Monday, October 12, 2009

Learning, Submitting, Rejection, Learning

After I attended my first RWA meeting, I decided I needed to learn everything I could. But that didn't mean only attending meetings, reading craft books, going to the Romance Writers National conference, reading romance books, it meant I also had to write.

You learn a lot by writing. It wasn't easy with a full time job, but I carved out time. The writing was slow because I was reading more craft books than I ever had before. Plus every month I attended my local RWA meeting.

After about a year, I joined a critique group. It was the best thing that could happen. While none of us were published, we were all at different levels of writing. And having a critique group meant I had to produce work. Having a deadline was good.

During the next few years, I wrote more and more. Entered contests, learned, entered more contests. And finally I had something I felt was good enough to send to an editor. Sent it off and…rejection.

I had to be realistic; this was a business after all. I read the rejection letter over and over, not much in it to tell me what I was still missing. I didn't stop writing, I kept moving forward. I submitted to other editors, because now there were more publishers accepting romance, plus there was Harlequin and Silhouette (Yes, at one time they were separate companies and in competition with each other).

While I was still getting rejections, they were getting more and more personalized. And that was a good thing. I also attended my local RWA chapter meetings, helped form another RWA chapter, volunteered for my RWA chapters, and went to National conferences.

A couple of years went by, some years I wrote more than others, but I kept writing, because this is what I wanted to do. I had to do it.

Continuing the journey next Monday

1 comment:

Rose Lerma said...

Love this. You're building a solid foundation.