Friday, April 23, 2010

What I Learned on My Writing Journey by Martha Rogers

Fortifying Fridays on Seriously Write are devoted to authors sharing their journeys to publication. We’re so happy to have Martha Rogers as our guest today. She has quite a story to tell. Enjoy and let her story encourage you.


What I Learned on
My Writing Journey

My writing journey began when I realized how much I like to make up stories and live in a fantasy world where I could create the perfect family, especially after my parents’ divorce. I made up stories for my paper dolls and my dolls using them as the characters. I wrote short stories as a teenager and my first novel as a freshman in college, still using it to escape into my “ideal” life.

Rejection after rejection disappointed me, but I kept on writing. I met DiAnn Mills at a writing conference, and she took me under her wing and mentored me. She also convinced me that joining ACRW would really help me improve my writing. I took her advice and it’s the best thing I could have done. She formed a critique group with Myra Johnson, Kathleen Y’Barbo and me as members. Later Janice Thompson joined the group, then Marcia Gruver and Linda Kozar.

Through ACRW, and then ACFW, I met Brandilyn Collins, Lena Nelson Dooley, Deb Raney, Lynn Coleman, and Rebecca Germany as well as my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray. The most important lesson I have learned from them is patience. Giving God time to work on His schedule and not mine was difficult for me to do because I’ve always been a “take charge” sort of person. It didn’t take long for me to realize that catching the eye of an editor was more than being in charge.

DiAnn, Kathleen, Janice and I collaborated on a novella anthology, Sugar and Grits and submitted it in 2001. Patience paid off as we waited and left it with Barbour until 2005 when we were offered a contract for it. When it was published in 2007, I thought now I would be on my way. Two years later I still didn’t have another contract, but I didn’t give up.

I adopted Galatians 6:9 as my writing verse because I knew if I didn’t give up on what I believed God wanted me to do, I would reap a harvest. Then in 2009, Tamela called me with the news that Strang was interested in Becoming Lucy. They first sent an offer letter then a contract for one book with an option for three more. I started working on the manuscript and after I turned it in, a got another email from them saying they were ready to contract the next three in the series. In September of 2009 I signed the contract to finish out the Winds Across the Prairie series.

Since then I have signed a for Christmas novella that will be released in September 2010. When God opened the door, He kicked it wide open with five books in one year. Unbelievable.

The road has not been easy, and the hundreds of rejections hurt. But I learned from the rejections. I paid attention to what my critique partners and judges in contest said. Of course some of what they said made me a little angry, but then I settled down and began to think things through.

The best way to further your writing is to attend conferences. There you will have an opportunity to attend workshops with great authors and learn from them. Books on improving your writing are usually available, and you have the opportunity to meet and network with others who are on the same journey you are as well as meet those who are well established and long down the road ahead of you.

Spend time with the Lord, and He will direct your paths in the right direction. Listen for His instructions and follow Him in all that you do. Be patient because our time tables are not God’s and seldom do they match. If it’s to be, it will be, when He ordains that it’s time.



Although Martha Rogers' primary writing experience is in non-fiction, she has been writing fiction for a number of years. She is a retired teacher who enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren. Martha is a member of ACFW and writes a weekly devotional for the group.

Her book credits include the novella, Sugar and Grits, Becoming Lucy, and Morning for Dove. Also coming in 2010 are Finding Becky and Key to Her Heart in River Walk Christmas anthology. She has also many non-fiction writing credits in compilations by Wayne Holmes, Karen O’Conner, and Debbie White Smith. Martha has contributed devotionals to several anthologies including soon to be released Whispers of Wisdom for Step-Moms from Barbour. Martha served as editor of an eight page monthly newsletter for the writer’s organization, Inspirational Writers Alive! for six years and is the state President. She is also the director for the annual Texas Christian Writer’s Conference.

Martha and her husband live in Houston, Texas where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren.

WEB SITE: For more information, visit the author’s Web site at http://www.marthawrogers.com/

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this interview. I'm feeling in a slump today and reading her journey helps so much!

    ReplyDelete

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