The long awaited date is creeping closer and closer!
Months of writing my story, turned into a couple of years. The first draft gushed out of me and I congratulated myself by quaffing my favourite bubbly. I was arm wrestled (by my mentors) into tackling draft two. Before I knew it, I was onto the third draft and finally pressing the send button to CactusRainPublishing. Phew! Made it. Now to sit back and wait…Or so I thought.
The initial interest from the publisher was mind blowing for me. I was excited, overwhelmed and dipped into instant writer’s block. I had to snap out of that mode really quickly though, as there was work to be done. My manuscript was not as perfect as I’d thought 🙂 Format issues had to be cleaned up. Some scenes needed to be scrapped and others added. A list of unanswered questions in my story, arrived in the mail. The message percolated down. If I really wanted to be published I needed to up my game.
Jacana Publishing’s message from so many years ago, whispered in my ear.
“If you really want to be published, you have to be tenacious!”
I did and I was. Draft four soon turned into draft five. I sent every new scene to Allaboutwriting for editing. I shed a tear when Chapter One dropped into the recycling bin. Then I set about writing a new one. Another year of hard work with Allaboutwriting and CactusRain, culminated in an early morning email, which I almost skimmed over. To this day, I remember every sensation of the moment I levitated off my bed. Hard work and a dash of good luck had paid off. On a scale of one to ten, my excitement was 10+ and tipping the scale into a reckless speed wobble. But underlying all this, I felt humbled and extremely grateful for this once in a lifetime chance.
We each define our own success. My definitions are often from the left field. Tying for top marks in a modern dancing exam overshadows graduating with a Bachelor’s degree. Unlocking the potential in an underachieving student, means more to me than securing a few distinctions for a super bright one. Securing a publishing contract is top of my list right now.
So where to from here? Funnily enough, seeing Under The African Sun in print, has spurred me on to begin a new journey. This time, I’ll be stepping further back in time and climbing under the skin of a grandmother I’ve never met. I’d like to experience life through her eyes and explore another time and place. Will it be based on real events? Of course 🙂 Fiction? There is no better way to tell the whole truth!
Each and every one of us has a story to write. I challenge you to begin your writing journey in 2017!