Happy Anniversary To Me!
Well, it’s sort of an anniversary …
It was 3 years ago today that I decided to steel myself for rejection and submit Sleeping With the Wolf to a publisher. From January to March, 2010, I’d written one big story with both Carla and Lisa’s stories all mixed together, and sent chapters as I finished them to the gals at work as a type of gag gift. We were all tired from working overtime and it helped cheer us up. My friends (named purely coincidentally–cough, cough–Lisa and Carla) urged me repeatedly to send it to a publisher. I was flattered, and I have to admit I liked the idea of being a Published Author ™, but I resisted. I mean, only “real” writers submitted to publishers. But l I finally agreed just to get them off my back. When it was rejected they’d have to quit bugging me, right?
That was scary. What if the publisher didn’t like it? What if they did? It took me another 2 months to work up the nerve to chop it into two parts, one for Carla’s story and one for Lisa’s, polish it up and submit the first three chapters of Carla’s story per the publisher’s submission guidelines. I thought it was a cute story, not very serious, kinda cheesy and not remotely publishable. I pretty much expected a form rejection letter, so imagine my shock when they wrote back in only a few weeks, asking for the full manuscript. Yahoo!!!
But I still steeled myself for rejection. Just because they’d asked for the whole story didn’t mean they’d want to publish it. You see, I suffered what many would-be authors do: self doubt. I still struggle with that. I mean, I usually think I’m a decent writer, but not a great writer. But sometimes I can’t imagine why anyone would want to spend their book money and time on one of my stories.
In only a few more weeks Liquid Silver Books offered me a contract for Sleeping With the Wolf. It’s not unheard of for a first time submission to be accepted, but it’s not a general rule either. I was shocked, ecstatic and horrified, all at once. I signed the contract in July and it was published in November. From November 18, 2010 to December 31, 2012 I’ve sold about 6500 copies of Sleeping With the Wolf. That’s not a best seller in most places, but it’s pretty darned exciting for me.
That one gutsy decision altered my life SO QUICKLY. I thank God for it, and I thank my friends for their support. And I thank YOU, the readers. I used to write purely for the fun of it, and I was happy with that. But the feedback I’ve received from you has made me see that writing for myself is fun, but nowhere near as satisfying as writing for an appreciative reader. Thank you.