I meant to write about the road not taken today, to fret about missed opportunities in the past. I wondered, what would have happened had I taken another road? Some years ago I went, with a group of women, to visit our state house. We were greeted by our new state representative, a neighbor. When my friend informed him I’d just had a children’s story accepted by a major magazine, he asked me if I’d like to work for him, corresponding with voters. Although I knew he’d hired another neighbor whose specialty was designing lovely bouquets to help him with public relations, I reminded him it was a children’s magazine, hardly fare for adults. Some years later, after I started writing mysteries, I’d think, what if I had taken him up. Just think, I then could have written mysteries about the ins and outs of political life, and point to my experience. Perhaps that would have interested agents and publishers. And, I might have closed this post with advice for the young—jump at every opportunity.
But, I don’t want to talk about that today. Instead, I like the road I’ve actually taken. Today I realized it was only six years ago when, after a few hundred agent rejections, despite a few nibbles along the way, after writing and rewriting several books, I almost decided to start a blog and give way my oldest, most rewritten manuscript chapter by chapter. But first, in June, 2009, I decided to give small publishers a try. Finally, I succeeded with the third publisher I contacted. And they worked fast. By August they asked to buy it. By October 1, it was edited, copy-edited, cover designed with my input, and published. A few days later, I turned 80. But, with that acceptance, I felt validated.
The book was lovely. My friends bought it and loved it. However, it didn’t make much of a splash. I’m grateful to that small publisher for actually giving me the belief that my writing was of value. But when my two-year contract ran out, I didn’t renew it, but took back my rights. With the new ease of self-publishing, I could do just as well on my own. I had another mystery ready to publish. Since then I’ve also published a YA mystery and a non-fiction narrative of my father’s adventures as a young man. I’ve had short mysteries published as well. And, I have a sequel of that first mystery just about ready to meet its public.
So, perhaps I missed an opportunity years ago. No matter. I don’t live in the past. I can remember the past, think fondly of what has transpired, see my children and their children succeed, enjoy life with my husband. I also look forward to the future and what will transpire.
My path took me down another road. I like this road just fine. How about you and your writing path? Are you happy with the road you’ve taken?