Thursday, May 6, 2010

No, getting published wasn't easy... and I worked my butt off getting here.

Hey guys.

So, a lot of people look at me--especially less than a month away from the official launch of my first book and think it was a piece of cake--that I was lucky and just happened to have some awesome Karma sprinkles thrown over my head or something....

And yeah, maybe they're right. Maybe I did get lucky sometimes--and things just "happened" that wouldn't have happened to anyone on this amazing road to publication... but you know what?

For reals?

It hurt. A lot.

And I cried a lot more.
I almost gave up more times than you can imagine.

I kicked and yelled and tore up notebooks and even plopped myself down on the floor and held my legs and just cried. It was impossible to get published. Yet I knew I was meant to be published... I knew it with every fiber of my being I was meant to be an author.

So you know what I did after I threw temper tantrums?

I got back up. Wiped my tears. Got a large cold drink of water and started typing again.

I made myself learn to love revisions.
I made myself learn to love writing a synopsis.
I made myself learn to love rejections.
I made myself learn to shake it off and move on.
But mostly, I made myself learn to believe in me.

Believe in the patience I needed to succeed in this business.
Believe that the money I would receive wasn't everything--it was nothing.
And more important than anything else, I had to believe I would and could break the mold.
I would become a writer.

I worked hours every day on revisions.
I worked hours every day on my new stories too.
I worked hours every day on learning the craft and learning how to do this.

It all paid off.
But it was hard.
And it was long.
And yeah, I cried--and felt it would never be.
But I laughed more than I cried. So I continued. I taught myself how to do this. I wouldn't give up. I didn't give up. And even though I lost some awesome friends along the way--especially when I started succeeding, and even though I lost hours of sleep and time I can never get back... it was all worth it in the end.

I did the impossible.
I succeeded when all I wanted to do was fail.

Do you know for most of the two years since I've been writing... it was spent with just one vehicle for my family? The first year, in England--was with just a five seater car. (We have 6 kids.) Now we have one minivan--an 8 seater. Hopefully by the end of the year we can afford a vehicle that will fit us all (now that the new baby is coming.) If not, we'll get a smaller used car, so at least my hubby can go to work and I won't have to drop him off/pick him up every day. Now that would be awesome! But again, I'm not counting on it. That's something I've learned along this road to publication...

You can't count on anything--anything but yourself.
So don't give up.
Believe in you.'
It will happen.
I promise.
It'll just hurt a lot to get you there.

But it'll be worth it.


  1. yes . do believe in ourselves :)

  2. Great message for all those who have dreams. Just about anything we WORK HARD at eventually pays off.

    Can't wait for June 1!

  3. it's so funny how that doesn't change! I have a book under contract but am going through the same frustrations trying to find an agent for my second book (isntead of going w/ a small press). and it feels impossible. yet I know it needs to be published. Such a paradox!

    And Abel, just curious, are you Scottish? (Our new bishop's last name is Keogh, and he's Scottish.)

  4. That's just it. We always see the success but not the struggles. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Awesome post. I don't know how anyone could think you've had it easy. Trying to write at all with a busy, bustling family is a major feat - nevermid getting published as well. Good luck with your upcoming release and the rest of the series!

  6. Jenni,

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. It does always seem when a new author gets published that it was a piece of cake and we are all suffering through our own experience wondering what we're doing wrong!

    I'm sorry you've lost friends along the way...sometimes, healing that hurt can be the hardest thing of all.

  7. Wow! I'll try check out your books later if I can 'kay?

  8. Amazing post - how inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your emotional journey towards publication.

  9. One of my latest blog posts was on accomplishment and confidence. Good job!

  10. Thank you so much. I needed this today. After months of trying to get my cancer memoir published, after 80 (yes 80!)queries sent to agents and half that many to publishers, I now have an agent. But not for that book. I'm using that cancer memoir as fodder for essays I'm getting published in anthologies and have moved on to another book, one that caught the eye of several agents. Write on, Jenni, and all the other writers out there. It can be a hard and bumpy road, but if we believe in ourselves, that makes all the difference.

  11. Thanks for posting this- I'm currently in the valley with this whole revising thing. This was encouraging. Have a great weekend and a Happy Mother's Day!

  12. Writing - the torture you hate and love at the same time, and can't stop yourself from doing. I've had times I've gotten fed up with it all and tried to quit - but I find myself writing in my head anyway, so I gave up and went back to my computer. :D

  13. Thanks for the post, Jenni. I'm glad to read you taught yourself to love revisions For a while there, I just thought you were crazy like that ;)
    Love ya!

  14. Thanks for sharing the realistic journey of an author. Dreams are worth the price of hard work.

  15. You are an inspiration! Thanks for this, its totally real. Can I get your books in the uk? all the best ~L~

  16. Wow. What a sincere and moving post! Thanks for the dose of reality and encouragement.

    Have a great weekend! :-)

  17. Your right, it wasn't easy. And it doesn't look like it's getting easier for you any time soon either. But you are such a hard worker, and heck, we all can stand to work a bit more of our butts off right?!! Thanks for showing me how to make these dreams of mine happen!

  18. So much work. Anything so satisfying is worth the work we put into it. Thank you for this reminder. :)

  19. Jenni, your hard work shows to anyone who actually takes a look. ... I guess your luck comes in your willingness to persist even when failure seems certain and to work you fingers, mind, and body to exhaustion daily.

  20. good for you...I am an aspiring writer too and you are an inspiration! Thank you :)

  21. I read this post a few days ago, but couldn't find the right words to respond. Now it's days later, and the words still escape me. I know how your path feels on so many levels that it is a kick in the gut and a well of hope at the same time. Everyday I wonder what the road ahead will hold. And I still don't have the answers.

    Thanks for sharing your heart. It's a beautiful thing.

  22. hi, you have nice blog.. u can view also mine..

  23. You are awesome Jenni and this is something all aspiring writers need to hear and I'm sure published author's feel very close to-I know I do xxx All the best wishes with it all

  24. Karma sprinkles don't happen unless you've put in the hard work to get yourself close to your goal in the first place. Congratulations. x