Ten years in the Making: A Book Contract

contract

 

If you follow me on Facebook, you saw my recent announcement. I received my first book contract. It only took 10 years to get there. Oh, let’s not forget 20 rejections, many rewrites and several edits. Years of improving my writing skills through online writing courses and writing books.  Ten years of attending conferences. Submitting to magazines and websites with both success and failure. I’ve made the acquaintance of many writers, both newbies and seasoned pros. During my ten year journey I have added agents and publishers to that list of acquaintances.

Help others on the journey

I’ve written over a hundred book reviews and supported my fellow-writers anyway I can. I enjoy helping promote their books and sharing words of affirmation when they were discouraged. I have purposed to invest in others while I worked toward the illusive contract.

Keep learning

Actions such as joining critique groups, following writing blogs and reading a lot propelled me toward the goal of publication. This has been ten years of perseverance and determination. I’d confess “I am a writer” when I wanted to keep that proclamation to myself. Established writers encouraged me to learn how to use social media.  Then I started this blog, Writer’s Patchwork, where all these writerly parts are sown together into the bigger quilt of gaining a contract. (Clever play on words.)

Cindy's Editor's Choice Award-2

My award. I am so blessed.

Never give up

Anyway, the point I’m trying to press home is don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged and keep helping others in the industry. Keep focusing on your goal and over time you’ll get that book contract.

Come follow me

It will probably be a year before my novel will be available for sale. During that time, I will be posting the next stretch of my journey. Even though I have a contract, a mountain-load of work remains to be done before I see my book in print. I’ll share my experiences in hopes of inspiring all of you to keep going. And give you a glimpse into the process of contract to book shelf.

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Guest Blog: Is Writing Part of Your Life Purpose?

Today I have my new friend, accountability partner and professional life coach Darlene Lund as my guest. Darlene has been a wonderful catalysis to help me reach my weekly writing goals. She writes from her desire to help women fulfill all God has for them.

Darlene Lund Life Coach shares a challenge as my guest today.

Darlene Lund, Life Coach shares a challenge as my guest today.

A Bit about Darlene

Darlene Lund, founder of Hearts with a Purpose, www.heartswithapurpose.com , coaches and inspires women to live out their life purpose. A Professional Certified Life Coach, Life Purpose Coach®, Recovery Coach, Grief-loss Coach, and a strategic 2-Day Lifeplan coach; Darlene offers customized coaching for women right where they are. She is passionate that women become fully alive to all that God has created them for.

HP logo

From her heart to yours

As a little girl I often saw my mother pick up her blue fountain pen. My siblings and I were warned it was not ours to touch. The tip of the pen point was quite delicate. The pen held an ink cartridge that was a little cylinder. It contained liquid blue ink and had to be replaced often.

When my mom pressed the pen to the paper the words appeared to trickle and tumble. Like magic the skinny pen delivered a flow of blue words.

My Mother was no author or blogger. Yet, she touched countless lives by dropping a handwritten card or note in the mail to communicate to others that they were cared for, thought of, and loved. Recipients often complimented and thanked her and added, “Donna, you have such beautiful hand writing.”

In the evenings, only for her families’ eyes and ears, she would pull out her diary and quickly pen the day’s highlights, plus share news with us that occurred the previous year.

So why did my mother write when she had such little free time? Was writing a part of my mother’s life purpose?

I believe so. She loved communicating to others through the written word. Plus she cast a vision to me that writing was a positive craft.

How about you, is writing a part of your life purpose?

As a coach for women and a Life Purpose Coach ® I hear women’s burning heart desires. Sometimes the writing passion is in their heart’s cry. Sometimes it is not. If there is an all-consuming message to share, usually I hear that. I challenge these women to take inventory on what God would have them to do with the message.

I have been a reluctant writer. I never dreamed of having my name on a book jacket. However, I did grow up with the dream of becoming a teacher. I achieved that dream.

In my early 20’s I taught children. Later in my 40s’ I sensed a shift. God transitioned my focus to women. I was to coach, teach, speak and write on behalf of women’s needs.

Writing is not easy for me. But, the message of who God is, what he has done and been in my life, far out-weighs my past fears and frustration of writing. I know it is a part of my life purpose. If I were not to write, what he has vested in me would be sealed off from others. I would be robbing the Lord of the glory he deserves.

For some individuals writing can be fun. Therapeutic. Creative. And others find it painful, difficult, and challenging. Writing, blogging, getting published takes work, effort, re-writing, do overs along with days, months, and years pitching to get published.

I believe if the message in the writer is to be reproduced to touch others’ lives, it will come to be. Writing on purpose takes persistent, perseverance, and push through.

For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. Colossians 1:29” (NASB)

Darlene’s challenge

What is your heart’s burning desire?

Do you have a message that must be shared?

What is stopping or blocking you?

Will you deny others the privilege of learning, because you did not write?

www.heartswithapurpose.com

Darlene@heartswithapurpose.com

Subscribe to  Hearts with a Purpose Newsletter

Thank you so much, Darlene, for this challenge.

So readers, what burning desire has God put on your heart? We’d love to hear about it? Leave a comment below.

 

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