Friday, November 11, 2011

Back to the Heart of Writing

As life passes by, one cannot help but think on where the time has gone. Having children only makes things worse because they are living proof of that elusive thing called time.

It’s hard to believe it has been over a year since I last wrote an entry on my blog. Life got in the way, which I should’ve never let it. As much as I want to do a topical blog, I think it is important to share what’s been happening in my life.

Where to begin. A week after my last entry, I put the kids in the car and started off towards Disneyland. One mile from the theme park, I was in an accident that totaled my car. It sucked. Three months later was my 10 year anniversary with my lovely husband, Josh. A month after that, I started a new job. I work in the mortgage industry, and those of you who are familiar with it, no further explanation is needed on how time seemed to fly by.

Six months later, after much talk, my husband and I decided to move from our home in Yorba Linda back to where I grew up, in Huntington Beach. With gas prices as much as they are, we were spending enough to make two car payments. Of course, the change wasn’t my top choice. I loved Yorba Linda, but I also loved the idea of being close to his work. Now, I couldn’t be happier about our move as it has freed up time we would’ve spent commuting.

This past June, the day after we moved, some things happened to me personally that altered my life forever. Without getting in to the details, the good news is that alteration has done wonders and changed me for the better.

Since then, I’ve written a lot, got a job across the street from my house, and lost 40 lbs. As a family, we’ve tried to strip back and only do those things important to us as a unit. Of course, this includes time away for mommy and daddy. I love our children dearly, but eventually they will grow up. If I spend all of my time only caring for them, I’ll have let my dream of being a writer slip through my fingers and wake up bored and confused fifteen years from now when I’m an empty nester.

I encourage all you parents out there: Take time for both yourself AND your marriage. We love our children, and in order to be the best parents we can be, we need that time to fill our own tanks before we can give more. Remember: You’re not married to your children, but to your spouse. When the kids are gone and in college, what will you do with that time? It is better to make your spouse your best friend, and keep it that way. Your children will notice the love you share and use it as a model for their own future relationships.

My husband makes sure that I get two writing nights a week, and we get a date night every two weeks (not including those times we sit to watch a movie together at night, or talk over coffee). The other time is spent with the kids and doing family stuff, when we are not working of course.

A month ago, my husband let me go to a full weekend getaway. My local chapter of the RWA (Romance Writers of America) hosted a conference at a hotel. We had lots of fun those two nights and I got a lot out of it. I even won one critique and a plotting lunch with a well known author, talk about cool. While I was there, a publisher happened to be sitting next to me. We began to talk about my current work in progress and she kept telling me “tell me more”. So, I proceeded to give my first ever pitch to an editor/publisher. In the end, she asked me to send her a partial of my work.

I fully planned on going home that Sunday and working on my submission. But, I began to feel under the weather that night. Two days later, I took a turn for the worse. Again, I work in the mortgage industry, so you don’t call in sick unless you are dead. So, I grinned took it like a champ until I couldn’t last any longer. On Saturday, I drove myself to the walk-in. A short time and a chest x-ray later, I was diagnosed with pneumonia. Unfortunately, I hadn’t the energy to work on my submission.

I began to feel better a few days later and was up to the task of reviewing my submission. I didn’t spend much time on it, and sent it in. I felt embarrassed for waiting so long to send the submission to begin with. I mean, come on. How many times have people given excuses why something wasn’t in on time? I hate to be that kind of a person.

So off it went, and I waited.

Two and a half weeks later (yesterday), I received the following email from their “Submissions Specialist”:

Hi Erin,

I’ve heard back from our acquisition editor and based on her recommendation, we would like to offer you a contract for Pillars In Time.

If you are still interested in contracting your story with us, let me know and I’ll send you the paperwork to get started.


I about fell out of my chair at work when I read this email. I had to re-read it at least half a dozen times to make sure I read it correctly. I screamed “I’m going to be published!!” inside my head over and over. Everything I’ve gone through has been worth it.

I’ve taken a lot of criticism over the past 2.5 years, refusing to turn anybody and their opinions down because I knew if I paid attention to most of it, I’d grow as a writer. Heck, I look back at what I’ve written at the beginning of my journey and cannot believe where I started and where I am now. Even still, I believe I have a long way to go until I’ve “arrived”.

All of us writers strive to write once, then done. No editing, no problem. Yeah, I’ve a ways to go until that happens. But hey, what’s a goal if it isn’t at least achievable?

So, now that I’m back in the saddle and I like how comfortable it is here. The scenery is breathtaking and peaceful. I look forward to where this ride will take me and the pit-stops along the way.

Bottom line: Never give up on your passion. You are who you are for a reason. We each have unique gifts, given to us by the One who created us. Open up and let your gift blossom. The fruits of your labors will be even more bright and tasty than you could’ve ever imagined.

1 comment:

  1. Many congrats on your offer from the publisher. It's so very exciting! Can't wait to actually read the FULL story in print!