Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Taking the Plunge – Becoming a Writer

I have been an avid reader of any type of book since the days of the Baby Sitters Club in elementary school. I have been an avid reader of romance since I read Twilight. Yes I know – Twilight. I read it and wanted to know what happened in those scenes that she glossed over because it was YA and not so much and adult series. So I did. And now 5000 books later I am only slightly addicted. LOL

But as I read and read my brain refused to shut off. I wanted to know more about those characters and the events they go through. Or maybe my brain added a new character or even a new story that fit my personality better. This was happening so much that I started to write my stories down. Eventually I came up with completely new worlds and families that I fell in love with.

Six books later I am hoarding my work on my computer. If I could, I would print it out and hide it under my bed. I consider myself an author – just not a published one. As a few of my friends know I have been scared to death of even approaching the subject of publishing let alone the scariest thing of them all – rejection.

However, after a couple of years of tiptoeing around the fact that I wanted to be published I found a series that I thought I could contribute to. It was a series of shorts that had the same premise – a premise that I loved. So after a few encouraging words from a friend I went for it. I wrote a rough draft that I liked but thought something was missing. Because I was and am new at this and really had no idea what to do next so I asked for help. My author friend had offered to help me even before I tried writing so I emailed her back and said YES! She agreed with me that the parts I was having trouble with needed some help. So imagine that – she helped. Now I know that there may be others out there who wouldn’t be as much help and be so free with advise but this woman is AMAZING and read and reread my work until we both felt it was good enough for submission. She even came up with my title. Seriously – AMAZING.

So I took the next step. I emailed in my submission and waited on pins and needles for a response. One day after I was finished teaching a class I was packing up my notes in front of my 400 students and my phone buzzed with a response from a publisher.

I was rejected.

Wasn’t the happy ending you were waiting for? Me either. Inside I thought my world was ending but on the outside I pasted a smile on my face, said goodbye to the 400 eighteen year olds who seemed to be staring at me and went to my office to email my author friend that I hadn’t won.

She seemed as shocked as I – and that made me feel better.

I did cry, but only because I was confused. Then I was angry at myself for even agreeing to do it. Then I put on my big girl panites and told myself to get over it and try again.

So yes readers, I didn’t get my happy ending with that manuscript. But I am NOT quitting. I will buck up and do this again. I will step onto that ledge and take a leap. And you know what – someday I will get an acceptance of one of my submissions. I will get to know the next part of the process of meeting a new editor, finding a cover, getting a release day and going on a blog tour. I will.

I may not have been published on my first try, but other than those lucky few, who does? I know rejection is part of the job and I have had my first taste of it. I know it’s not my last, but I do know that my first taste of admission and success is just around the corner!

Carrie Ann Ryan is an aspiring author who may or may not be addicted reading romance novels. After reading over 5000 books in only two years she decided to take the plunge and try her knack at writing her own stories. She lives in Pennsylvania with her hubby and two kittens who think they own the place.

You can find Carrie Ann at her Blog: http://carrieannryan.blogspot.com/

Or follow her on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/CarrieAnnRyan


Rebecca Royce said...

Carrie Ann--
Keep your head up. You're a great writer and you will get there!


Carrie Ann Ryan said...

I just wanted to say thank you for letting me be here today! And THANK YOU for your support Rebecca!

Jessica Subject said...

Good for you Carrie Ann! You can do it! And yes that author has been a tremendous help and inspiration to me as well. She deserves a HUGE award.

All the best!

Marta said...

Hi,Carrie Ann, and congrats on finishing six books. EVERYONE gets rejected. Publishers are often looking for something very specific even in a category. Think of it this way: that publisher declined to publish that book like you might decline a dance with a gorgeous guy if he asked you to polka and you were polka'd out. Maybe another publisher will like it.

Misa Buckley said...

The thing to remember about a rejection is that it's just ONE person's opinion. The next person to read your MS might love it, but there's only one way to find out - keep sending it.

Never give up, never surrender. Trust yourself, trust your words, and it will happen.