I gave up writing.
Several years ago, after taking a novel writing class and joining a local writers group and attending a few RWA conventions and receiving a few rejection letters on full manuscripts, I gave up writing. It wasn't the rejection letters that did it. My quitting was a result of a combination of impatience at the slow process and frustration at not knowing how to go from pretty good to published.
When I say I gave up writing, I don't mean that I stopped writing. If you're a writer, you know the impossibility of that concept. I just gave up the idea of ever publishing a novel. I wrote articles for a local newspaper and an online business magazine.
Okay, so I also secretly continued creating novel-type manuscripts, but pretended I wasn't actually writing them with the intent to publish.
A few years ago, I tiptoed back into the fray.
What a difference a few years makes!
Writing stuff is everywhere!
My prior experiences had left me believing that there were few spaces open for pre-published writers to become published authors. Even when I felt close, I still felt too far away with no sense of direction or road map.
While I was away, the internet happened. I mean really happened. As a mother and teacher of teens, I'm not always a fan of social media, but as a writer...Holy Wordsmiths! Pre-published writers, post-published authors, agents, editors, interns, and writing coaches are suddenly accessible. You know what else? They aren't all superstars with secret handshakes and code words to a club I'll never belong to. They are kind and encouraging and empathetic and brilliant and generous. Not only is writing stuff everywhere, so is writer love.
I witnessed this with Brenda Drake and her service to the writing industry. (Check out her website here.) I jumped into her #PitMad event and got a full request. In preparing for her Pitch Wars, I've connected with dozens of beautiful writer souls. Even if I'm not matched with a mentor, I'm already winning. I've also convinced a couple of writer friends to jump in, too. So much love!
Pursuing publication is definitely sweeter the second time around--with one exception. When I see all the pre-published who became post-published during my sabbatical, I want to rewind life and never give up the first time.
Dee Linn loves words. When she was in the third grade, her exasperated teacher told her she'd probably talk to a pole, if she happen to be sitting beside it. Not much has changed except that now she says it in writing. She is a single mom of four, a teacher of teens, a cheater at board games, and a lover of life. She's a Kansas girl, but travels to all kinds of places in her head with characters living there, some of which she's sure she's created. Some, she's not sure how they got there. But they are way more interesting to talk to than a pole.