I screamed that at the top of my lungs when I made the Top 5 Winners in the Harlequin Presents April 2013 Pitch challenge. The pitch relied solely on no more than 2000 words specifically about when the heroine and hero first spot each other. Nothing else. No synopsis. No concise but quirky query letter or blurb. Just those 2000words. And mine had made it for Harlequin Presents UK. And yes I am one of those people who`ve never really won anything in my life before, unless of course you count the food hamper I won at my local Spar last year (and I do), than I have won something before. But not like this. Not with something that means so much to me. Something I drink, eat, sleep, bleed and then do all of those things all over again!
I think every writer at this point`s nodding their head. The acknowledgement that I do have a story that interests an editor was huge to me, I wasn`t just writing for myself or my friends, I could write for others. It blew my mind. Had me running up and down the hallway screaming “I`m a writer damn`it!” Because dear reader it took me awhile to come to the point of saying it out loud, of becoming true to a passion that was born in me since age fourteen.
When you`ve been raised in a certain way, in a very academic slash follow the white collar professional path, than you didn`t consider the arts, no matter how much talent you may have (yeah I know I just called myself talented but it wasn`t intentional) you had to make a turn at Uni, get a couple of degrees and then go line up with CV in hand for whatever title you`ve given yourself over to. And the funny thing was, there are so many artistically talented people in my family that I`m kind of surprised at the fact that no one had ever thought to take that route, this route.
But that`s a story for another blog *grin*
I would be lying if I said that the journey till this point wasn`t worth it. I`ve had the Uni experience, got my Honors degree and did a stint teaching. But those weren`t the things that had made it tough to say, I`m a writer. No.
It was all the voices crowding on the outside and inside, trying to shape me and mold me into a form that fit them. Because for some reason they had worked out that my life, my choices are theirs and not mine. And you know what, that “we only want the best for you” nonsense only works when it’s in line with what you also want. Any other time it`s uttered it just scars.
It took me two years to knife the voices inside and to blatantly disregard the ones on the outside. In this time I`ve lost a beloved aunt to cancer and it forced me to think about how you only have one life to live and how you need to make every moment count. There`s no second chance, a do over when you`re dead.
I stopped being double minded, I stopped caring about what others would think of me as a Contemporary Romance and Young Adult writer. If it makes them happy to judge me, fault me for following my passion, my dream of doing something I enjoyed and loved, than fine. But I still wouldn`t care. I`ll be pitching my next story, writing my next 50k and revel in the fact I`m not the only one who thinks I`m a writer damn`it!