I came across this inspirational post at fellow Aussie blogger, Amie Kauffman's blog. As I had been planning to do a debut author post (here) I emailed Meagan to get permission to reprint this without any editorial from myself. I'm sure you'll find this story an inspiration and join with me in wishing Meagan Spooner every publishing success.
After you've read Meagan's story, please share yours with us...
I had quit my job the year before in order to attend an amazing six-week writing workshop. I worked part time after that, while struggling to shove my inner editor into a closet long enough for me to get words on a page. I started hating everything I’d ever written. I spent months sitting in my room, telling everyone I was working, while I stared at blank documents and fell asleep every night crying because I couldn’t make myself work. I was putting so much pressure on myself that nothing came out when I tried to write, covering up what was happening so that nobody would realize what a failure I was. Each day I felt more and more like I’d lost the spark that drove me to write when I was younger, like I had no more to offer, that there was nothing left but to give up.
But then in March of 2010 something changed. I got an idea, which wasn’t different in and of itself, except for the fact that this idea lit a fire underneath me like I hadn’t felt since I was a kid. Part of me wanted to shout, “Hang on, slow down, you’re not good enough to write this yet.” The rest of me said, “HELL WITH THAT!” I thank my lucky stars I listened to voice number two.
That idea, of course, was for THE IRON WOOD. I showed the first few chapters to my amazing and long-suffering critique partner, Amie, just praying the reaction would be better than a tactful “Well, at least you’re writing.” Instead, she blew me away by inviting me to Australia to live with her and her husband for a year in order to finish the book because she believed in it that much.
I only allowed myself to take up her offer after promising myself that I would write every day–EVERY DAY–until I finished the book. I even woke up to write on the flight as I crossed the international date line, just to be sure. I finished the book at the beginning of July, about three and a half months after starting it. I revised. I gave it to friends to critique. I revised again. I tentatively started entering query contests. Suddenly agents wanted to see my manuscript, and I scrambled to get queries out.
In December I got my first offer of representation. By the end of the year, I signed with my wonderful agent, Josh. I revised some more. I went through a period that was difficult for reasons both creative and personal. I dragged myself out of it by rewriting the book yet again. Then Josh went out with THE IRON WOOD, and before I really knew what was going on, publishers in multiple countries wanted to buy my book.
And two weeks ago, I finally got to share with you all that I’d done what I set out to do–that I’d written, revised, queried, and sold my book.
I’m not really used to being proud of myself. But it’s been a very strange year. A wonderful year. A difficult year, too.
And tomorrow I get on the plane to go back to America. I’m going to miss Australia intensely. But I’m also really looking forward to whatever is next.
Want to know more about Meagan? Visit her beautiful blog here. Please leave me a comment then hop on over and tell her you've read about her journey. She'd love to hear from you.
- Another great book on getting published has hit the marketWrite to be Published. By Nicola Morgan.
- If you'd like to read my story for Romantic Friday Writers, go here. A bit of a different romance.