Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Writing Wednesdays: What Keeps You Going?

Some of you may remember that I entered a Secret Agent contest over on Miss Snark's First Victim last week (a huge thanks to Authoress for hosting these amazing competitions; I can't imagine the amount of work that goes into them, and she does it all anonymously). And guess what - I was one of the four winners! I got some helpful feedback to boot, and a full request is always awesome. I'm not getting my hopes up, but it was still a vote of confidence at a time when I really needed one. It's funny how the universe seems to give me just enough courage to keep going whenever I'm feeling down. And I keep track of all those little sparks, just so I can pull them up (usually from memory - I don't forget a compliment!) when I need one.

I wasn't encouraged to write in high school. Why would I have been, when there were so many other amazing students who stood out far more than I ever could? I didn't take a single writing class until college, and that was a journalism class my third/final year. I was so incensed over another class that I wrote an op-ed (my first) and it was published in the San Francisco Chronicle, and then again later in a text book. It was the first thing I ever published, and it was the push that got me going in the right direction.

Later, after I wrote that first terrible novel, I took a travel writing class and was encouraged by the professor to submit my story for publication. Then there was the author who sent my book to her agent (who in turn said, "You will be published." Maybe she was just being nice, but I believed her). There was the fabulous rejection letter I received on my last novel, which I printed out and highlighted for when things got really bad, and the feedback from my awesome CP, Cara, which has made me believe in this novel far more than I ever did before.

I know it's important to believe in myself. And I do. But without those extra boosts from the friends and mentors I've met along the way, I don't know if I'd still be following this crazy path. What's kept you going (in writing or whatever dream you're pursuing)?


Sarah said...

Brick walls and peppermints!

Alleged Author said...

I am so happy you were asked for the full! :)

Mara Rae said...

Sarah - are you sure it isn't brick walls and cupcakes? :)

Alleged Author - thank you! You are the best!