In case you were wondering, the writing process isn't easy. And it's not a quick either. You can't just one day decide you want to be published, send in your MS to a publisher, then they fall in love with your work and immediately want it published. Not quite like that for most people. It's a slow process, especially the beginning of it when you're still learning about the craft and trying to get your feet wet in the industry.
(Yes, I like to write standing up sometimes.)
But it's finally going to happen - Purple Moon is going to be published in just a few months. The dream I've had since I was toddler is actually going to come true! It'll be the official start of my writing journey. My ministry. And I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life.
Since some of you might not quite know the story of how I was offered a contract, I decided to write a little timeline of the writing journey I've had up until now. This is only "part 1" - I'll probably post "part 2" when my next book comes out, and then continue on from there.
- I enrolled in an online school so I could focus on writing more.
- I signed up to take a squire course at Christian Writer’s Guild.
- I read as many YA Christian fiction books I could get my hands on.
- A photographer did a photoshoot of me so I could have headshots for acting, as well as pictures for my website and blog.
- I brainstormed the "second version" of Purple Moon.
- My blog was launched.
- I visited other writing blogs regularly and continued to grow in my craft.
- I began writing the first draft of Purple Moon.
(Me with my first writer friend, Katy, the night of the banquet at BRMCWC.)
- I attended my very first writer’s conference, Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference. I brought the first three chapters of Purple Moon, even though I wasn't planning on pitching to an editor or agent. I didn't think there was anyone on the faculty who represented YA, so I mainly came to the conference to learn more about the craft. But little did I know, God had bigger plans. It was here, at my first conference, where I met my publisher. =)
- Signed contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas for Purple Moon! (I took a picture but unfortunately can't seem to find it right now... =/)
- Attended Carolina Christian Writer's Workshop
(With my mom - my biggest supporter - at the banquet.)
- Attended Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference
Rest of 2011:
- Photoshoot with the girl who might be on the cover for Purple Moon, as well as it's official website (coming soon!)
- Started brainstorming my next book
- Submitted my complete manuscript of Purple Moon to my publisher.
(Katy and me again! At the banquet.)
- Attended Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference - my third year!
- Started the first draft of my next book
- Began the first round of edits for Purple Moon with my editor.
Why has it taken this long? Because, I didn’t want to rush the process. I still had a lot to learn. I wanted to use everything I was learning about the craft and apply it to Purple Moon. And I’m glad I didn’t rush through it. Although I don't believe teenagers should wait until "later in life" to pursue their publishing dreams, I do not believe they should for the sake of trying to get published ASAP. It's not worth it.
I’ve personally grown a lot as a writer these past couple years, and I'm glad I tried to get Purple Moon in the best shape possible before making it available to the public. Yes, the release date was postponed a couple times, but only because I felt as if it wasn't ready. Fortunately I have a very patient publisher who was willing to give me more time without rushing me. It hasn't been God's time yet, but it is now. And how crazy is it that my first book is going to be published in the fall—my favorite time of the year? =)
PS: I was interviewed at Stuck in Teen recently. Click here for the interview.