Monday, May 20, 2013

Winner and Thoughts about "The Journey"

Finally! After all the debates and hullaballoo, we have a winner!! *throws confetti*

Amy gathered the names. Her daughter, very fairly, drew a name from a hat. And the winner is . . .


Congratulations!

You can email either me or Amy and let us know which prize you choose:

1) TWO 10-page critiques (1 from Amy & 1 from me)

OR

2) The SURPRISE package!!!

Thank you to everyone who entered our contest and passed along congratulations to our amazing friends. :)

So I've been thinking a lot about this whole writing journey lately. I remember when I first started writing with the idea of getting published. So much excitement! Every word on the page was magic, and everything I wrote was brilliant.

I didn't stop to consider the reality of the publishing world and all the hurdles I'd have to overcome to get my book in print. I just wrote. And I loved every minute of it! I subjected my (then new) husband to first drafts and he laughed in all the right places and told me he just knew I'd be published some day. (See why he's a keeper?!) :)

Good times, those.

But, of course, that doesn't last forever. The rejections came. I still remember my very first conference critique by a real live editor. "It sounds like you haven't found your voice," he said.

Oh, but that hurt.

And then my first critique group. My perfected chapters came back covered in ink.

That first rejection from that first query. I think it took a little under an hour to receive it in all it's "Dear Author" glory.

And the list goes on.

More often than I care to express, I wondered if all this effort was worth it? With all the rejection, why did I think I could ever reach that shiny goal of seeing my words in print, and my name on the cover?

Two things kept me going.

First, was remembering why I started writing in the first place. Remembering the sheer joy of bringing a world alive and watching others react to it. How could I give that up? WHY should I give that up just because I hadn't been published yet?

Second, was this quote:
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
 
Confucius
551 — 479 B.C
Success is not achieving something we can't control. Success is moving forward in the face of difficulties. It's not giving up just because something is hard.

And that my friends, is pretty awesome. Because we can control that.

I'd love to hear about your journey, and how you define success, too.

9 comments:

mshatch said...

Love that quote! After all, if we don't rise, then we'll never have the opportunity to succeed.

Susanne Drazic said...

Yea!! THANK YOU to Amy's daughter for picking my name. : ) I'm going to go with the SURPRISE package!! I LIKE, like, LIKE surprises!!! Thank you! : )

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

This is SOOO good, Janet. Such a good reminder when the going gets tough, which is always. I think this is why I LOVE having a new project to work on when I'm on submission. Makes a difficult situation bearable. <3

Old Kitty said...

Huge congrats to Susanne!!

Lovely Janet!! You live your writerly life by this wonderful quote - well done you!! Take care
x

Dianne K. Salerni said...

It took me a LONG time to see success. Decades. Granted, giving up several times along the way held me up. But I always returned to writing. Or was driven back by my muse.

Everybody's path is different. I hope you'll be making a turn toward success very soon!

Michael Offutt, "Johnny on the Spot" said...

I define success with every little fan mail I receive from someone who enjoyed what I wrote. I don't care that I'm not a bestseller. The fact that someone takes time to write me makes me happy and I feel successful.

Laurel Garver said...

It is strange to think back on my years of plugging away at this writing thing, of all the cool people I've met along the way, but also, like Diane said, to see how the periods when I gave up weren't at all "lost." I grew in other ways then, ways that helped me gain the strengths I have now.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janet - and Susanne - congratulations ... that prize will be so helpful ...

It's a journey and we all fail along the way in one way or another, even first publishers must have failed ... but they too picked up the pieces and tried again ..

Cheers Hilary

Shallee said...

Fabulous post! Success is so hard to define, because after you "succeed" life keeps on going-- and giving more ups and downs! I think to me, success is to just continue doing the thing you love, through good times and bad.