The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen

Okay, so probably not the most original title for my post, but I think it fits.

Like most writers, I’ve always dreamed of writing, starting my ‘career’ at the tender age of seven. Yes, seven. I began an autobiography and to this day, I remember the first line of that book I never finished. It went something like ‘Ever since I was a kid (neglecting to mention I was still a kid), I wanted to be in show biz.’ Now, this isn’t true any longer, thank God. I’m not tempted to act or sing (lucky public), but I am drawn into writing.

I sometimes feel like I might’ve wasted too much time in jump starting my writing career, but on the other hand, I think I needed to experience life and love and hurt before I could write a credible story. Does this mean that I’m being published and didn’t tell anyone? Nah. The furthest I’ve gotten in my ‘career’ is to finish one MS and actually get a request for a partial from an agent. I don’t mean to sound blase about it, however. I’ll admit that I sat at my computer screaming OH MY GOD a few times before getting up to run through the house to let my family know that someone was interested in reading more of my story. This was my third response to a query letter and first acceptance. The other two were rejections that really had me wondering if I was cut out for this writing career thing or not.

I hate doubting myself and that’s why it’s taken me so long to finish something. In the past, I’d start writing and absolutely loathe what I put on paper. A couple of years ago, I joined RWA and it took me a while to decide that I was serious about writing. That’s when I began my current finished MS. Half-way through the MS, I got discouraged again, feeling blue about my life (what life! lol), and thinking that I’d never get anything completed.

Then, I joined the FF&P chapter of RWA. Suddenly, I was (lurking) in a group loop of women going through the same process I was and it felt…wonderful. It truly is amazing how being a part of that chapter instigated my joining the local Southern Louisiana Chapter of RWA and finishing my novel. It was a process that took me until this week to finally put together. Having the support of other pre-published and published authors made me feel like I was part of a sisterhood. Instead of passing a pair of pants around, it’s a pen, a website, a kind word, a tough critique, or just a shoulder to lean on when we start thinking we really suck.

Even if nothing comes of this completed MS, I have to admit that I’m happier than I’ve ever been. The rejections did get me down, and I’m sure it will again, but seeing how excited other members of my chapter have been for me, makes me feel like I’m not necessarily alone anymore. I think that’s very important for writers. Friends and family can only do so much, but unless they too write, they won’t realize the struggles we suffer with writer’s block, or plotting, or even coming up with a title. That’s what chapters and your fellow writers can do for you, and you can do for them.

So, everyone repeat after me…Ya-ya! haha, just kidding. 😉

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