Inching Closer

 

“So, you’re doing this for real? It’s not just something you had to get out of your system?”

I ran into a friend today and she was asking about my writing. When I told her I had a new book coming out in two weeks and two more that my agent will be shopping to publishers this year, she was surprised. “Wow,” she said.

Yeah. Wow.

I thought about her question when I got home as I walked my overly excitable foster dog who had spent too much time in her crate and needed several laps of the pasture to be manageable indoors. Round and round we went, me lost in memories of days gone by and her chasing every butterfly and shadow. I suppose back when my children were younger and that friend was a weekly part of my life, she didn’t know me as a writer. She knew me as a mom, a PTO president, a volunteer, a customer, and a pretty horrible Mary Kay consultant.

normal people

That’s the thing about us writers—many times we’re disguised as normal people. It takes some of us a long time to take our own writing seriously enough to share it with others. Meanwhile, we write and write and dream and dream and then write some more. And once we begin to put our souls out there on the page for all to see, we spend a great deal more time editing.

My friend has a very successful business that I’ve watched grow over the years. I’ve always been impressed by her energy, determination and drive. She is a smart, passionate business woman who works incredibly hard.

“You know how it is,” I told her, “You just keep doing one more thing, every day.” She nodded.

And that’s just what successful writing is. It’s doing one more thing. Every day.

Another successful artist and businesswoman I know told me when I was first beginning my publishing journey, “Do one thing every day to move your dream forward. Even if it’s a small thing. You’ll see,” she said. “It’ll happen.”

And she’s right. I’m not where I want to be yet in terms of writing success, but every day I inch closer. I don’t know how long it will take. But one thing I do know, I sure haven’t ‘gotten it out of my system’ yet.

There are too many stories left to tell.

inching closer

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Author: Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and occasional cowgirl who lives on a hillside farm in Southern York County, PA. You can find information about my books and all my writing adventures on my website CaraWrites.com.

7 thoughts on “Inching Closer”

  1. Wow!! You really are inching closer!! I can’t even imagine what it would be like to even have an agent, let alone having one who is ‘shopping my novel to publishers’. Must be wonderful. I actually faced the same surprise from my friends when they found out I was a writer after I got a publishing deal (that ended up falling through anyway…) One of my friends was like, ‘since when have you been a writer?’ I was like, ah… since I was seven? Hahaha. I’ve always guarded my writing from anyone by my closest family, and I think the reason why is from an experience I had when I was at a ‘sensitive teenage stage’.

    When I was younger (about 14) I showed a piece of my writing to my dad. It was a terrible idea because it was a fantasy/magical piece (that I was quite proud of), and my dad was just like ‘what is this shit?’ Ok, not in those words, but that’s how it felt! I was absolutely mortified – and then became more determined than ever to try harder. I thank my dad every day – because his bad reaction has prepared me well for facing rejection from agents and publishers!

    Recently (as a 29 year-old) I showed my dad the opening chapters for the latest novel I was working on. He said, ‘the first bit was too wordy and descriptive and he couldn’t understand what was happening’. Then he only read the first page of the second chapter before he stopped and said it was too ‘girly’ for him. God love him. The two chapters were from two different perspectives, so at least I’ve got that part down pat! But what he said rang true and made me realise I have a bit of revising to do. Can’t alienate all those 64 year-old gentlemen from reading my novels! Hahaha. My target readership is actually women anywhere from eighteen to thirty and beyond hahaha. Poor dad. No wonder he didn’t like it.

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    1. I love that your dad’s reaction inspired you to write harder – and I’m WAY impressed that you offered him your manuscript again! I think one of the hardest things I did was let people like my husband, mother, mother-in-law, and close friends read my writing. Many of them knew I was dabbling, but I’m not sure they took it very seriously back in the beginning. I remember my mother-in-law reading my first novel manuscript at my kitchen table while I was making dinner. She didn’t say anything for the longest time and then she looked up at me with this incredulous expression on her face and asked, “Where did this come from?”

      I’m certain that you will find your success – you have the best attitude. Just do one thing every day. It’ll happen. Blessings to ya. Keep writing and thanks for reading!

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  2. Good advice, do one thing each day. I look at the whole process as one gigantic mountain and don’t take the first step. Thank you friend!

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    1. That was the advice that I’ve come back to again and again, especially when I’m overwhelmed or discouraged – I can always do one thing, just one thing, each day. Thanks for reading. Blessings on ya.

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  3. Cara, I just opened WordPress this morning- to write- and there you were on the main page. I love this advice! I’m so incredibly proud to have watched your journey, and I’m realizing the courage it takes to put yourself out there. I don’t consider myself a writer, but man something is nudging me to write more. I guess things have been inside my head for too long. I know how hard you’ve worked and super-excited and proud of your success! You’re an inspiration!

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    1. Sally! You should be writing – you have a gift and a beautiful heart. Just put it on the page and see where it takes you. Let me know if I can help in any way – always happy to ‘talk shop’, plus I’d love to catch up with you!

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