Capturing the Muse

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When I sat down to co-write my first novel, Circle Dance, I had no idea that it would take ten years and reams of rejection letters before I saw it in print. I am thankful for the naiveté that allowed hope and optimism to be my companions over the years it took to complete it. My partnership with my co-author, my sister, made each rejection easier to bear. By the time I realized how slim the odds of getting published were, it was too late, I was hooked. Passion drove me to persevere and ultimately achieve my dream of becoming a published author. Soon after our book came out, I moved to Connecticut from Maryland, and decided to home school our twins, leaving little time for personal creative endeavors. I talked about writing. I dreamed about writing. I read about writing. I attended workshops on writing. But I didn’t actually do any writing.

A few years ago things changed. My children went to school and for the first time in years, I had my own time. I began to write again. Returning to the writing world from my hiatus, I discovered that the publishing world had been revolutionized. E-books and independent publishers were becoming the new standard. My sister and I bought our rights back from our publisher, made some needed changes to our book and published it in e-format, paperback, and audio book. I built my website, learned about social media, and began writing blog posts. Out came the work-in-progress that I began writing years ago, and I finished the first draft. Over the next few years I polished it and it is now ready to shop. My sister and I wrote another book together and have begun working on a third.

I started to network with other writers and joined a local “Writer’s Room” and found myself sneaking away to write as often as I could. I enrolled in workshops that helped to hone my skills and develop my voice.

I know now that being a writer means I write—every day—whether I feel like it or not. I no longer subscribe to the myth that creativity cannot be scheduled and that I must wait for inspiration to strike. The mundane truth is that writing is a job and unless you show up for it every day, nothing gets accomplished. The magic comes later, unexpected, in the midst of the routine when the words begin to flow. The best advice I have ever received and could ever give is—just write.

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