Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rather Write Than Breathe

I recently attended a romance writer’s conference held in Park City, Utah. The setting was breathtaking, the company wonderful and the food absolutely delicious.

The conference was a wonderful experience. The speakers—editors, agents, authors—were inspirational and their workshops full of invaluable information to any writer, beginner to published. Although inspired by the conference, I learned two discouraging facts: I’ll never be published by a large house, and I can’t write.

The reason for this is because of my life. With disabilities including Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction and Fibromyalgia as well as a mother of two autistic children, I can only write about one book a year. Apparently in order for publishers to be interested, you must be able to crank out at least four to five books a year—a definite drawback for me. Despite not being prolific, I do want a chance to share my love of story, make enough money to support my writing habit, to encourage other challenged writers and enjoy a little escape into my character’s lives.

Well, don’t go feeling too sorry for me. I have published three books. But the small e-publishing company I’m with doesn’t provide any promotional opportunities except my books listed on their website. With all of the challenging issues I face, it would be nice to have this added help that only a larger publishing house can give.

The second thing I learned is: I can’t write. One of the agents brought an eight page list of self-editing tips. By the time I applied all of the corrections to my current manuscript, there wasn’t a sentence unturned.

I have to admit both of these revelations were humbling experiences but also very rewarding. Surprisingly, I’m not discouraged. I may never be the next JK Rowlings or Stephenie Meyer, and I may struggle with the written word, but I love to write. Whether I can write perfectly is irrelevant. A love for writing shines through the written word as the soul shines through the most troubled body. Here’s to all those writers who would rather write than breathe.


  1. Hi Cindy,
    I too found Kelly's self-editing pages very educational--and a little discouraging--as you said because so much of my writing is flawed. Just remember that Kelly's is just one opinion and don't kill your voice to follow someone else's rules. And I find it encouraging that I can at least recognize bad writing when I am instructed in how to look for it.

    Happy writing! One book a year sounds great to me!
    Jennifer Beckstrand

  2. Cindy,
    Don't let one book a year discourage you. One really good book a year is worth far more than a dozen mediocre ones. Pour your heart and soul into that one and you'll find a home for it. Many very successful authors only write one book a year.
    As for the edits list you received... find your voice and remember the "unique" in "unique". Don't let someone else's rules edit yours out. :)
    Believe in yourself and don't give up on your dreams! You've been given this desire and talent for a reason.
    Jo Ann Jones

  3. Cindy I loved your blog. The conference was awesome and I loved talking to you. I to learned I couldn't write but then again, there are more than two sets of eyes out there. I looked at the things I could improve on and it was nice having another writers point of view. Gave me the desire to strive higher. I need to let the words out and not conform to what people think I should write.
    Your laughter and humor are contagious, you warm my soul and make me think how lucky I am to know you and all the women in our group


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