Feast Your Eyes On That Horizon

Aw, the tea room.  How I love it here!  Manners observed, napkins in our laps and fresh scones.

“I’ll have a chocolate chip scone today, please.”  Tea froths into my cup.  “And one lump, not two.  Thank you!”

What I love about tea time is sharing the longings of the heart and whatever has stirred the mind in recent days.  Gathering together is a great way to stir and replenish the soul.  I always feel depleted if I haven’t been able to commune with friends.

Writers, you see, are solitary beings.  Some readers are too.  The written word can be an elixir  too tempting to ignore, keeping you literally chained to a computer for hours on end.  I’ve found that to be the case recently.  I’m experiencing a whirlwind to publication that has me channeling different personas on a daily basis.  The calendar I’ve rarely paid attention to, has now become my saving grace.  But this wonderful experience has also gifted me with so many blessings.  If you’ll allow me, I’d like to share a few with you today.

One of the wonderful things about the road to publication is knowing your baby will finally go out into the world.  But as in every writer’s life, that was not always the case.  The road to publication is riddled with potholes and cracks.  Sometimes it seems the more we patch the segmented strips of asphalt by attending conferences, taking online classes, participating in critiques, seasons of growth, the elements and a bad critique or rejection do their worst, leaving us strown about the room in pieces.  (Where’s the rum?)

Keeping a positive attitude is one of the hardest things to maintain in this business.  Rejections swoop in on owl mails or the forest echoes with mockingjay choruses.  Emails, twitter and texts speed these responses.  Yes, the agony is quick these days, isn’t it?  And so, that brings us back to the importance of staying positive, of looking ahead, of setting your eyes upon a BIG goal and meeting lesser goals head on.  (Of feasting your eyes upon that horizon… and really bad eggs.)

I’m blessed to be celebrating several achievements this week.  So far, I’ve received my edits, turned them around and sent them back to my editor and received my unedited galleys for reviews.  But this week, I received my galley edits.  Galley edits are the last time you can make any corrections or minimal changes to a book before it goes back to editors and then is sent out to the public.  Going through galley edits is like reading a book, in book form.  (Oh, and it’s WAY cool!)

But getting here was only a dream until this past June.  Twenty years ago, raising four small children, I didn’t think I’d ever see the day one of my books would be available to readers.  Dreams do come true however.  This week my book showed up on Goodreads and Amazon for pre-order.  This week I got my promo items, stress bones (muahahaha! for name recognition) and pens.

This week I got my very first book cover.  (It’s like pirate treasure.)

How did I get here?  Small goals merging together to form BIG goals.  Twenty years with lots of living in between is what it took to mold me into the writer I am today.  I didn’t write over the entire twenty years.  There were times when I didn’t write at all because my children needed me.  I wasn’t able to seriously focus on writing until seven years ago, when my children were nearly all grown.  But all that time I’d held goals in my heart, cherishing them, feeding them, living with the dream that one day I would get that call or email telling me someone wanted to publish my books.

There is so much talent in the tea room every day.  As I share my experiences here, I want you to know that I’ve been there.  I’ve been down and out, at my wit’s end, crumbling to pieces, mending my heart, renewing desire and motivation, pumping myself up to get out in the ring again.  The irony is I was at the end of my rope earlier this year, upset about some contest results.  When out of nowhere I get a call from an agent I’d submitted to nearly a year before.  She spoke with me for two hours on the phone, encouraging me not to quit, never to give up.  And one month later, Duke By Day, Rogue By Night was accepted by Crimson Romance, followed by two more books.  Who knew?

Well, if I’d quit, I never would have known.  Stay the course, mates.  Continue to focus heavily on your dreams.  Life is well worth the effort.  Hey, I’m proof!

What do you do to boost your spirits when things get you down?  And what kinds of advice can you share with others who eat those really bad eggs?

Katherine Bone

www.katherinebone.com

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11 thoughts on “Feast Your Eyes On That Horizon

  1. Thankyou so much for the inspiration, Katharine. When I get really down, I have a tendency to list things out so that I can visually see the accomplishments I am making. It’s silly, really. Checking a little box to feel a sense of accomplishment but it’s what works for me.

    • Hey Jennelle, that’s the perfect way to get out of the doldrums!!!

      I actually do that when I pray too. When you list the things that you’ve been blessed with, the strides you’ve made and the wonderful things you’ve been able to accomplish, you can see the progression, know there is hope, continue to feel passionate about your calling. The key is to keep Winston Churchill’s quote in mind. “Never, never, never, never, never give up.” (Believe me, I use that one a bunch!)

  2. Hi Katherine – omg, did I need that pep talk! Thank you. I’m finishing up revisions on a submission due Oct 15th and I’m already beginning to stress about being rejected – yet again. It’s frustrating and discouraging because I know I can write but then again being able to write and writing with flair and talent may not be the same thing. This is how I question myself and inevitalby, discourage myself. I agree – never, never give up but oh my, sometimes, some days, it’s so tempting to just say ‘enough’.
    When that moment hits, I take stock of what goals have been achieved and I add at least one more. For every goal achieved, I look to two more yet to be tackled. If the first is writing a draft, the next two may be revising to perfection and polishing till it shines. That feeling of accomplishment is what keeps me going even if, in the end, I find myself starting all over again.
    Here’s to dreams actually coming true and may we all share in your joy until it’s our turn. Congrats on fulfilling your dream! Love the title and the cover – looking forward to it. : )

    • Oh Amy!! It does my heart good to know that I’ve helped you in some small way. There’s so much negativity in the world, isn’t there? Being a writer is like being an actor, except you usually aren’t face to face with the rejection. And thank goodness for that. It’s never easy to get a rejection, but at least a writer can suffer in the sanctity of their lair. LOL!

      Good luck on your submission!!! Remember this: “You have to send your ship out before your ship can come in.” I keep that quote near my computer. Don’t remember who said it, but I it hits me at a level I understand. Probably the pirate influence. LOL!!!

      Keep the dream alive!!!!

  3. Hi, Katherine. Wow! What an amazing tale of dreams, perseverance and triumph. You’re such an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey. Only the other day I was telling my beau that I felt like I’d never get this together. Too much to learn and apply and change. I wanted to throw away the computer. Lol But characters staged a mutiny so I didn’t. Slowly things are beginning to make sense. So will keep on keeping on.
    On my way to pre-order your book. Love the cover! So happy for you, dear friend.

    • Johanna!! Thank you for pre-ordering my book!! I’m extremely humbled, especially by your comments. Thank you!!!

      Now, I know you’re a fantastic writer!!! Never give up!! I promise you your book is awesome!!! I think about it all the time and I’m grateful you gave me the opportunity to read a portion of it. 😉

      Trust your gut. Believe that time is relative and that in time you will succeed. Because that is true. I’m living proof!

  4. Congrats again on your upcoming debut Kathy and thank you for sharing the cover of your book with is-it’s lovely! 🙂

    This was a very inspiring post. It is so true that the dream/goal of getting published can seem daunting and impossible and it is so easy to get discouraged and give up. It also doesn’t help that I tend to be in my own head a lot so those evil self-doubts can be particularly effective at times,lol.

    When I’m down and discouraged, I find nothing helps as much as talking with some good girlfriends. They let me vent, get it off my chest, and they are always there with support and encouragement, which is such a huge blessing to me. I’ve always maintained that a good circle of girlfriends can get you through ANYTHING and I know from first hand experience!

    • Hey Lisa!!! Thanks for posting! 🙂

      Living in your head? That’s my MO. Gets me into trouble a lot. Whether I get whiny or clumsy because of it, sometimes my head isn’t the safest place to be. It’s in those times that I have to employ these principals.

      A. I can and will succeed as long as I don’t quit.

      B. Every book has potential.

      C. Dont be afraid to keep options open.

      D. Embrace that everything changes, including the market, your writing process and style.

      E. Be ready for success when it comes by preparing now via networking, establishing a twitter, an Author Fan page on Facebook, and Goodreads, LinkedIn and blog accounts. Build the foundation of success now while you have the time.

      F. Believe you will succeed!

      Blessings!

  5. Many congrats, my dear! And excellent timing 🙂 I’m having issue trying to write after starting a new day job that’s taking up way more time than I thought it would. It’s tough, but if I don’t keep writing I’ll never finish the book. Wayne Gretzky famously said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” You and he are both right!

  6. Congratulations on achieving your dreams, Katherine! I picked up one of your stress bones this weekend at Moonlight & Magnolias. I read it and immediately started telling people, “Look! It’s a stress bone for Katherine Bone! What a clever idea!” (Mine is going to have a place of honor right next to my computer.) 😉

    Attending conferences like M&M are wonderful motivators for me but, for everyday motivation, I find writing down goals – even if they are simple, must do today goals – helps me keep on track and writing down the achievement of those goals is a reminder of what I’ve accomplished. Being able to see that in black and white helps when thoughts of the as yet to be achieved goals start to drag me down.

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