My Writing Journey–Life After My First Contract!


In the past few weeks, I’ve talked about the moment I decided to start writing, the first novel I ever wrote, and shared some of the joys of submitting in the “old days!” Today, I’ll share a little about the life of a writer. And yes, I do call myself a writer now! It took awhile for me to get used to saying that but that’s the way I think of myself now.

Anyway–it took 15 long, long, very long years to get my first traditional contract. Along the way, I did self-publish a book and then did two more with what was called Print On Demand (POD) back then. I self-published in 2004 when self-publishing was still considered a big no-no. I suppose some people still think that way but more and more self-publishing or as it’s called now indie publishing is becoming more acceptable day by day.

Of course, there have been many great writers and books that were self-publshed, such as Charles Dickens and John Grisham. So, why there is–oops, I mean was such a stigma associated with self-publishing is a puzzlement. Actually, it’s not that big of a puzzlement. The reason is that, like myself, many authors self-publish before they actually should!  That’s hard to admit, but I wasn’t ready to publish when I did. The stories themselves were pretty good, but I still had a few things to learn about the writing craft itself.

I’ve re-published two of the three books I published before I got my traditional contract. And I plan to republish the third one next year–if I have time. I consider myself a hybrid author. If you don’t know that term, it’s not surprising. It’s a fairly new term. It simply means that some of my books are published by a traditional publisher and some are indie published my me.

Anyway back to the topic at hand–life after my first contract. As you can imagine, I was thrilled when I received my first contract with a traditional publisher. And to this day, I still tear up when I think about the day I received the news. I actually received a second contract within a week or so of the first contract.

What a blessing from God!

So how has my life changed since those first contracts? A lot and not at all! How’s that for an answer.

It’s changed a lot in that I now consider myself a writer. In spite of all my health issues and being retired, I still have a purpose.  Another thing that’s changed is along wtih the writing of stories, I now have other writing obligations. Meaning marketing books, marketing myself, working on my own blog as well as guesting on others. Not to mention social media! Those are a few of the activities that keeps me busy during my writing time.

What hasn’t changed is that I still devote a great deal of time to my writing. Iwrite most every day. I don’t feel “right” if I’m not working on a new story. I usually work on one new story at a time while polishing and editing other stories that the first draft has been completed but hasn’t been submitted. When my publisher sends me edits for a contracted book, all the other writing stops while I complete the next round of edits.

Sometimes, people will ask me how many times I have to read my own story as I work on it. They are shocked when I tell them it’s at least five times, and usually many more than that. They ask me if I don’t get bored or tired of it after reading it so many times. I simply smile and tell them…

“No way!  I love being a writer!”

What a blessing from God has given me my heart’s desire! I truly feel blessed even in the midst of  dealing with my brain tumors and the effect it’s had on my life. How about you? Has God given you your heart’s desire? If so, please share it with us. If you’re still waiting on it, tell us about it.





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