|Wendy Paine Miller|
It sometimes feels like I spend hours, days, weeks, and months working on writing projects, networking, etc. with what “looks” like small results to show for my efforts. I can relate to what Wendy Paine Miller shares today, and her words encouraged me. I believe you’ll find them helpful too. ~ Dawn
Writing, Sweet as Honey
I recently read somewhere that a honey bee has to work up to ten hours in order to create a spoonful of honey. Ten hours for one spoonful. This fun animal fact led me to think about my career—all the hours I devote to writing. It made me wonder about my rate of production.
During my time reflecting I began to feel like the honey bee and I have more in common than I ever would have imagined.
After graduating college with an English degree, I assumed I was destined to write memoirs, certain I’d stay embedded in my non-fiction roots. I took on jobs that called for strong English skills, wrote newsletters, created advertising copy, and grew acquainted with life in Non-Fiction Land.
But eight years ago, after my youngest was born, I met someone. My first character. Soon after, the seed for my first novel grew. What started out as one novel blossomed into eleven.
I researched, gleaned what I could from blogs and books on writing. I essentially took myself back to school, impassioned by how my stories had set up camp in my brain. I queried agents, went to conferences, connected with other writers who helped me to grow and learn. I began to learn the importance of trusting my voice as I acquired an agent and we received strong feedback from publishing houses. In response to repeated validation, I felt the tug to get my work out there. Independent publishing had always appealed to me and I was excited to step in the ring. Since, I’ve published three books and have transitioned agencies. I continue to study the craft fervently.
I bet you’re wondering when I’ll mention my bond with the bee again. I have filled dozens of journals with story ideas, characters, plots, and snippets of dialogue. And I’m constantly brainstorming a new plot or getting to know a new character. I’ve devoted years of my life to the craft. And in many ways I’ve experienced wonderful rewards.
Though, sometimes it feels like merely a spoonful of honey compared to what I thought would be an enormous vat. Surely, I’ve typed out a vat-full of words.
When I came across this article http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/honey-bee-facts.html my eyes locked on these words. “Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life…”
I could write one hundred books—one thousand even. And while I’ll always have people who will stop and look at me in awe, while asking, “How do you find time to write all of that?” I’ll never be able to adequately communicate just how much I value the process. One book or twenty—I’ve come to understand it’s not the number of books I publish, the journals I fill, or words on the page that speak to my success as a writer.
It’s the dedicated act of staying the course. I’m passionate about giving life to characters—it’s in the sweet practice of creating stories that my soul is restored daily and my life’s work is sustained.
Forty-four-year-old Emma Gates hasn’t cared about much in life since becoming a widow two years ago. But then she meets the inquisitive and mercurial Zoey Chambers, her next door neighbor.
Who happens to be eleven.
Soon after, Emma is introduced to Colby Havelock, a psychology professor who reaches Emma in ways she didn’t think were possible again after Max died. Emma considers the possibility of a new life with Colby. But Colby knows something about Zoey he cannot share. Could the eleven-year-old spark who helped Emma heal also be the fire that drives Colby and Emma apart?
Wendy Paine Miller is a native New Englander who feels most alive when she's laughing, reading, writing, or taking risks. She's authored eleven novels, including The Delicate Nature of Love, The Flower Girls and The Disappearing Key. Her books have prompted thought-provoking conversations at book clubs all across the country. Wendy lives with her husband and their three girls in a home bursting with imagination and hilarity.
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