Yes, I am on hiatus…but I have really been neglecting my Blog Chain responsibilities of late, so I just couldn’t bail on them. With that, here is my contribution to this round.

The question comes from the amazing, Sarah – a friend and inspiration:

What has been the most unexpected part of your writing journey up to this point? What has happened that you could never have predicted? Has it been a help or a hindrance?

This is  great question. Like most writers, the query process has raked me over the coals more times than I’d care to admit. And, like most writers, the “luck” aspect of this business has also thrown me for a loop too many times to name.

As has the envy and angst – two qualities I hate admitting are alive and well within me at times.

So many things I didn’t expect when starting down this road.

All of that aside, there is still something else even more surprising to me. Something I never ever could have predicted and something that has turned out to be one of the single best things in my life.


Yep, I had no idea what amazing friends I would find in this business.

I’ve been in other creative-type businesses. The fashion industry (both as a model and as a buyer), for one. Two words come to mind with that business …. CUT THROAT!!!

Sure, I’m certain some of that exists in our business too. But really, everyone I have been blessed enough to develop relationships with have proven to be some of the closest, dearest, most inspirational and special friends EV.ER

There is this comradery and support that permeates everything in this business – an underlying understanding of how hard this business can be on one’s confidence and emotions. I can honestly say, I would have quit a thousand times over were it not for the amazing people I have found through this community.

How about you? What surprises have you encountered? For more on this topic, stop by Sarah’s original post from yesterday, or Abby’s post tomorrow.


16 thoughts on “Blog Chain Time – Surprise Surprise

  1. Yes, yes, yes! Exactly my thoughts. What’s more, you’ve reached out to me more times than I can count, so for that, I say THANK YOU!! Thank goodness for friends. I don’t think anyone could get through this business without it.

    1. Friends have been a life-saver for me in this business so many times. Actually, on a daily basis! What would I do without crit friends, and writer friends who’ve let me cry on their shoulder. Friends who picked me up and helped me keep going through years of rejections and hard times. Friends who kept encouraging me. Friends who cheered for me when I had success. I actually did spend about 15 years writing without knowing a single other writer, without a crit group, and without knowing SCBWI existed. It took so long to learn how to write well or to learn the business because of not having any friends or connections. It was HARD. I’m so glad those days are over!

  2. The ammount of warmth to be found in this industry astounds me every time.

    I mean, the literary world is just as cut throat, yet it seems that no one sees the other as competition.

    It’s wonderful.


  3. Heck yeah! I’ve made some beautiful and lasting friendships. They are such an important part of my life I can’t imagine what I’d do without them. I’ve been best friends with my core circle of writer pals for six years now!

    But what really surprises me is how tough I’ve become. How I’ve become nearly immune to self-pity as others have leapfrogged over me on the road to publishing success. I no longer view my journey as a race or a contest. I know longer view success as a sign of the superiority of another or the inferiority of myself. I know writers who are vastly better writers than me who are still struggling to find an agent, whereas I have an agent, but no book deal as of yet. After you reach a certain level of ability, it’s all about the whims of the marketplace.

    What matters to me, I’ve found surprisingly, is that we all, no matter the level of our successes, need to find a reason to keep writing. From my super-successful friends, I have found that there is NO end to things to worry and fret over. That one success doesn’t not guarantee elevation to the next level except for a rarified few.

    So that’s my surprise. That for me, it’s not getting published that matters in the end. It’s the will to keep writing.

    1. Wow, well said, Lisa!!! And yes, even though it’s still hard and you YEARN to be published, if you’ve got the will to keep writing and the love of writing, then you just keep going no matter what. And it’s logistically true that those who keep going usually do get published and those who quit don’t. LOL!

      “After you reach a certain level of ability, it’s all about the whims of the marketplace.” Yes, yes, yes. I wish I’d learned this a whole lot sooner myself.

  4. You hit it directly on the head. I think the reason we have so much comradery in writing is because it’s such a lonely occupation most of the time. We’re by ourselves, creating and refining our worlds and characters. So when we lift our heads up to look around, we absolutely NEED positive interaction with people. And since we all need it, we’re all also happy to provide it to each other. Kind of like a group of addicts who lean on each other for support (I am guessing here, having never thankfully been addicted to anything). Anyway, great post as always, Christine.

  5. I have seen first hand people who use others just to advance their own writing aspirations, but then there are the friendships and the genuine warmth and helpfulness of others that all but completely wipe out that negativity. All any of us in this industry wants to do is share with others, to have a meaningful exchange of ideas and stories, and it’s through these words that true friendships are forged.

  6. No lie. The support you will find connecting with other writers is amazing. I’ve met some great people — including YOU — online during my writerly journey.


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