Friday, August 27, 2010

What a Difference a Year Can Make

image courtesy of

I don't know the exact date.

I didn't mark it on my calendar.

I probably should have.

It was a pretty big deal.

Oh. Who am I kidding? It was huge. To me anyway.

A year ago this week, I sat down at my computer and emailed my sister the first chapter of my book. I asked her to read it and tell me if she'd like to read more.

Then I spent the next day trying not to vomit. (I'm not kidding).

I was terrified. I'd spent the past six months writing a book. And no one except my number one fan, my husband Brian, knew anything about it.

But Jennifer liked it. She wanted to know if I'd written any more. It took another couple of emails and another couple of chapters before I admitted that I'd actually written the whole thing.

She loved it. And insisted I send it to my parents.

Now, I'm 36 years old. Not 12. But my parent's opinion means a lot to me. To this day, disappointing them is one of my greatest fears.

So I sent them an email. I wish I still had it. I don't remember what I said. Something along the lines of "Uh, so, I wrote a book. Hope you like it."

They loved it.

Apparently, while the whole "writing thing" came as quite a shock to me, it didn't surprise them in the slightest. I'm not sure if this is because they are my parents and as such, are naturally biased to believe I can do anything, or if they had seen some tendencies that I had been too busy living my life to notice.

Either way, they jumped on board and my fan club reached a grand total of four.

It was around this time that it occurred to me that maybe it would be a good idea to read up on writing. I was in for a rude awakening. Because I learned I had a good story, but an unpublishable one. Mistakes galore. All sorts of issues that branded me for the neophyte I was.

Of course, a lot can happen in a year.

I'm still green. Still unpublished. Still finding and fixing mistakes galore.

But I've learned so much this year. I've learned that writing first drafts is fun. Fixing them . . . eh . . . not so much fun as mind-numbing hard work mixed in with occasional moments of delight. I've learned that even though I tend to think of myself as a fiction writer, I actually enjoy writing devotions. I've learned that the road to publication is long and without guarantees so the best plan is to learn the craft, write the best you can and leave the timing up to God.

But most importantly, I've learned that I am a writer.

And no one is more surprised by that than me.


Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Thanks, Blayne!!

Charity Tinnin said...

I'm saving this post in my favorites...for when you're famous :)