Hi, I'm Patricia Bradley, one of the new kids here at Heartwarming...notice I didn't say young kids. No, I've been around for a while. I started writing about 34 years ago and Matthew's Choice is my second book to be published.
And you thought you'd been writing a long time without being published.
This blog is about keeping on with your dreams even when it looks like the dream will never come true. And that's true whether it's writing or starting a new career, or any dream you really want.
Actually, the very first story I wrote was published by Woman's World. It was a mini-mystery. I was so new at writing I didn't know that if the guidelines said a 2,500 word limit, you really shouldn't send in one that was 3,500 words. But Nancy McCarthy, bless her heart, loved my story, bought and cut it. I would love to contact her again and thank her for her encouragement.
WW also bought my next story, and you would have thought I'd learned to send in the right word count. But no. I sent in a story with 2500 words this time which would have been fine if that had been the word count. But WW dropped the count to 1800 words by this time. And this time, I got to do the cutting. Which was really good because I learned a whole lot about making every word count. And by the time they bought my third story that you can read here, I had learned to send the correct word count.
After WW bought my first story, I thought it would be no time until I had a book published. All I had to do was write one, send it in, and you know the rest. I'll wait until you pick yourself up off the floor from laughing. But hey, I was relatively young, but a babe in the publishing world. I didn't have a clue.
But I wrote. And wrote some more. Finished two books and sent them off to editors I found in Writer's Digest. Can you feel my face getting hot? Yep. I received them back by return mail. Then I took a few years off to work in the Abstinence Program and to co-write an abstinence curriculum that is still being used here in Mississippi. It's even translated in Spanish and being taught in Ecuador.
Then about six years ago I got really serious about writing and took classes, went to writing conferences and retreats. By this time I'd discovered how hard it was to get published. But I kept on. I think that's the lesson I learned--if you really want something, don't give up, keep on keeping on. What if I had quit at year 10...or year 25...or year 32?
If you really want something, go for it. Do the hard work to get it and hang in there. If you're still with me, thanks for reading to the end. Oh, and I'm giving away one copy of Matthew's Choice here and two at my blog. All you have to do is leave a comment at either place. Click here to sign up for a chance at my blog. Contest is open to anyone over 18 and who has a US or Canadian postal address. It ends Tuesday evening, September 9, 2014.
So, do you have a dream? Has it come true, or are you still waiting? Leave me a comment.