Wednesday, October 1, 2014

FACING “FAILURE”

by Kathy Cannon Wiechman
  

Today's post is written for the IWSG's monthly blog hop. Visit the link below for more information.

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http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/2014/09/insecure-writers-support-group.html











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.
Some of those steps were learning experiences at workshops, classes, and conferences. Forty years has taught me a great deal. When I look back at the naïve young beginner I was when I started, I am surprised by how little I knew.

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.

28 comments:

  1. You're right. The only failure is quitting. Just keep moving. Keep reaching for that dream. Way to go with your novel, Like a River! Looks good.

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    1. Thanks. Seeing it published is a dream come true.

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  2. So agree. We learn so much from those manuscripts that we might not sell. Congrats on your second book too!

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    1. Here's hoping. Thanks and keep believing.

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  3. Congrats on your new book. Best wishes

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    1. Thanks, Diane. I walk on air a lot these days.

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  4. 40 years? Wow. That's an inspiration to stick with things! Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks, Sherry. My main message is don't give up. I am so glad I didn't.

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  5. Wow, what an inspiring post! Love this line: The only failure is quitting. So true! I'm sure you are so glad you stuck it out all those years, and now you have a book as a culmination of all your successes. So awesome!

    Congratulations! It was great to meet you through the IWSG! :)

    http://swordsandstilettos.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Kristen. If I had given up, I would have missed so much. I wouldn't have learned all the things I have learned or found out just what I can accomplish.

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  6. Trust me, better to know what you are doing when that first book comes out. Congratulations on your first book, Kathy. And it never matters how long the journey took.

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    1. Thanks, Alex, and while the journey may have been a long one, it was filled with joyous moments and cherished friendships.

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  7. Whew! 40 years? That makes my 12 seem measly. You must have an amazing grasp on the industry and way to go! Now that's a success story!

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    1. Thank you, Crystal, and I love that you recognize it as a success story.

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  8. So true, Kathy...

    My post is similar.... as i said TIMING IS EVERYTHING! Congrats on your newest book and ALL THE BEST!!!!!!

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    1. Thanks, Michael. You are so very right about timing. A book contract relies on the right manuscript at the right place at the right time. Getting all 3 of those things to line up can be tough.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your journey. For some reason today, everything I read makes me thing of a quote. Here is one of my favorite.

    "You fail only if you stop writing." ~Ray Bradbury

    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

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    1. I agree with Bradbury, and with you. Thanks, Juneta.

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  10. Such an inspirational post!! Great perseverance!!!

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    1. Thanks, Cathrina. Perseverance isn't always easy, but definitely worth it.

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  11. Awesome post! Totally agree the only failure is quitting.

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    1. Thanks, Karen. If I had quit, I wouldn't be planning a launch party.

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  12. exactly. all of our choices and experiences lead us up to this point! wouldn't change a thing!

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    1. Good for you, Tara. One of the most important steps to success is perseverance.

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  13. Great post, Kathy! You are such an inspiration! :)

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. I look forward to reading your latest book.

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