One woman's amazing journey from hobby writer to published author

Progressions

So it’s been a while since I’ve written here.  This seems to be a pretty common cycle.  I do well at writing for a while, and then I drop off.   This really does not bode well for the sort of self-discipline I’ll need to get published.  In my defense, there have been a lot of life changes going on.  I’ve dropped out of university and am instead pursuing certification as a pharmacy technician.  It will be nice to have a job where I can leave work at work and not have to worry about papers or homework. I have a feeling this will give me more time for my writing.   It will also allow me to move closer to my children (who live with my Ex and his fiancee) and still be able to support myself and them.  This is a very important step forward into my future and into the next chapter of my life.

Not too long ago, I submitted a story to Sword and Sorceress (a fantasy anthology started by Marion Zimmer Bradley before her death).   It was a bit of a twist on the virgin sacrifice to the dragon.  The day I submitted it I was a mess of nerves and wondering if it was good enough.  I had to line up my mouse over the button, put myself at arm’s length, and look away and close my eyes while I hit ‘send’ in order to get over the anxiety.  I  was much relieved once my first submission ever was on its way through the e-mail to the editor of the anthology.

It was rejected, as I knew it might be because the tone was a little dark.  But the rejection letter gave me so much hope because of how it was worded.

Dear Ms. [my real last name],
Thank you for sending us “Would Virgins Taste Better?” This is a perfectly good story, but it doesn’t quite have the feel I want for Sword & Sorceress. Try this on another market.
Best wishes,

Elisabeth Waters
Editor

If that isn’t a very encouraging first rejection letter ever, I don’t know what is.   And yes, I printed it out and framed it as a reminder that I am not only writing, I am taking the necessary steps toward living my dreams.  I think I’m going to try the Writers of the Future contest next with this story, and then keep looking elsewhere.  I have a long way to go, but I know that if I can get my foot in the door with this story, then it will be easier to market my novels to agents and publishers (or so I hope!).

Having made that scary first submission, the next ones should be a lot easier.  Right?

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