My writing career started in third grade with a story called, “The Cream Colored Pony.” It was good enough that my teacher had me re-copy it to give a copy to our principal. From there, I went on to write several novels and more short stories and partial stories than I can count. I wrote my first decent novel in 2004, and my husband changed my life when he asked me, “Why don’t you try to get any of this stuff published?”
I’ll be honest; it had never occurred to me before then. Writing was fun. It was a hobby, but to be published? Who really did that?
Of course, it was a blonde moment. I read tons of novels, so I know that people write for publication, but it seemed to be in the way of famous actors and people who keep their house clean. Those are things for other people, not me.
So began a long journey. I started by reading books and buying the Writer’s market books, blindly sending letters to editors. I learned a little more when I went to my first Writer’s Conference, and learned how woefully unprepared I was for my new experience. In 2007, I moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona, and my experiment in being published fell by the wayside.
I’m not sure how I discovered http://www.reviewfuse.com, but it was sometime in fall of 2009. It was through the reviewfuse community that I learned I have several shameful vices. I love adverbs. I love to start sentences with an unnecessary “so.” I love to put “that” where it doesn’t belong. And I am enamored of passive voice. I could go on and on. I felt kind of ashamed that I’d ever considered myself a pretty good writer.
After I got over my own ego (it took longer than it should have, BTW), I realized that my choices were to cling to the way I wanted to write, or try something new and maybe get better. I decided to soak up all the wisdom I could, separating the truly helpful tips from the ones that make me go, “huh?”
Today, I’m proud to say that I’m still improving as a writer. I try to take advice gracefully, even when it isn’t offered gracefully. I try to pay attention to other writer’s styles. There was a time when I couldn’t read a book without automatically correcting passive voice in my head, even if it resulted in something ridiculous. I’ve learned to take a step back now. Not every bit of advice has to be followed to the letter.
For a while, I think I strayed from the path of writing being fun and kept looking forward to the destination of publication. Now, I’m trying to just enjoy the journey again. Would it be great to have my novel published? Uh, yeah. Will it make writing less fun if it never happens? Nope. Not one bit.