I’m writing this on July 20th. So while you’re reading it, somewhere down the line, this day has passed. But today, July 20th, is a very important day to me.
As of today, I’ve been working on my book series, Woven, for three entire years.
Three years, three books (including the one that I’m working on now) 54 query letters. Not a day has passed that I haven’t at least thought about Woven. Three years of slow progress, inch by inch, to get to where I am. By the way, I’ve only been at my current day job for two and a half years, and I’ve been married for a year and a half. Just saying.
I want to talk to you for a minute, though, about those 54 queries. It took me something to actually share that number, because that means 54 people have politely declined my book. That’s okay, I’ll keep sending it to new places, trying new agents and new publishers. Eventually, I know, I’ll find someone who wants to represent Woven.
But, hey, maybe I won’t.
I think I’ve told you before, the story of how I prayed and prayed over Woven, over especially Devon, who was the first character I came up with. Of how I sat in Diamond Park here in Butler, PA, (the same park that I would later be married in) and prayed on paper.
I prayed that I wouldn’t lose this one, that I would be able to see this story through until the end. Now, at the time I’ll admit I didn’t think the end would be after thirteen books, but still. I prayed that I would finish them. I prayed that I wouldn’t lose this story.
I didn’t pray that it would get published.
There’s a chance that I’ll never be able to sell Woven. There’s a chance that someday I will get tired of waiting and publish it myself, or simply go on to write something else and keep trying to sell Woven on the side. I’ll never stop writing, I’ll never give up. But there is a chance that Woven will not be traditionally published. And I’m okay with that, because Woven was there for me when I needed it to be.
When I started writing Woven, I was in a really bad place. I hated my job, and I worked way too many hours. So, I started writing to give myself some sort of outlet, something to take personal pride in.
Then, my daughter was kidnapped from school by her birth father. Then I was fired from my job the day after Black Friday. Then my husband ended up in the hospital the day after Christmas with his heart. Well, they say bad things always come in threes.
Here’s the thing. When you’re dealing with custody law, and looking for a new job in the middle of the Christmas season and dealing with a serious medical issue, or even all three at freaking once, there’s a lot of down time. There’s a limit to how much you can do emotionally, and realistically as well. When all this was going on, I had this constant need to do something, and lots of time when there just wasn’t anything to do. Especially during the time I wasn’t working. I was terrified of sinking into a depression that would have rendered me incapable of doing what I needed to do to fix these situations.
Working on Broken Patterns saved me then. It gave me an escape, and something to pour my panic minded energy into when I had nothing else to do. I finished that rough draft in six weeks, a feat I don’t think I’ll ever be able to duplicate.
Don’t worry, all is fine now. My daughter came home nine months later. I got a way better job where I make more money and work less hours. Also, the whole being treated like a valued human being thing is a fun perk. The husband is loads better and now part cyborg. (He had a defibrillator put in.) And I had a novel.
I’ll keep writing, no matter what happens. And on this day, every year, I’ll mark how far I’ve come and what writing has given me. Even if I’m never published, this has been more than enough of a blessing.