So . . . this happened! Taken Hostage WON the Contemporary Romance Writers Stiletto competition at the Romance Writers of America conference last week.
People read this blog for different reasons, but many of you are writers and each of us is on this very windy, twisty road regardless of what avenue you’re pursuing.
In 2006, I was sitting at one of the back tables at an ACFW conference at what would now be called the Carol Awards. This award is given to published authors of inspirational fiction.
At my table were all unpublished writers at the time and I can say I remember each of them to this day. Catherine West, Anne Love, and Peg Brantley. One other woman who sat with us is currently unpublished, but agented. Eighty percent of us became published, but each has taken a different path.
Was I lucky to sit at a table with such odds? No— I just sat with a bunch of women who were determined to never give up and keep writing.
I’ve heard many times that it takes TEN years to learn a craft. I think many believe writing a novel is easy because we write all the time— putting these words into sentences and paragraphs. Writing fiction is a craft and that’s about how long it took me from taking my writing seriously to a publishing contract. Then it took me countless contest submissions, finaling eight times for various awards before I actually won— another five years.
In writing, if you are serious about learning the craft, serious about learning from rejection, critiques and bad reviews, and serious about writing words every day (or whatever works for you) you can achieve publication (whether indie or traditional).
It. Is. Possible.
If I had any worthy advice it would be this— keep writing, keep honing your craft, and always— keep dreaming. And when that dream is realized— dream another.