Life Coach Magazine

Marji Laine on Writing

By Writerinterrupted @writerinterrupt

I’m so flattered that Gina asked me to share my story with you. I started my first novel (a murder mystery) on the flight home from my honeymoon. What can I say? I wasn’t into scrapbooking back then.  I never finished that novel, though I got five chapters and two murders into it. Planned most of the way through it, too. Gee, I wonder where that manuscript wound up?

In 2010, my mom asked me what I would like to do if time and money weren’t an issue. At that point, I had a thriving scrapbook and stamping business; several classes, workshops, and retreats every year. And I answered without hesitation, “Write!” I surprised myself, but I didn’t surprise her.

Well, time and money were an issue, but my sweet hubby encouraged me to follow my dream. It took me over a year to get started, but I completed a novel (the fourth that I’d started) in April of 2011 and decided to plow into a career in the writing field with everything I had. I completed a second by January of 2012 and that one, Cat’s Eyes, took its place as the first of a series. I wrote a third story during the summer, completing the series and mustered my courage to actually attempt to contract an agent for my career.

I expected the season of shopping to be a long one, filled with rejections and prayer, so I invited a few close friends to be prayer partners with me before I mailed the assorted queries. I heard back from an agent’s assistant within hours of that first mailing. Blew my mind! I had so not expected such a quick return, I’d even sent my manuscript off to a proof-reader! I had to delay a few days to get the book back before I sent it in, and you can bet I and every member of my family took advantage of those few days, scouring every page for errors, weaknesses, and mistakes. When I did get the story back from the proofer and send it in, I was contacted immediately by my wonderful agent, Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency.

As much as that felt like the finish line, the whole goal is to sell this baby. I pitched it to two editors at the recent ACFW conference, and though they had wonderful, encouragement for me and would like to see more of my work, they both had the same opinion that the suspense wasn’t intense enough.

Sounds like a challenge!

So my next novel – already planned and in the writing stage – is infused with intense suspense and a strong romance. Not sitting around waiting for my novel to sell, I’ve entered a contest with one publisher, crafted a chapter for another contest, plotted two new story ideas, and inhaled a couple of books and several blogs on the writing craft. Along this walk, I’ve learned that though traditional publishing depends on other people, requiring patience and a thick skin (I’m working on that!), writing just takes dedication. The behind in the chair thing – and the internet off! The more I write, the more I learn.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. ~Psalm 19:14


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