A long time ago I slapped the magazine I was reading on my lap and said, “I could write better than this!” My husband replied, “Why don’t you?” His challenge wouldn’t let me go, so I started writing. Since I loved to read romance, I wrote a few short stories, and without much editing, sent them off to magazines. They were so bad; but those stories kick-started my writing journey.
The rejections helped toughen me up. I learned to write by writing. Before long, I took a correspondence course and began my first novel. I completed a few writing classes at community college. I kept reading novels, and devoured how-to books. I filled blank-book journals, wrote articles for our church, and then was editor for a women’s newsletter for several years. A friend and I began a writer’s group, where I learned the value of critique.
Somewhere in there, I quit writing due to health issues. Then the first Martin Luther King Day the university where I worked didn’t hold classes, I wrote an essay that was later printed in an academic journal. I had more Nebraska pieces published in that journal and a couple anthologies. The encouragement of publication, and the characters and settings that roamed around in my head, soon had me back at the computer.
Rejections mounted. I joined Romance Writers of America in 2002 and learned more about writing and publishing in six months than I had in the ten years prior. I realized immediately that I had a bond with anyone I came in contact with. The local chapter I'm part of now is Prairieland Romance Writers. We writers have a common passion (or compulsion), a synergy, that binds us together. From local chapters to the online chapter I’m part of Faith, Hope & Love, I can still be amazed at the camaraderie and generosity of individuals. Whether those writers are unpublished or have a hundred best sellers under their belt, they share whatever they can for the common good. I’m here to sing the praises of critique groups the White Rose Publishing authors as well.
I’ve tried to quit writing several times, but I’ve concluded the Lord doesn’t want me to. Something is missing, a void gaps open, and I feel incomplete if I’m not connected with words. I wake up with ideas in the middle of night. So many lines, scenes, or plot solutions to something I’ve been mulling over come to me in the shower. Friends or family will mention how a phrase I wrote encouraged them. I so value other writers, and am inspired by their writing journeys. Spending time with other writers is like being high. When I don’t connect with writing friends for awhile, I say I need a writer “fix.”
Once I had three or four book-length manuscripts (and piled up more rejections from editors in the process), I searched for an agent. Moselle’s Insurance was rejected by five agents, but feedback led me to believe I was close to acceptance. I had never considered going the route of an online publisher. But at the time, there was only one NY publisher that accepted unagented material in my genre, and they had rejected half my stories.
Lori Graham, an editor for The Wild Rose Press and then editor for White Rose Publishing, came to Prairieland Romance Writers. She invited me to submit Moselle's Insurance. It was rejected twice by White Rose editors, but each time I was invited to resubmit.
I was devastated by the second, very detailed rejection letter, and quit writing again for several months. But I’ve learned if we are called to write, we can’t quit. Aspects of that Work In Progress, which took two years to finish, kept coming to me at odd times.
During retreat in January of 2010, my fellow Prairieland writers encouraged me to reconsider that last “good” rejection. So I went through the editor’s comments, agreed with her, revised, and resubmitted. Moselle’s story was accepted in less than a week. I signed my contract on my birthday, and it was released July 30.
Since then, I have contracted the second book in the Frivolities series, Rainn On My Parade, and it will soon be released by White Rose Publishing. There are two more books in the series, and I hope each one is better written than the previous one.
So many writers have inspired me along the way I hope my experience in some way can be of encouragement to someone else. If we are meant to write, the compulsion or obsession, drive or desire to carry out the Lord’s will in our lives, will not leave us alone. Each of us has a unique voice because we have a unique life story. What I write today is different from what I may write tomorrow.
I used to think I was kind of mixed-up crazy, but I’ve learned that writers are grand procrastinators. We have minds geared in such a way that it’s normal to think our writing is on-the-mountain-top fantastic one day; only to feel like writing frauds the next. I’ve even heard writers say we could be classified as bi-polar—manic one day and down in the depths of crud the next. My guess is a spiritual battle is at play in this scenario.
The bottom line is, if we are meant to write, we write. If we have a story to tell, we write. If it is God’s design for us to be authors, we write until we are published. And then we keep writing until we can’t write anymore. Have fun, don’t give up writing, it’s a grand journey
LoRee, thank you so much for sharing the story of your writing journey. Please share your favorite inspiring quote or verse from the Bible.
Isaiah 12:2 –“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” (NASB)
That’s an awesome verse. Thank you for sharing that. LoRee, thank you so much for stopping by today to share your story. It was very encouraging.
For more information on LoRee’s current release, Moselle’s Insurance, please see the following link. Available in: ebook
Purchase Link: http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/
Summary: Creative artist Moselle Carson gives new life to old items, but she can't seem to renew her shattered ideal of love. When she returns to her hometown to help with a new family business, memories of a broken heart and small-town gossip chip away the tough exterior she's erected over the years. Now she's forced to decide whether she'll rebuild the wall or trust that true love never dies when it is ordained by God.
Generous insurance agent and vulnerable firefighter, Eric Todd, remembers too well how he mistreated Moselle and then set her aside. Now he longs for true love and the second chance to become a husband and father. Can he learn to forgive himself and still keep the secret that may redeem him in her eyes?