Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No More Excuses … On the Road to Publication By Alison Stone

Alison Stone
The road to publication can be a long one. Mine was. On my journey, I often read author bio’s and blogs and reassured myself that I wasn’t the only fool in it for the long haul. (No offense to my fellow authors who followed the same long, circuitous path.)

This is me, paying it forward and sharing my story, hoping maybe something resonates with someone who has been on the same long road.

Soon after my oldest was born, I got the idea to write. Not really sure where it came from, but I’m pretty sure those fancy advertisements in women’s magazines about writing for children had something to do with it. Or more likely, those ads sparked a flame buried so deep I hadn’t yet realized it existed.

After a few years of trying to write children’s books, I shifted to articles and then finally romantic suspense novels. Over the course of seventeen years (it’s easy to keep track because my baby is now driving himself to school and work), I reached many milestones: my first paid article in The Buffalo News (1998), signing with an agent (2006) and selling my first romantic suspense manuscript to Samhain Publishing (2011).

Notice the long gaps in there?

I could tell you I had three more children (all true and all four kids cut into my writing time), but mostly the doubts swirling around my head damaged my productivity. The relentless loop in my head—Why am I wasting my time?—made it easier to curl up in front of the TV and watch a Disney movie rather than add a few hundred words to my latest work in progress. My doubts fed my excuse that I didn’t have time to write.

It was only after I got serious, truly serious, did all my work start to pay off. I remember that day, too. I was sitting with my critique group in Starbucks and one of the women, probably thirty years my senior, claimed she didn’t have time to write because she had to care for her mother. Right then and there I had a light bulb moment. I used my young children as an excuse. You know the one. The I-don’t-have-time-to-write excuse.

Life is full of excuses. There will never be enough time. We all have things that get in our way. Young children. Aging parents. Jobs. Spouses. You name it. If you want it to stand in your way, it will.

One disclaimer: I do understand some people have great hardships in their life and truly do not have the time. Make sure you acknowledge the difference between my life is too full to add writing or I’m making excuses. I think most people, upon reflection, know the difference.
Since 2011, I have sold a total of four manuscripts. My most recent, Plain Pursuit, was released by Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense in June 2013.

Sure, I never seem to write as much as I should, but I’m making progress. Always forward progress. And throughout the journey, I’m continually learning and growing as a writer which does wonders when it comes to quieting the doubts.

If your dreams are worth pursuing, you’ll make the time. Just shush the little voice in your head and get to work.

And enjoy the journey.

What excuses have slowed your writing journey? We'd love to hear what helped you push them aside. What encouragement can you offer?

Click to Tweet:
I’m making progress. Always forward progress.  Click to Tweet
True confession: I've used my young children as an excuse not to write. Click to Tweet
About the Author
Alison Stone left snowy Buffalo, New York and headed a thousand miles south to earn an industrial engineering degree at Georgia Tech in Hotlanta. Go Yellow Jackets! She loved the South, but true love brought her back North.

After the birth of her second child, Alison left Corporate America for full-time motherhood. She credits an advertisement for writing children's books for sparking her interest in writing. She never did complete a children's book, but she did have success writing articles for local publications before finding her true calling, writing romantic suspense.

Alison lives in Western New York with her husband of twenty years and their four children where the summers are absolutely gorgeous and the winters are perfect for curling up with a good book--or writing one.

Random Acts and Too Close to Home were released by Samhain Publishing in 2012. Plain Pursuit, a Harlequin Love inspired Suspense, is available now.

Besides writing, Alison keeps busy volunteering at her children's schools, driving her girls to dance, and watching her boys race motocross.

She’s always at the following locations:
Website: http://www.alisonstone.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlisonStoneAuthor
Cover Art used by arrangement with
Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Alison_Stone
Blog: http://alisonstone.wordpress.com/

Plain Pursuit

Danger in Amish Country

When her brother is killed in a small Amish town, Anna Quinn discovers she's an unwelcome outsider. But the FBI agent investigating the case is right at home—because Eli Miller was born and raised in Apple Creek's Plain community. Eli left his Amish faith behind long ago, but his heart is rooted in a local cold case he can't forget—a mystery with strange connections to Anna's loss. Desperate to uncover the truth, Anna and Eli are faced with stony silences and secrets…secrets that someone wants to keep buried in the past.1
1Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

5 comments:

  1. I think we all have excuses, but for me those excuses usually just cover up the Big One - that my writing just plain is not good enough. After feeling sorry for myself for a little bit, I just push past it and say, "exactly who is my writing not good enough for?" And I keep writing.

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean, Chris. I said the exact same things to myself just yesterday! Your last sentence says it all, "And I keep writing."

      We're not called to publish. We're not even called to write well, although we should do our best and push to do better. We're just called to write.

      Thanks so much for leaving that comment!

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  2. Thank you for hosting me, Angie.

    And Chris, I think the worry that our writing isn't good enough can definitely mess with our heads and our progress. I agree...keep writing.

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  3. It's so much easier to shove those loud doubts aside when we're moving forward, rather than idling along, allowing our excuses to stand in our way, isn't it? Thank you for sharing these encouraging words today, Alison. I loved this post, and I think I'm heading over to scoop up PLAIN PURSUIT. :-)

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  4. Thank you, Dora. Somedays I find the hardest thing to do is to START writing. Once I get into it, I wonder why I delayed so long. You're right, the doubts slip away when we sit down to do the work. (Most of the time, anyway!)

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