As many of you know, his blog was created, because author Laura Munson said it would help build my platform. It was a major step for me in this journey as a writer. The idea of beginning a blog, much less having the commitment to maintaining something I hoped people would enjoy reading each month, seemed mind-boggling. But, I trusted Laura and Googled ‘How to start a Blog’ I found WordPress.
You read; you chat, you sign up, take their free courses, look at other blogs, talk with other writers, photographers, dreamers and slowly but surely you carve a niche for yourself.
Has it been easy? Nope. Have I goofed? Oh yeah – I’ve goofed a lot, learned, kept going, then turned around tripped and goofed again. I knew if I really wanted to walk this path, I had to keep going in this direction, no matter how many goofs.
Once you have your blog up and running – now what? You give yourself a schedule of some sort, and post, for who? Yourself? Your family, friends, co-workers? Well yeah. So when you goof, you are forgiven. That’s where you can share your thoughts and whatever else you wish, that become the mortar to your platform. All the little things you post/publish, while you’re working on your novel, your memoir, your dream. Believe me, I’m grateful to everyone, who started me on this path, reads about my goofs as well as celebrates my successes.
But recently, my journey brought me to a cliff. I had to make a major decision and have faith in myself that it was the right one. That last part was the hardest. It required I change directions, but I couldn’t see past the cliff, it was dark, and change is scary.
Here’s what happened…
Last month I shared with you, that I attended a workshop called “You Wrote a Book, Now What?” Hosted by Unicorn For Writers, and if you haven’t heard about them, go check out their website, created by Jan L Kardys who is brilliant and delightful. You will find answers to your questions, and then you will find more questions. Yes, more questions – because you will walk into a world of writing and you will see there is much more to learn than you thought. But, know this, they are going to be honest with you. They will point you in directions you may not feel comfortable traveling alone, but its part of the process. They will offer affordable professional guidance, more than affordable workshops and a once a year a writers conference at Manhattanville College in New York that rivals all others. Don’t take my word for it, go explore for yourself. I share this with you, because I saw the cliff when I went to the workshop. I went to the workshop, because I was beginning to lose myself, writing wasn’t fun, I began to doubt because I let the words of another affect me. I don’t have to tell you, that if you stop working on your passion, – because of the criticism of others – walk away. Walk towards the critiques.
After the seminar I had the chance to work with Bob Zaslow (if you go to unicornforwriters.com you’ll meet him.). At a writing circle, he had a page of comments about part of my novel, but he was not smiling or reassuring. He avoided eye contact, he told me that people can get upset with his comments, sometimes even angry. I smiled at him and asked a question, “Are you going to criticize me or critique me? I know this isn’t personal, this is business.” Bob’s eyes twinkled, he laughed, and we got right to work. It was great, he helped make my writing better. I felt rejuvenated working with someone who was as excited about writing as much I am.
One decision became clear. I’ve been working with the same editor for quite a while now, but my heart told me I needed to move on. It was taking a chance, but I had stay true to myself first so, no matter how scary, I jumped off the cliff.
I’m excited about my novel again. I felt like I was lost in the woods, now I have a new editor who I am thrilled to say is also my mentor. A talented, vibrant author who told me after 63 query letter rejections, her 64th made her dream come true and her first novel published. She’s now working on her fifth. Talk about perseverance, having a goal and following your passion. Her critique makes me work hard, but it also guides me, indeed she lights the way. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” I can’t wait to see where else this journey leads me.