by Kathy Cannon Wiechman
Today's post is written for the IWSG's monthly blog hop. Visit the link below for more information.
In June, I gave a talk to the local chapter of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators on my 40-year journey to a published novel. That’s not a typo. It took me 40 years.
When I looked back over all those years, I saw what seemed at the time to be failures. I see now that they were just steps in my journey. Any step that moved me forward was not a failure.
|Slow and steady got Kathy her publishing contract.|
I networked and made contacts. Even if those contacts did not land me a book contract, they moved me forward with dealing with professionals and taught me about the publishing industry. Some of those contacts taught me how NOT to deal with people and some became dear friends.
Other steps were days, months, and years of writing. My about-to-be-published novel is actually the eleventh one I wrote. Were the others failures? No way. Each taught me more and more about plotting, character, and Voice. Each led me closer to the one that’s being published. Each made me a better writer. (And there is still a chance that a rewrite of Number 9 will be published. Time will tell. I haven’t given up on it yet.)
Every step in my journey was a necessary one for me to take. I am extremely proud of my novel LIKE A RIVER (due out in April from Calkins Creek). I am glad that my first published novel was not written by that naïve young beginner, but by the experienced, seasoned writer I am now.
What I am telling you today is that the only failure is quitting. Everything else is just a step forward in your writer’s journey. Appreciate each one for what it is. And I hope your journey will not take you 40 years.