my second manuscript, highlighting exactly where I had problems and what they were. That was absolutely the most incredibly helpful information I could have gotten because she was spot on and I learned a lot about story from her comments. Thank you!
The person who recommended the craft book that made a light bulb turn on inside my brain. (GOAL, MOTIVATION, and CONFLICT by Debra Dixon) Thank you!
After I got published, there was my agent and the editors I worked with who helped me become a stronger storyteller. I learned so much from these experiences. Thank you!
The list could go on longer, but you get the gist of it. We all have these people in our lives, and if we pay attention to the message we're being given, we find the path we're supposed to follow. It's truly amazing, especially when I look back and see all the course corrections I received.