Sunday, May 29, 2011
When Is Enough Enough?
I worked on improving my grammar, bringing out my voice, learning how to pitch, write query letters, talk to an editor and agent at conferences, and being the best I could be as a writer. For the next nine years, I drank, ate and slept writing. Am I perfect? Oh, goodness no! But I have ten books to prove my perseverance. (And being at my RWA chapter meetings helped me to keep trying.)
One evening at a conference, I had the pleasure to relax with Sherrilyn Kenyon in her hotel room and we were talking about what it takes to be a published author. Sherrilyn’s road to publication and staying published was a hard one. If you ever get a chance to hear her talk about that road, do so. It’s scary but also an uplifting story. Anyway, she mentioned how sad it was that a friend of hers had given up on writing. She’d read her work and hadn’t understood why an editor hadn’t snatched it up. She encouraged me to keep trying.
Since I couldn’t quit my day job, I gave up watching television, having floors I could eat off of, and reading one book after another. All my spare time was dedicated to what I wanted most. To be published. But my rejections continued to come in.
So the question is still how to know when enough is enough?
I believe it is when you can say, I quit it all. When you no longer have a story nagging at the back of your mind, or you read a book and say I can write better than that or I wish I can write a good story like that. When you don’t imagine dogs and dragons in the clouds or hear words of mystery and intrigue whispered in your ears by the wind. When you can close your eyes at night and don’t feel the presence of someone looking over you (good or bad). When you can ignore the wide-eyed pleads of your children or nieces and nephews to repeat the stories of your childhood. Then that's enough.
I came close, but thanks to the Good Lord, I wanted more.
Published (we know the next contract can be the last) or pre-published, promise me that enough isn't enough - that you want and deserve more!
Labels: Carla Swafford, encouragement, how to write, Romance Writers, writer, writers' conference, writers' contests
Carla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies and men, and her books reflect that. Plus she's a rare creature in the Deep South, she loves hockey. Carla's married to her high school sweetheart and lives in Alabama.