Sunday, April 13, 2008

Publishing 101

I really want much of this site to be devoted to the novice writer who is searching for answers concerning writing and publishing. We'll be taking this journey together as it is new to me,as well I don't have many insights thus far but what I do write will be fresh and perhaps hopeful to some seeker out there.

First, my own writing journey began 40 years ago when I was about 7. Somehow at that simple age I found writing stories to be an absolutely magical experience. Sort of otherwordly. I still do. I also fell in love with the library and if you'd offered me a million bucks or a million books, the books would have won hands down.
So I wrote and wrote my way through my 20's, 30's, 40's. My first novel was an absolutely horrible affair cobbled together at age 13, then I had to write the sequel to Gone With the Wind, an English romance/mystery, and even Dances With Wolves II.

So where is this going?

All of that scribbling over 30 years was great practice! But after 30 years I began to feel like I needed anti-depressants to go into bookstores. Anyway, my brother told me it was time to take this writing thing seriously. As if 30 years of scribbling wasn't serious enough. So I took his advice and put my latest novel up on the block, so to speak. I submitted it to an amazing service called The Writer's Edge. I didn't have an agent so this was the next best thing. And don't think such a service is a waste of time or the small expense it takes for them to look at your work. So I submitted my stuff and prayed and prayed and began an intense waiting game.

The day after I was posted on The Writer's Edge site, two major Christian publishers contacted me. This began a roller-coaster ride of many months. I became terribly elated and alternately depressed, prayed and prayed, began another book, submitted it all to Him, pondered the sovereignty of God, lost weight and gained depending on which phase of the journey I was in, tried to homeschool and keep my family fed,and nearly gave up.

And then, along came my dream editor. Just when I wanted to quit. I didn't have the heart for many rejections and I admire those writers who do. But God knows our individual tolerance levels (he made us!) and responds accordingly. So this heaven-sent editor from New York contacted me just when I was going to quit. And she opened the door. It is so simple when you stop fretting and just let Him take over. I'm sure the Lord must have laughed when I stood stunned staring at my computer screen and the editor said the publisher liked this novel so much they wanted me to write 2 more!

In that moment the dream of a little girl was realized for a 40 something year old woman. I am still stunned as I write this and I encourage anyone who might stumble upon this post to take heart and ...

don't give up!

If He planted the dream in your heart He won't leave you hanging. We have a Father who never fails.


  1. I started crying when I read this line:

    "If He planted the dream in your heart He won't leave you hanging. We have a Father who never fails."

    I feel so lost if I'm dreaming too big. Thank you for this...thank you for sharing your own journey.

  2. Then this post is just for you, Britt. As you can see, you're the only one who commented:)