Three Years!

Three years ago this week, on a long drive up to Tomahawk, Wisconsin for the family summer trip, I started writing.  Really, I guess, I've always been writing, but nothing complete, always just ideas.  This was the first time I started out with purpose.  I started a story in the car, writing feverishly in my little black Moleskin notebook.  One year later, I had finished my first book.

Since I completed the first book, my life has changed a lot.  I still haven't found an agent or gotten published, but no matter.  Despite 80-90 rejections, I'm still positive that I can make it.  There will be a book in the bookstore with my name on the cover.  I've written a second book.  And have started a third, without a thought in my head that the whole effort is futile.  I love writing and now couldn't imagine my life without it.

I have to say though, that the best part of my new writing career, what's made it so worthwhile, is all the awesome people I've had the opportunity to meet.  First, I have to give props to all of the people I've met through SCBWI.  If you write PBs or YA and you aren't a member of SCBWI, you are really missing out.  I highly recommend it and I still haven't been able to fully take advantage of everything my membership offers.

Through SCBWI, I've met some great writers at the Geneva and Dundee critique groups who have really made my writing so much better.  Especially Sarah Barthel, Natalie Rompella, Laura Crawford, and Linda McReynolds.  Their thoughtful critiques have made such a difference in the work I do.  I've had the opportunity to meet and learn from great writers like Kristin Walker, Cynthea Liu, and Trina Sotira.  Through the SCBWI-IL conference I met two great writers, Michelle Sussman and Hilary Wagner.  Without Michelle, I would've never gotten YA Flash Death Match off the ground.  I owe her a ton!  Not to mention how much I appreciate all of the commiserating on the long road to getting published. 

I've also learned a lot about the craft of writing and the publishing industry.  I think it's all quite fascinating and I'm really glad to be part of it, even if it's only a little bit.

I'm also lucky to have a very supportive husband and family.  They are great cheerleaders!

So on my ride up to Tomahawk this weekend, I'll be thinking about all the awesome things I've learned, all of the great people I've met, and all of the work I've created in the last three years.  And I'll probably be writing some more!


  1. They say it takes a million words to become a good writer. There is some truth to it. When you finish your third novel, look back at your first. You will be a different writer, a better writer with stronger skills. It's not uncommon for published authors to have a stack of earlier unpublished novels behind them. Just keep on writing. Even the so called 'failures' are important to becoming published.

    Good Luck - Mark


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