My father’s side of the family is full of fun loving Cajuns who enjoy good company, good food, and good music. At least once or twice each summer when I was growing up, the whole clan would gather together at the family camp on the bayou and just enjoy the day. I remember there was a big hill behind the house and one of my favorite games was to lie down at the top and race my sister to see who could get to the bottom first. Even then I knew rolling downhill is a good thing.
I’ve worked hard these past few years to move my writing career on a continuous path to publication. I thought at first that path was all uphill as I struggled to figure out how to become a stronger writer and gain the attention of the people who might help my dreams become a reality. I pushed and I pushed as hard as I could to try to make it up that steep hill, never realizing I was going in the wrong direction.
At first I thought every rejection letter was from someone who didn’t like ME and was just trying to stop me from getting to the top. But as more and more of those letters began to roll in, I began to realize they weren’t trying to stop me in my pursuit of become an author…they were merely changing my course to lead me in the right direction.
We writers are a sensitive bunch. As powerful as we know words to be, we still are amazed sometimes at their ability to hurt US. When we take those rejection words personally we ignore the caring that came with it, pushing us to do better, to try again, and sometimes to change the course of where we are headed in order to succeed in this business.
Once I stopped using all my energy to struggle going uphill and turned around, little accomplishments began to help me roll downhill toward becoming a published author. Critique partners helped me roll a little faster as they challenged me to polish my manuscripts. Rejection letters began to include words of encouragement even if they still turned me down and I rolled a little faster. Then came the day one of my essays was accepted by a publisher. Chicken Soup For The Soul: Angels Among Us came out in January of 2013 and I realized I was rolling downhill at a fairly good pace.
I even wondered if I had reached the bottom when Anaiah Press planned to publish my debut picture book, THE STORY CATCHER in January 2015. But hills aren’t made that way and the momentum of all our hard work as writers continues to propel us in the direction of our dreams. Other essays went on to be part of other anthologies in 2017 and 2018. More rolls closer to my goal of a continuous writing career.
Then came the chance to expand my writing knowledge when I started my own publishing company, Story Catcher Publishing, and I added LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy novel) to my portfolio of writing credits. Next in the works is Book One of my historical fiction chapter book series and a fabulous young writer’s contest to pay all the writerly love forward I’ve received over the years.
All you have to do is look at how my life has changed in just the past few years to realize pushing your dreams uphill is not the right way to do things. Look around you. Change your path and let the momentum of all those little steps you are making lead you in the right direction. Realize rolling downhill is a good thing…just look what it did for this guy…
International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.