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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If I Could Start My Writing Career Over, I Would...

What would I change? Would you change anything?

I've often thought about all the time I wasted in the beginning of my writing career. I kinda jumped in without knowing exactly what I needed to do. I was so excited about wanting to write...and did little research in how to go about writing a romance book.

The main thing I would change? I would have started earlier. I always gave excuses as to why I couldn't write. Working. Four kids to take care of. Husband who traveled for his job. But, I think I was a tiny bit unsure of my ability to actually write, so procrastinated. Wrong thing to do. I should have been more confident and tried.

By the time I decided to write, I sat down at the computer and wrote an entire book in a few months. I'd been a voracious romance reader, and thought I had written a pretty good story.

Then, I went to a bookstore and bought a few books about romance writing, including "The Romance Writer's Pink Pages". Looked for agents and mailed off queries. I received rejections, but one agent was kind enough to point out that I needed dialogue...only 25% of the book had actual dialogue, otherwise, I narrated my story.

Thus began my journey to finding romance groups, learning the craft, going through rejections, and keeping that author-status goal in mind.

Writing is my second career. If I had started earlier, who knows where I'd be today!

JUST FOR FUN: What's wrong with this photo?

This is why editing is so important...I actually bought this metal vase at a craft show, and didn't notice the problem!

Photos: Flickr: Alan in Belfast, Girl with butterfly wings photostreams


  1. I think like you I would have started earlier. I don't ever see my writing as a first career/ primary source of income. If I had overcome my doubts about myself my stories would have reached an audience (paying or otherwise) long before my hair had gone completely gray.

  2. Don't know if I could have started earlier, but I would have stuck with writing instead of letting other issues take precedence. And I would have done the revisions suggested by Silhouette for my romantic suspense and re-submitted. Lordy that was decades ago!

  3. Great topic. I think I would have taken a creative writing class at the college here in the city. I got lucky with an amazing editor in my first year who taught me a ton about the craft. Woulda, shoulda, coulda... I'm just glad I made it this far!

  4. I would have been more cautious about signing contracts. I was so excited to get contracts that I wasn't concerned with some details.

    Great post, Marianne!

  5. i definitely would have started writing more seriously earlier. but it's still fun. Nice post, marianne.

  6. I would have had more confidence in myself, and kept trying after my first two rejections, not let being the single parent to 4 teens stop me from writing, maybe even taken some more classes in writing popular fiction. I can see now I was on the right track but I let a couple of rejections get me down, and then I let life get in the way (and yes, I believe the rejection is the main reason it was easy to LET life get in the way). Great post, and one younger writers should certainly pay attention to.

  7. I feel the same way, Marianne. I should have started much earlier. Also, I shouldn't have let rejections depress to the point I would quit writing for months at a time.

  8. I think I would have changed how easily I was swayed from submitting a manuscript. Yeah, that probably stemmed from lack of self-confidence, though I masked it with...well all kind of excuses. No waiting. Just do it. If I only had the maturity to do it when I was younger--that seems to be the drift with most writers. Oh and I love the picture haha!

  9. A day late; so sorry! Great post. Like you, I would have started earlier in the pursuit of publication. Ive been writing all my life but never sought out publication until 2006. Too, Id change my writing routine. Even after first publication, I was a bit "relaxed" in my finishing another book.

    Thanks for sharing, Marianne!

    hugs, Kari Thomas,

  10. I think I started early enough, but abandoned it for other pursuits, plus the job/kids thing kinda got in the way. So, sticking with it over the years, even if minimally would have been a better plan.

    Nice, thoughtful post.

  11. Definitely, Marianne! I would have started sooner too! I don't write for the money though, I do it cause I love it and it's the only thing I can really imagine myself doing now. It's what I've always wanted to do.


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