Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Motivation - Looking Back

My very first writing assignment was for Falcon Publishing, way back in the day. I answered an ad in a writing digest of some kind, and next thing I know, I have my first editor.

Hiking Iowa required me to hike 75 trails in the state of Iowa, and map them. I was also to track the distances and highlights at certain points on the trails. Yup, this was before GPS was on everyone's phone, or even available to the public.

I distinctly remember hiking a trail on the west side of Iowa in Loess Hills State Park. It was a nasty day out, but I'd driven the 3 hours to get there, so I was going to hike, dammit! Half way through the trail, a major storm hit, thunder, lightening, and a downpour. With the wash of rain also came a wash of mud. And as I was hiking I came across a fawn that had drowned. At that point I started crying. Bawling actually. I'd had it with the storm, being scared, the rain, and I just wanted out of there. But the thing was, no one was coming to rescue me, as no one knew I was there. So after a short pity party, I pulled on my big girl panties and hiked my ass back to my pickup.

There were so many more wonderful hikes, and wonderful people I met along the way. I learned things about my state that surprised me. I also learned things about myself that surprised me too.

Through the year of hiking and writing the manuscript, the publishing company was sold to another company, and I went through no less than 3 editors. Of course each editor had their own vision. And in the end it was nice to see my first book in the Spring catalogs, even if it wouldn't stay there for long. The local bookstore, where I bought my coffee every morning was excited to carry the book.

Then, a year later, someone else wrote an updated version of Hiking Iowa, and my version was out. But I got the money, and the book under my belt. Even if the book hadn't gotten published, I learned a lot about the state I live in, and the beautiful parks and trails.

Now I look forward, writing almost daily, and knowing I get to choose my editor. Having been published makes it much easier to get published again, and better the chances someone will take you seriously. In my next post, I'll explain why I chose to go the indie route with my mystery series instead of traditional, and if I'd do it again.

1 comment:

  1. What a neat experience! I'm so excited to read your next post :)