Wednesday, June 22, 2022

A Writer’s Angst ~ Lorraine Nelson

 Hi, ya’ll! Just wanted to fill you in a little on my writing journey. This is the story about my path to publication. I suffered writer’s angst in spades!

Angst: a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general. In my case, it was the state of my mind in general. lol

Although I’d always written short stories and poems from grade school on, it wasn’t until I’d had my left thumb amputated that I considered writing a novel. You see, after it healed, I had to get the flexibility back in that hand and was soon bored with typing tests and the like. So, I started writing in earnest, not having any idea if I could write an entire novel or where it would end up. I finished writing my first novel of romance, Love on the Rocks, in March, 2009. Four weeks later, I had it tweaked and polished to the best of my ability and began the submission process.  All told, I wrote four novels and a novella in 2009.  I also started two other novels and wrote a selection of shorts to enter for challenges and so on.

Rave reviews were received on a regular basis as friends, family and acquaintances read my work, but I could not garner the attention of an editor. 

In November, 2009, I joined my first NaNoWriMo, easily producing and editing (although I wasn’t supposed to, as I found out later) 100,684 words on three separate novels during that one month. I loved being immersed in my characters, having the words flow freely and enjoying the sense of accomplishment. Yes! I was finally living my dream of writing full-time.

One of the novels I wrote that November was Zakia & the Cowboy, a romantic suspense…the first in my Thunder Creek Ranch series.  I thought of it as my best work to date and was really proud of it…until I received a form R for my efforts. Still, I thought it needed a home so I entered it in a couple of contests.  Nada!  Zip!  Nothing!

Putting on a pity party is not my style and so it was that I started researching epublishers.  I sent eight submissions in 3 days, Feb 25th, 26th and 27th.

In March, 2010, almost a full year after I wrote my first romance I realized all the form R’s I’d received had not prepared me for the angst I’d suffer when an editor actually took an interest in one of my manuscripts. 

My first two requests for full manuscripts came in on February 28th, 2010. That’s right…after ten months of submitting manuscripts and receiving rejections my very first request was followed almost immediately by a second that same day.  Shortly after that, I got a request for a partial from another editor. All for the same book!

At that time, I had no idea if any of those would lead to a sale but I kept my fingers crossed. In the meantime, butterflies had taken wing in my belly and sleep was difficult to come by. Concentration on writing and other tasks had taken a back seat to checking my emails and worrying if my writing was clear enough.  Is my voice one they’ll enjoy?  Are my characters/conflict strong enough?  Too strong?

The writing life is certainly a tough one and a continual learning experience.  I’ve learned so much from other authors, published and non-published, as well as workshops on eHarlequin and by writing almost non-stop. I now have over 30 titles available on Amazon and elsewhere.

I don’t know if any of this has helped anyone, but it feels good to be sharing with you.  Please take a moment or two to share your comments and experiences so we can learn from each other. 

Until next time, Lorraine Nelson

You can find information on my books in the following places:

1 comment:

Julie Lence said...

Hi Lorraine: I think we all feel that knot in the pit of our stomach when we send our 'babies' out to publishers and editors. I know I did, and my 1st book was exactly as you described with editing anxiety almost as worse as the submission process. I had to rewrite many scenes, because there were too many POV's, but once I did, I have to say, my publisher at that time was right. The story came out soooo much better. Now, I stay with 2 POV's; the hero and heroine. Thanks for sharing your journey.