It's been an interesting journey, not least because I thought at first it would just be a private ramble, like a diary, as I wrestled with writing exercises, assignments, rejections and ideas. For three months it just seemed like me, climbing the hill, enjoying the view. Then I put a controversial post up and someone commented. People were reading my blog! I found the stats button and found that people on A215 had found it but also other writers. Gradually, I got more comments and emails, and people started 'friending' me on Facebook. I was part of a writing community. I linked to other blogs I liked, and started following other people's journeys. I was encouraged by their successes, sympathetic to their stumbles. I started to have faith in the process. Yes, it was almost impossibly difficult to get published, yet people were doing it. I started to read my own stuff and realise it was getting better, and short stories were finding their way into anthologies and magazines.
Without that writing community, I would never have sent my half-baked novel out to Mslexia. I was encouraged by the diversity of the work others had sent out - many of which were longlisted in the end. So, I sent out my novel, which led to being shortlisted and getting an agent, who has sent it (heavily edited!) out to editors. I'm right at the fork in the road that is signposted 'get a publishing deal', by the sign, looking ahead, that says 'keep trying'. Although a book deal would be fireworks and champagne, they do look very similar. Keep writing, keep improving, keep working. Which I will do anyway, because the stories would drive me mad if I didn't pin them on the page.
So, if you're travelling with me because you are a writer, keep writing, stay open to improvement, enjoy the journey to bigger and better things.
|My sort of path|