Last summer I finally finished the first draft of my travel memoirs – a book I had no intention of writing. My focus had been on writing a mystery and joining the ranks of my favorite authors. Following a visit to my 50th state before I turned 50 – my own bucket list, if you will – friends and colleagues convinced me that my journey was worth chronicling.
What the heck, I figured. At a minimum, it would be one amazing journal of my visits to all 50 states. Now I’m in a second round of revisions and will be finished by late spring at which time I will begin shopping the manuscript around.
On my best days, I write furiously and happily. On my worst days, I’m filled with angst and doubt about my efforts.
I’ve learned, I’m not alone. At the recent Mystery Palooza put on by the Sisters in Crime Central Chapter, several authors shared their journeys on the path to publication.All admitted to the same struggles. I wasn’t alone! Their stories encouraged me to keep plugging along. The authors who presented all had from two to 34 books to their name.
When asked about motivation, several responded about the importance of belonging to writers’ groups. I do, and they are right. Each time I attend a meeting I learn something. I also want to have something to share about my progress.
Frances Aylor, author of the Robbie Bradford financial thrillers, said. “I realized I was telling everyone I was writing a book, and it became a point of honor to finish it.” A few of my colleagues inquire every few weeks about my progress. I look forward to the day when I’m holding a copy of the book!
“Being around other writers motivates me,” author Mary Burton said. Every time I see her, she has encouraging words for me, and she has 34 books to her credit! Her next book, “Her Last Word,” debuts May 8.
Heather Weidner said, “It helps to have peers looking at (your work).” Her second book, “The Tulip Shirt Murders,” just came out.
When I shared my draft with my readers, I was apprehensive to get their feedback. What if they disliked it? Instead, they said, “Tell me more. I want more details.” They scribbled notes and suggestions throughout my draft, and I’m rewriting to deliver what they asked for.
I’m on the path to publication. I’ll let you know when the launch party is!