An article in “Writer’s Digest” magazine about looking for opportunity in my own backyard put me on track. Following the advice brought me the first of many sales to an alternative newspaper. Full of excitement and eager to write, it was a short step to other newspapers, local and regional magazines, and national syndication. Each step led to a modest career writing newsletters, press releases, speeches, book reviews, web sites, editing and ghostwriting, each sale piling up clips and credits. Editing, blogging and writing book reviews was safe and comfortable and paid fairly well.
Then I helped a close friend rewrite her book proposal and a sample chapter; the publisher bought her book. She also had a romance novel sitting in a drawer and I suggested she dust it off, look it over and send it; a publisher bought that one, too. Suddenly, I realized I should take my own advice. I was stalled in the pits.
Digging out one of my own novels, I edited it carefully, and sent it out. With market listings and a blank page in front of me, I started writing-and submitting. A few rejections trickled back and then . . . nothing. So I wrote and submitted more. Finally, a publisher responded with an offer for my novel. Then Colleen Sell, editor of the Cup of Comfort books, emailed to tell me my story was a finalist.
And the sales keep coming. I’m back on track.
Pit stops are for refueling, retooling and taking a quick breather. The race isn’t in the pits; it is on the road. It’s not easy. There are crashes and spin-outs and losses. There is also excitement, sweat, hard work, frustration and crossing the finish line in the money.
Why are you waiting? Get out of the pits.
J. M. Cornwell is a nationally syndicated freelance journalist, editor, reviewer and author. StarDust Press bought her novel, Past Imperfect, and her story, “Chili Nights”, will be available April 2008 in Cup of Comfort for the Single Mother. Her work is included in Haunted Encounters: Departed Family & Friends and Life’s Spices for Seasoned Sistahs, which won the Los Angeles Black Book Expo Best Anthology For 2005. She is a reviewer for Author Link and her reviews are available at The Celebrity Caf