Monday, November 20, 2006

Balancing life and writing goals

Writing is one of those things that snuck up on me. Through the years, I gradually wrote more and more. I'm not sure if I suddenly had more time or if the kids activities started taking longer. In any event, I wasn't getting anywhere very fast doing it around my fulltime job and family responsibilities. Once my kids were grown and I was fairly certain the call actually would come any minute, I convinced my spouse to let me try writing full time. My argument was that the windfall of money in my profit-sharing account would cover my lost wages for a year or two. That was May 2002.

Life happened. We had a family wedding. We had health issues. We found we enjoyed having more time together. We down-sized from our five-bedroom house, which eventually entailed a 670 mile move.

The one year stretched to two then three and four. I signed with an agent, I was writing two books a year, and it was just a matter of time until New York came knocking. The rejections were encouraging.

My long-range goal was still publication, but I started rethinking the market. Small presses held a lot of appeal, and in 2006, I expanded my search with small press submissions. Right away, I got a response from The Wild Rose Press for my romantic suspense, House of Lies. The contract came very soon afterwards.

If there is any wisdom in my publication journey, it's to write smart. Keep your eye on the long-term goal, but don't get locked into just one route to get published. Network and find opportunities. They're out there!

Until next week, Maggie Toussaint

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