Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Putting It Aside, Moving On by Robin Caroll

Robin Caroll
remember the first manuscript I hacked out on a typewriter. (Showing my age, aren’t I?) It was bad, and I mean, bad. That was back in the 90s. Thank goodness I lost that manuscript in one of my moves. Yes, it was THAT BAD. Then I wrote a story I just loved. Wrote it, rewrote it, polished it until it was “ready.” Submitted it to a publisher. Um, it wasn’t ready. It now sits happily UNDER my desk. That was early in 2000.

Between then and now, there have been many a manuscript on my computer in various stages. Some completed, some not. Some I really love, some, not so much anymore. But there is a story on my system that I love. It’s one that comes straight from my heart. It is ready for submission. Matter-of-fact, it’s been submitted to many places. Oh, I’ve gotten the personal, nice rejections, but not a contract. Again, let me reiterate, I LOVE this story. My writing buddies love this story. But for some reason, editors don’t. Or it’s not right for them. Or it’s too similar to something they’ve already contracted. Or . . .

Know what I’m talking about? There comes a time in every writer’s career when they have a story that means so much to them, is so personal to them, that it’s almost obsessive in the way we write. And when it’s done and edited and ready to go out, we just KNOW it’s going to be snapped right up. But it doesn’t. We get rejection letters. We get depressed. We pull the story out again and revise. We resubmitted until our story has seen every editor’s desk in the business. We’ve revised until we can’t revise anymore. And still it’s not contracted. We can spend months, years even, on this one story to no avail. No contract. No interest.

Each writer will come to this crossroads sometime in their career. Each writer will have to cross the hurdle, much like overcoming writer’s block. Each writer will have to make that painful decision to put the story aside and move on. Yep, you heard me—put the story of our heart aside and move on to something else.

Ouch, that hurts. For me, it was several months of pouting. Kicking the couch. (Would never kick my dog.) Pouting again. Stomping around the house until the hubby and kids were cowering in closets. Depressed. Angry. Depressed again. Pouting. Watching others getting their stories of their hearts published. Pouting. Depressed again.

And then I grew as a writer.

I saved the story of my heart onto a disk. (Ok, two different ones—I’m obsessive, what can I say?) Then I did the hardest thing, I deleted it off my desktop. My heart pounded, I felt nauseous. But I knew I had to. And then I did the unthinkable—I started a new story. I’d learned there’s a time to put away a story and move on to something else. I’d grown. I’d become a “professional” in my career thinking because I would write something else, something that might have a chance of being published. One story does not a writer make.

I still miss that story of my heart sometimes. Every six or seven months, I pull out the disk and read through it. I don’t save it to my computer though. I read it, then put it away. I’ve moved on to something else, and doing so got me published.

One story does not a writer make.

One day . . . one day it’ll be that story’s time. It’ll be its turn. And I’ll take it out, probably revise it for the millionth time, and send it out again. Who knows? It might be snapped up in a minute.

But until that time, I’ll keep pressing forward. Keep writing what I can. Keep giving each current story all my attention. I’ll keep doing so because I want to be an author, because I DO have more than one story in my heart.

One story does not a writer make.

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One story does not a writer make. Click to Tweet
We just KNOW our story will be snapped right up. But it isn't and it hurts. Click to Tweet
Sometimes we must put the story of our heart aside and move on. Click to Tweet

About the Author
“I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I've never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” ~Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better.

Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her 24 published novels.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of twenty-plus years, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home.

Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as Executive Director for ACFW. Her books have finaled/placed in such contests as the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer's Choice Award, Bookseller's Best, and Book of the Year.

Samantha Sanderson At the Movies
by Robin Caroll
Samantha Sanderson At the Movies
Sam Sanderson is an independent, resourceful, high-tech cheerleader. She dreams of becoming an award-winning journalist like her mother, and so she’s always looking for articles she can publish in her middle-school paper (where she secretly hopes to become editor). And with a police officer for a father, Sam is in no short supply for writing material.

It seemed like the perfect opportunity.

When an explosive device is found in the local theater, Sam gets the lead on this developing and controversial story---controversial because the movie theater has recently come under attack by a renowned, outspoken atheist for allowing a local church to show Christian movies. Sam’s police-officer father happens to be heading the investigation, and Sam can’t resist doing some sleuthing of her own with the help of her best friend Makayla’s techno-genius. But when Sam’s theories end up being printed in the school paper, she lands in big trouble---and danger!

Samantha Sanderson On the Scene
by Robin Caroll
Samantha Sanderson On the Scene
What if getting to the bottom of a mystery means learning how to love your enemy?

As Samantha and the rest of the middle schoolers prepare for the upcoming Spring Fest, “mean girl” Nikki faces the reality that her parents are getting divorced. Samantha has a hard time sympathizing---Nikki has never been very nice to anyone, let alone Samantha.

But when Nikki becomes victim of a string of attacks, Sam takes it upon herself and uses her super sleuth abilities to get to the bottom of the bullying. After all, articles on bullying are just what the school paper needs instead of all that silly fluff like popularity tips. Samantha enlists the help of her tech-savvy BFF, Makayla, but while the two track down clues, they leave a trail of trouble behind---and may even be directly responsible for the break-in of their very own school’s computer lab!

Samantha Sanderson is a resourceful seventh grader with the extraordinary dream to become an aspiring award-winning journalist. Sam and her best friend, Makayla, are always sniffing out the next big mystery to report in the school paper---that is, when they aren’t busy navigating the crazy world of middle school, faith, and friends.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Robin. This is such a tough topic. It's so hard to send off our "babies" to be rejected, but it's even harder to move on.

    Thanks for reminding us that there's more than one story in us!

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  2. Thanks for your kind comments, Angie, and for having me. I've enjoyed visiting!

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  3. This is so heartening. Sorry. I just heard "Let It Go" singing in my mind!

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    1. LOL! You crack me up, Cynthia! But yes ... that song is sooo appropriate!

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  4. Robin, I can relate! I have three manuscripts tucked away that may never see light again. But like you, I've learned that I have to move on - I can't remain stuck. The good thing is that I've grown as a writer with each one, and for that, I'm grateful to each of those lost characters. ;-)

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  5. There's always self publishing LOL for our oldies but goodies. (I sure don't like those that self-pub their oldies but NOT goodies LOL) I enjoyed reading about this part of your journey today, Robin. And I too am hearing Let It Go...☺️

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  6. Cynthia..my youngest sings that all the time and I want to scream now when I hear the song!

    Tanya, sometimes we aren't meant to publish something...someone very wise once told me, just because we write it, doesn't mean it's to be published. :)

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  7. I have that treasured manuscript half-in and half-out of a figurative drawer. Maybe one day ...

    Thanks, Robin! Great post!

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  8. Ah, Robin, I have a story I fell in love with. I just new it was going to be my first published book. It wasn't, but I hope someday. . .

    True confession time, I haven't seen Frozen. I keep meaning to watch it.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  9. I think sometimes it's part of God's refining of the writer, and to see if we're obedient to write it for Him, then let it go!

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