Saturday, 14 June 2014


The past couple of years, I've been making a big effort to be professional about my writing. Dreaming is lovely but persistence is far more effective. I've been writing for a very long time but if I hadn't started sending stuff out in 2011, I wouldn't have had my few pieces published--a  big thrill whether they are considered professional sales or not. I'm piling up the rejection letters but it's the acceptance letters I reread when I need a lift. (Actually, I reread the personal rejections too, I've gotten awesome feedback from some very generous people!)

Being professional doesn't just mean increasing the hours I spend writing. It means meeting people. I went to my first writers' convention this year (yay Ad Astra!) but mostly its been online. Twitter and Facebook are part of the digital playground where writers, editors, agents, and publishers interact. And I've been reading dozens of articles on how to edit, submit, write a query letter or a synopsis or a grant application. I sometimes feel like Alice falling through the rabbit-hole, there is so MUCH to learn.

The first thing I learned, the thing that amazes me over and over again, is how friendly, open and helpful everyone is! Whenever I have a question, someone is more than willing to share their industry knowledge with a middle-aged newbie. I've seen total strangers cheer each other on, give e-hugs of commiseration, applaud others' successes. There's an occasional sour spot--the battles for equality and diversity are still raging, I've put my two cents in a couple of times but the overwhelming sense I have is that the literary community is inclusive and welcoming. That's a relief, because I plan to spend a lot of time here.

Sometimes I wish I started earlier, like in my 30s or even 40s. I heard about a man, Harry Bernstein, whose book "The Invisible Wall" was written at age 93 and published at age 98. He said, "My 90s were the most productive years of my life."

I've still got a few years left ahead of me.


  1. The important this is that you DID start. BTW, I have a few writer/blogger friends who have also been published...I could hook you up with them via FB. They are awesome women.

  2. Absolutely, Jo! And feel free to pass my name on to your friends on FB.