How do you get there?
Like most aspiring writers, I searched long and hard to find the answer to this question.
And just like you, reading about my journey now, I devoured many personal recounts of the pathways which people took in order to get to ‘that place’ where I so deeply wanted to be too. Although they all arrived at the same place, not one of those people found a magical doorway through which to venture or even followed the same path. There are no signposts and, for many, it can be as difficult – if not more so, to find a second time round.
For what it’s worth, below you’ll find an abridged version of my path and the various check points that assisted me on my journey.
Wrote a blog post every day for a six month period
Formed a writers group at the local community centre
Enrolled in Professional Writing for Children and Young Adults (Adelaide College of the Arts)
Joined SA Writers Centre
Submitted manuscript to Little Big Book Club (December)
Manuscript accepted by Little Big Book Club (March)
Worked on manuscript with editor
Fancy Pants published in November.
I’ve left out all the utterly tedious, albeit necessary, parts which are essential. *Skip the next paragraph if you wish to avoid boredom.
There were many stories, ideas, edits, discarded ideas, rejections (there were around fifteen and I’ve kept every single one, as written rejections are almost as rare as acceptances), meetings, retreats, half finished manuscripts (there still are), self doubt, festivals, emails, more edits and bouts of procrastination.
If I had not joined SCBWI, I would have taken a different path.
My path may have taken longer if I had not undertaken a writing course.
If I’d missed any of these checkpoints, I may have got lost for some time.
Was I lucky? Absolutely!
Lucky to be passionate, focussed and tenacious.
Lucky to meet inspirational people.
Lucky to have the support of my family.
But luck alone would not have got me there.
There is not one path.
But hopefully we’ll cross paths along the way.