This marks the two year point since I seriously started writing… I mean, really put my heart into it as if I had a future career in this industry. For those who don’t know:
a little about my writing background (a bit lot dry)
I first attempted to write in high school. Despite having a wonderful relationship with my mother, I wrote a chapter about a girl who didn’t get along with hers. Then I presented it to my mom. She didn’t like it. I could see it in her face, by her words which were something like, “why would you write something like this?” Well, I put my thoughts of writing away for years… over a decade, to be honest.
In 2008, I was two years into my PhD program for School Psychology. I’d learned after completing my masters in general psychology that it wasn’t enough to do much of anything with. Basically, I could teach at the community college level (which was fine) and a few other odd jobs which really didn’t require more than a bachelors degree. So I decided to back to school (2006). Sometime during those two years, I fell out of love with becoming a psychologist. I’m a pretty great listener when I want, but did I want to hear people make the same mistakes over and over again? Not really. I had one textbook class to complete, an internship, residency, dissertation, and practicum left in order to earn my PhD in psychology. About 1-2 years more worth of work. Yet those two years would cost me $30-60 at the school I was attending. With my debt and waning desire to be a psychologist, I decided to cut my losses and dropped out.
So, August 2008 and a college drop out. I couldn’t even see myself going back to my prior field as a business systems analyst. After all, it’d been 5+ years and my undergrad in business information systems was even older. I decided while I was searching for work, I’d fill my time with writing a book. I figured it’d at least bring in a bit of income, eventually. A few weeks later, I was called to be an adjunct instructor of psychology. I juggled writing and working for about a month before I put the writing aside.
August 2009 — the college hadn’t needed me for the year with all the cutbacks happening. I’d squandered the summer, but decided to get back to writing. I finished the first draft of Shadow Cat, found a critique group, and worked on the rewrites. In December 2009, I figured it was time to start querying. I sent out the first bulk of query letters around the New Year, many which were met with rejections.
For the next nine months, I worked on my query letter and revisions on Shadow Cat based upon the feedback I received from agents, editors, and critters. I’m not sure when exactly (July – September 2010), I happened upon a few Zoe Who? videos. Her message: self-publishing isn’t that big of a deal. All I’d heard in the past stressed that self-publishing meant you were throwing away your writing future. The truth was, at that point, I didn’t have a writing future. I had a few bites, but no takers. The closest I came to representation was a small press editor saying I could resubmit after I worked a bit more on Shadow Cat. 🙂 I’d done that, but I was afraid to resubmit and my work found lacking again.
After a bit of encouragement from other self-published authors, I decided to get my feet wet with a short story (Control Freak). I figured a short story was a worthy sacrifice and wouldn’t decrease my chances with a traditional publisher.