Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Journey to Publication - Part 1

Now that things are moving along with my children's book, I thought it might be interesting to discuss a little bit of my journey to publication. I'm about six years late in starting this endeavor, but I promise not to bore you with too many details.

We'll do this in parts, so that it doesn't become a book in and of itself. My intention is to end it with the day Little Shepherd Boy is released from Guardian Angel Publishing, but we'll play that part by ear.

I have been an avid reader all my life. With my youngest daughter, who has been trying to read since she was old enough to pick up a book, I can get a glimpse of what I might have been like back then. For some reason I've blocked out most of my childhood (just kidding, it's only wishful thinking).

Pretty much I was that annoying student who loved learning and looked forward to writing book reports. Yes, the other kids hated me.

Prior to the death of my mother, I began writing short stories. Once she passed away, I used my writing as a type of therapy to help me deal with losing her and being forced to live with a father I barely knew. Dad worked and for several years went to school while I was growing up, so he wasn't around too much.

Life got busy for me. The four years of high school--though they seemed like torture at the time--passed quickly, and soon I graduated. Three months later I became pregnant with my son. My writing was put on hold for many years while I raised my son and worked several jobs to make ends meet--which they usually didn't. I tried to complete my degree through correspondence school, but I had so little time that I really couldn't make it work.

Oh darn, I just realized I'm giving you too many details. You're probably snoring by now. Okay, let's speed things up.

I began my first full-length manuscript around 1997. My sister and I collaborated on it. Amazingly, my sister has always been even busier than me; though I never thought that was possible.

Parenting and working took up most of my time, and I was still trying to edit as I go back then, so needless to say (so why am I saying it then?) this manuscript didn't go far very fast. In fact, I would abandon it for several years, until I married and became a stay-at-home mom in 2004.

Here is what I wrote in my journal on February 3, 2004, the day I officially decided to pursue my writing dreams:

"I have made a decision today. A decision that I have struggled with, thought about, and stewed over forever. That decision, this choice, will either make me truly happy or it will kill me. Today I will begin my writing career."

Aren't I so dramatic. :)

It hasn't killed me yet, and I'm happy, so I guess I know how this might pan out. That's enough for today, kiddies. Hope you enjoy the ride!


Dorothy said...

Wow...loved the quote, Cheryl and isn't this very interesting! Love hearing how it all happened and love reading the intimate details of the process...don't stop!

Lorrie Rumpf said...

You are amazing my friend. I know you've worked hard and you are finally getting the rewards for your labor. I can't wait for the book.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for dropping in Dot and Lorrie. I am my favorite subject, so I'm glad other people like hearing about me too. I would hate to think it was just me. :)

Off to coordinate some book tours.



V.R. Leavitt said...

Well, I just think that's awesome! Very inspirational and I'm really glad you shared it. I hope you'll keep this segment up! You have a lot to share with people. Great stuff.

Cheryl said...

Thanks Vanessa. If nothing else, it can give some perspective to those writers who get discouraged when it takes years and years for things to happen.

Kathi Macias said...

I love it, my friend! Thank you for sharing it with us. May it continue to be a blessed and joyous journey!

April said...

What a wonderful post and inside story, Cheryl! Thank you for sharing part of yourself and giving inspiration to us all!

JoElle said...

I love it! I like personal accounts like this. It's like a mini autobiography. Always fun to learn little details about my writing friends. <3

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by ladies. I think I'm going to enjoy this column.