I work in digital marketing so I like to think I’m fairly savvy with newer technologies. Despite this, I’ve never been a guest on a podcast or created one myself.
So to say I was shocked–and excited– to participate in Alaska Tracy’s podcast, is an understatement. Her show focuses on women who’ve overcome obstacles and struggles to create their ideal life. (Sound like a romance author you know?)
I’d be lying if I said Dark Awakening wasn’t a huge undertaking. And to be quite honest, I never thought I’d see it through. The thought of writing a 100,000 word novel was overwhelming, but I overcame that first fear and decided to do it anyway.
At first, I kept quiet about my lofty goal. I didn’t want anyone to know I was writing a novel…I didn’t want anyone to derail my efforts. And I didn’t want to face the disapproving frowns and sidelong glances if I didn’t meet my goal.
For years, I wrote in quiet solitude, pulling out my computer late at night or in the pre-dawn hours when no sane creature walks the earth.
But then something happened. As I started gaining steam and my handful of pages turned to 150 pages, I felt more confident about what I was doing and shared my progress –and goal — with my husband. He was impressed with where I was and made a point of checking in with me from time to time. He encouraged me to bring my laptop with me on vacations and gave me the space and time I needed to write. No more late nights and early morning eye busters! Yay!
Once the book was finished, he offered to read it and provide constructive feedback. This, in and of itself, was a small miracle as sci-fi romance is certainly not his genre. But he not only read it, he did it in a couple of days, marking up pages and giving me great ideas to improve the story.
When I started having second thoughts about sending the book out to publishers, he bought me a hard copy of the “Writer’s Market” and helped me look through it to find publishers who were open to receiving submissions. He freed up budget to have the book edited, and never blinked an eye when it meant pulling back spending in other areas.
After much deliberation –and self doubt — I sent my manuscript to nearly 20 publishers in the first round. I chose 10 from the first part of the alphabet, and 10 from the latter part of the alphabet. After several rejections, I was thrilled to get an offer from Vanilla Heart Publishing. Days later, I received one from Black Velvet Seductions.
The rest is history. I signed with Black Velvet Seductions and have never looked back. That first acceptance gave me the courage to tackle the second book and the next. And while there were certainly moments of self-doubt (and still are!), I try to approach each rejection or obstacle as an opportunity to fine-tune my writing and polish my skills.
My second book, Dark Gathering took a little over a year to complete and Dark Storm is set to hit the newsstand in the fall of 2019.
Writing the Dark World trilogy has been a journey, to say the least! I’ve had my share of success along the way, and a whole lot of frustration, disappointment and failure, too. But along the way I discovered things about myself –and some hidden gems — that I hope will inspire you as well.
Do what you’re passionate about everyday. If you’re a writer, write. If you’re a musician, play. If you’re a chef, cook. Don’t focus on how perfect or great it is, but rather on the act of doing. Perfection often comes when we least expect it and only after disciplined repetition of something you enjoy.
Develop a voracious reading appetite. (Even more important if you’re a writer). But let’s face it. The world needs more readers. And I’m not just talking blog posts or Facebook status updates! Pick up a book (or your Kindle), turn the pages and lose yourself in the story and the characters. Take a break from the hustle and challenges of your day-to-day life and lose yourself in a story that moves you. The time you take may lead to more focus and breakthroughs in what you pursue.
Never quit. The history books are full of great people who never gave up. My favorite story is that of Walt Disney, but there are others as well. The point is, these people weren’t deterred by negativity, critics, funding or other obstacles. They persevered. They found solutions to their challenges and they told their inner voice of doubt they weren’t allowed to come on the ride.
Be inspired (and inspiring!) If you need a bit of inspiration and motivation to continue in your own journey, check out my story and listen to the podcast.
What’s your story? How are you overcoming challenges to craft a passion-filled life? Drop me a line below. I’d love to share in your journey.