I consider it a privilege to have my good friend, Ju Dimello, here today to share her call story. We met online in 2009 and have become the best of friends. To be signing contracts within a few weeks of each other just feels so right. She’s hosting my pre-launch party today at her blog. Please welcome Ju and leave some comment love.
First off, I have to give a big, sloppy smooch to Lorraine, who wanted me partying on her blog on the same day she is having a pre-launch party at mine 😉 Head on over, to say “hi” to her for a chance to win her debut release! And read on while I extol the virtues of a quality that Author Michelle Styles often repeats.
Perseverance does have its merits…
Like all other writers, I don’t want to start by saying how many “years” I’ve been writing… Needless to say, it’s been on and off for ages, just tinkering around without an aim, and frankly, it might sound like forever. During the second half of 2009, I decided to become serious about it. I did, creating my online id : Ju Dimello, the aspiring author, and got involved in online writer activities—like getting critique partners, joining a group of fellow writers etc. And the funny thing was, I believed my writing had some merit.. Gah! I still envy my own blissful ignorance, and also wish I had some of that blind confidence left!
Frankly, I’m happy that no one gave me a contract for those initial stories of mine. I still cringe looking back at those “learning” manuscripts.
The fog around my eyes cleared soon enough, from the time I hit “submit”. I’ve garnered a cartload of R’s which are all “starred”, labeled as “important” in my gmail, as souvenirs along my journey towards publication. There were, of course, countless times when I just wanted to give up, endless moments of “I’m writing cr*p” and I trudged on because of the sheer encouragement given by my online friends. (If you’re reading this, you know who y’all are.) I’m really glad I did continue to learn, panst (the pantser equivalent of plot), write, lather, rinse, repeat….
Writing is a hard, lonely task. Of course, some writers can’t not write. I always need an end goal so I can focus on what I’m working at – For eg, I don’t think I could write if I didn’t dream of getting published.
There were times when I wondered, “What the heck am I doing?” I have a blog, I have great followers. Let me not mention twitter, FB, goodreads account, etc, but for what purpose? It isn’t enough if our CP’s, or acquaintances (whom you beg to read your book once) declare it’s fabulous.
Then I realized one thing… a tiny thing that seemed so obvious once I thought about it. I have surrounded myself with online friends who’re serious about books (both reading and writing, not to mention reviewing), so that even if I wanted to tuck tail and run, they wouldn’t allow me. Some, well – yeah, like Lorraine, might happily grab me by the neck and throw me back to the wolves 😉 if I as much as gave her a chance, which I didn’t, thankfully! She’s a real motivator in that sense.
Well, someone had to threaten with the proverbial boot up the keister! LOL
Honestly, there were more than enough times when I was ready to throw the towel down and call it a day. But then some tidbit would crop up somewhere—like an online buddy sold a book, got a fantastic review, or even got a horrible review (those made me realize that even pubbed authors don’t have it any easier)… And that poked me, prodded me to keep going. I wouldn’t say I wasn’t green with jealously, or that I was a saint who took every piece of news with a smiling face. I’d be happy and sad at the same time, confused about my own feelings, and once again, I’d pick up the pen (or open the word document), trying to enter into the heads of my characters.
The happiest moments were when the characters spoke to me and I lost myself in their stories. (Gotta love it when that happens.) Of course, many are shelved, never to see the light of day again, but then… who knows… the characters might pop up again, this time with a new story to tell and maybe I can do them justice some day.
Now that I have a contract from Ellora’s Cave for my ménage story, I’m literally over the moon! Frankly, I thought getting the “YES” from a dream publisher was the “destination” of this publishing journey and had expected to surround myself with pizzas and ice cream, pass my days in total bliss. I know you’re snickering there at my innocent assumption, but well…
Yeah, quite the assumption…cover art, edits, more edits, promo….
The fun part of making the sale stays until we get the contract, after which I have to think about a lot of stuff, like creating websites, tackling edits, plan for the sequel (and write it too!) Means, I have to bury myself in the writing cave once again! The only difference now is knowing there’s an editor interested in my work, knowing that I’ll have readers in a few more weeks/months makes the entire journey worthwhile. (Oh, and the royalty checks of course!)
Please… don’t forget to send the cheques! LOL
I’ll sign off this post with another saying that rang true to me. “There is no lift for success. One has to take the stairs.” Am I glad I did 🙂 (And in case you’re wondering…yes, I’m still walking a couple of feet above the ground
Oh, I like that!
I really want to thank Lorraine for giving me this chance to celebrate with her.
PS: I’m still awed by her productivity (I’ve dubbed her as a ninja robot)!
Thank you for joining me today. It’s been great!