Even for someone like me who’s kept journals since she was ten years old and is fortunate enough to work a day job in communications and marketing that provides skills to support my author adventures, there was a defined beginning. And guess what? I started with a rejection. For all the poems, essays and diary entries I’d penned in my young years, nothing jump started my desire to be an author the way getting my first rejection letter did.
I’d sent off a handful of poems to Seventeen magazine with high hopes and a self-addressed stamped envelope (the good ole SASE as I fondly came to know it.) A couple of months later, I opened the mailbox and saw the familiar dropped-letter type of my dad’s manual typewriter across the front of an envelope: my SASE. Inside was a curt form letter that told me my poems weren’t what the magazine was looking for. Oh, I was so crushed.
My dad happened to catch my distraught expression, asked what was wrong, and cajoled the confession from me. I’d failed, I felt, in my attempt to pursue my heart’s desire. But he smiled and told me that most people never have the nerve to even try. He said he was proud of me just for making the effort.
That planted the seed that got me started because that’s when I got my mind right about this writing thing. From that point on, I tried differently, I believed differently, I hungered differently. After the Seventeen incident, I looked into ways to bring the dream to life. I chose to pursue a journalism degree and circled the world of corporate communications for 15 years dabbling in freelance writing for national publications, newspaper and broadcast reporting, entering poetry contests. I guess you could say I was watering the dream seed.
And now that my seeds of fancy have blossomed and begun to bear fruit – a novel, two novellas and a WIP I absolutely love – I enjoy sharing words of encouragement with those who are still struggling to start, still staggered by rejection, unsure whether they can really do this. If that’s you, today is your chance to join me and Farrah Rochon on Twitter for Ask Romance Writer Day organized by Joanna D’Angelo and Kim Castillo.
All you have to do is login to Twitter and tweet me at www.twitter.com/stefanieworth or Farrah at www.twitter.com/FarrahRochon. Include #askromancewriter in your 140 characters so we can track the day’s flow. Ask us whatever you’d like to know about the craft of writing, fitting your dream into your life, how it feels to be published, whatever. We'll tweet you back. No Twitter account? Feel free to ask us here.