Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Learning to Walk

Ignore the socks.
I was cleared for jogging, wearing heels, and beach volleyball. I plan to do two of the three, but it's going to take time.

I got my first pair of heels when I was eight. I bought them for 25 cents at the local thrift store. They were white leather pumps with a clip on rosette and I loved them. I wore them whenever my mom would let me. Thinking back, I'm surprised at how often she let me.

Today I'm wearing a sturdy pair of heels around the house. It really is just as foreign feeling as transitioning from THE BOOT to sneakers. It's silly to put a lot of energy into something as trivial as heels, but I have a shoe collection that I plan to wear again someday. Call me shallow, but it's a goal that will take working towards.

*Insert smooth segue into writing here*

When I wrote my first book, I was sure it was great. It was going to take the romance world by storm and I would be an overnight sensation. Maybe I wasn't quite that starry eyed, but I did think it was awesome and no one could tell me any differently. When I did get negative feedback, I soothed my defensive spirit by saying the reader just wasn't in my demographic, didn't understand my artistry. I revised and revised and cut/pasted/rewrote/renamed until that book became a Frankenstein. Looking at it now, it is not a bad book, but it's not a great book either (though my mother-in-law would disagree ). I have since gotten over the disappointment and recognize it as a great learning experience.

As was my second book.

And my third book.

Of all my completed novels, I think books two and three are publishable as they are. Book one may be as well, but I'd rather not have it out there with my name associated with it. I would hate for it to be the one book someone reads and the reason they don't buy anything else from me. I have learned so much from the process of creating these novels. I'm an entirely different person than when I started this journey. I know who I am as a writer, I know more about the industry and genre norms. I am part of the writing community. I've come a long way from that first chapter (which I ended up cutting) that I carried around and forced everyone to read.

The RWA conference is just one more step toward being the author I know I can be. Whether or not it provides miraculous connections or leads to contracts, it will be an experience that I can use to hone my craft. I can only get better from here. Do I think I'm ready now? Of course -- but then I thought I was ready three books ago. Each book has been better than the last and I hope I feel the same way even when I am published. I don't ever want to stagnate as a writer. The RWA conference will, at the very least, be a tool to improve. If that is all it is, I will still be grateful for the expereience.

The conference is just one more baby step on the road to publishing (a very expensive baby step). I'm both excited and scared, but know I'll come out of it better than before even if I get nothing but rejection.

I just hope I can do it comfortably in heels.


Erin Kane Spock said...

Well, the heels lasted about three hours. That included vacuuming and dishes, but also some computer time.

Rena said...

It's all about building back up to your previous ability in heels. I'm sure you'll make it.

Susan Kane said...

It is about giving it time. Just be sure to be a spare set of shoes and switch out every now and then.

Raquel Byrnes said...

What Susan said...she seems quite knowledgeable. ;)

Jen said...

I'm sure you'll be back in your heels in no time :) Sorry about the long healing process!

I think we all believe that our first books are great when we first finish them. I know I did! It now languishes in a file somewhere...NO ONE should see it in its current state!

You're right: we learn so much from every novel we write, even if we aren't published until we complete novel #10. We have 9 others under our belts that have pushed us forward and cheered us one and taught us valuable lessons!


A.T. Post said...

But the socks are cute!

Good luck at the conference. I still haven't attended a single one of those things. Time and tide always seem to get in the way. Let us know how it goes.

Kathleen said...

Well, at the risk of sounding doting, I really liked your first book. It was a really great romance plot, and I enjoyed it all three times I read it! I think you are too hard on yourself.

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