My father's side of the family is full of fun loving Cajuns who enjoy good company, good food, and good music. At least once or twice each summer when I was growing up, the whole clan would gather together at the family camp on the bayou and just enjoy the day. I remember there was a big hill behind the house and one of my favorite games was to lie down at the top and race my sister to see who could get to the bottom first. Even then I knew rolling downhill is a good thing.
I've worked hard these past four years to move my fledgling writing career on a path to publication. I thought at first that path was all uphill as I struggled to figure out how to become a stronger writer and gain the attention of the people who might help my dreams become a reality. I pushed and I pushed as hard as I could to try to make it up that steep hill, never realizing I was going in the wrong direction.
At first I thought every rejection letter was from someone who didn't like ME and was just trying to stop me from getting to the top. But as more and more of those letters began to roll in, I began to realize they weren't trying to stop me in my pursuit of become an author...they were merely changing my course to lead me in the right direction.
We writers are a sensitive bunch. As powerful as we know words to be, we still are amazed sometimes at their ability to hurt US. When we take those rejection words personally we ignore the caring that came with it, pushing us to do better, to try again, and sometimes to change the course of where we are headed in order to succeed in this business.
Once I stopped using all my energy to struggle going uphill and turned around, little accomplishments began to help me roll downhill toward becoming a published author. Critique partners helped me roll a little faster as they challenged me to polish my manuscripts. Rejection letters began to include words of encouragement even if they still turned me down and I rolled a little faster. Then came the day one of my essays was accepted by a publisher. Chicken Soup For The Soul: Angels Among Us came out in January of 2013 and I realized I was rolling downhill at a fairly good pace.
I even wondered if I had reached the bottom when Anaiah Press planned to publish my debut picture book, THE STORY CATCHER in January 2015. But hills aren't made that way and the momentum of all our hard work as writers continues to propel us in the direction of our dreams. Another one of my stories is currently in the final rounds of possibly winning a contest where it could be placed in the hands of a successful New York agent for consideration. One roll closer to my goal.
This past weekend I found out the fabulous news I've won a full scholarship to attend Dr. Mira Reisberg's magically interactive E-course, The Chapter Book Alchemist, (http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/the-chapter-book-alchemist.html) where I will get the chance to work with Mira, award-winning author Hillary Homzie, and the equally amazing Mandy Yates. The course begins March 31 and goes through May 4th. While I'm rolling with Mira to bring a special non-fiction chapter book to life, my blog will be rolling on it's own with scheduled posts for my participation in the annual A to Z Challenge. Instead of my Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule, you will get a BOOK NOOK REVIEW every day of wonderful children's picture books...starting with the letter A on the 1st...all the way to the letter Z on the 30th. But don't worry, I'll be back in May with more TALES FROM THE BAYOU as well as more lessons from my New Age Marketing series.
All you have to do is look at how my life has changed in just the past six months to realize pushing your dreams uphill is not the right way to do things. Look around you. Change your path and let the momentum of all those little steps you are making lead you in the right direction. Realize rolling downhill is a good thing..just look what it did for this guy...