I’m thirteen days away from my debut release. And this isn’t the dream I’ve clutched since I wrote halting poems about the robins outside or the nativity set my parents painted long before I was born.
I went to Mount Hermon a handful of years ago with my good friend Hannah Prewett.
And we both knew how our writing careers would go…
Hannah and I attend a local Christian writer’s group in Northern California. And we accidentally knew each other before I’d even stepped foot into the church where our monthly meetings are held. Our paths seemed destined to be! Before I knew it, we’d planned on going to Mount Hermon and, of course, we’d be roommates.
Boy, did we prepare! Business cards? Check. One-sheets? Check. Practice and practice and practice the elevator pitches? Check, the entire three-hour drive (with the exception of stopping for Chick-fil-A). And our mentors warned us not to get too excited, that this was only to learn and make connections with other writers.
But, again, we both knew our careers would launch into the atmosphere—a couple of those authors who just happened to make it straight out of the gate. She’d be a world-famous writer of fairytales with an allegorical twist. I’d churn out clean, sarcastic Young Adult books with pre-order dates months in advance. (See lots o’ pics and read Hannah’s telling here)
You see where this is headed?
My “career” started off like a car wreck. Hannah hugged me as I wept that very first night because I wasn’t a good writer, according to a note written on my submitted manuscript. There were no redeeming qualities in my story. I cried like a kindergartener dropped off at school for the first time: I wanted to go home, I wanted my blankie, and I wanted a snack.
This wasn’t how My Amazing Writing Career was supposed to start!
That evening, Robin Jones Gunn’s message righted my sails. And I let go of my writing career…for the night. Because I just knew it’d all turn around in the morning!
Let me save you some backstory: the answer to that was NOPE. And it would continue to go sideways, slantways, longways, and squareways for quite some time.
In the meantime, I’ve learned and practiced. Hannah and I still go to conferences together. (Like Realm Makers!) I’ve met amazing people and keep studying the craft. I read mind-blowing books and others that make me squint. I push and grow, putting myself out there after countless rejections.
My fat contract from one of “The Big Five” CBA houses has never materialized, but I have an incredible agent! There are friends who’ve mailed me a card or sent a text when I’ve had a no-good, rotten day. A couple of kindred spirits made of sarcasm and tacos now grace my life.
I’m thirteen days away from my debut release, as a self-published author. And this isn’t the dream I had, but I’m happy God’s got this dream in His hands.