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Country girl can survive

in Random Musings

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About two years ago I was warned that the road to publication I am traveling on is a long and rocky one. It did not take me long to realize how rough the unpaved path would be when there was no definitive roadmap to success. The industry is changing too rapidly for directions to remain accurate from one writer to the next much less from one year to the next.

My dream has always been to write and to be read. I’d love to make enough money that my husband and I could travel the globe scouting new pilgrimage locations for Wonder Voyage, but I would settle for “I loved your book!” from a stranger. I want to retire with my laptop, a cup of coffee, and an awesome view from my back porch, but I’d settle for retiring with a few books on the Barnes and Nobel shelf.

I am not a literary mastermind, I just want my readers to relate to my words. I want to make people laugh, cry, and sometimes even think a little bit outside the bubble of their own creation. I want to help where I can, and I want to be open and relevant enough to make other people think, “maybe I’m not so crazy after all.”

I have had some success with Chicken Soup for the Soul and some online blog forums like She is Dallas, but I have continued to look for that break-out “wow” factor. I have leaned on every gate I could find in hopes that one would eventually swing open.

I defined my weekly writing goals this year to be:

  1. write one chapter a week in my novel
  2. two blog posts a week for this site
  3. one short story submission each week
  4. two article proposals each week
  5. a weekly blog submission for another site

And I have stayed on track with the help of a whip-snapping accountability partner that takes no excuses when my word count is not met. She has even perfected the spelling of the sound a whip makes so she can text it to me if I fall behind… and I love her for it.

Most of my writing never receives feedback other than that of my friend, and the lack of critique makes it hard to stick to the plan. Short stories and article proposals are usually met with a form “thanks but no thanks” response letter six weeks after submission if you are even lucky enough to hear anything at all. Having a post office box stuffed with rejections is not strong incentive to keep going.

But I have continued to lean. I know I need readers to ever have a successful writing career, and those readers are not going to necessarily stumble upon my little blog on the internet. I have to find them, grab them, and give them material worth their time. I have to separate myself from every other wannabe writer in the world.

And I am trying. I am leaning on every gate that I can find and occasionally I find one with an open latch. This week, for example, I fell backwards into becoming the newest contributor to the Huffington Post.

My mom always said I’d make a great lawyer because I am so darn stubborn. She said I would “argue with a fence post,” and perhaps she is right. But there is no reason not to be stubborn when your dreams are at stake, and mine are.

I know I’m not alone in this stubbornness, and I would love to know… what are YOU this passionate about? What dream do you feel so strongly about that you will not take no for an answer? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to see your art in a museum? Do you want to learn to fly a plane? Are you determined to step foot in every country in the world? Tell me what makes your heart skip a beat. Comment below.

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