In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Monday, May 09, 2011

Burnout & Hearing Voices: Why This is a Good Thing

Me and my agent, Rachelle Gardner, savoring the moment.



"A bend in the road is not the end of the road ... unless you fail to make the turn."
~Unknown


Burnout can be a good thing.
Really.
Two days ago I sat with my agent Rachelle Gardner and signed a contract for a two-book deal with Howard Books. And yes, I made sure my husband Rob took pictures to record the moment. My debut novel, a contemporary romance with the working title Wish You Were Here, will be published May 2012.

Yeah, I'm still smiling.
Me--an avowed I'm-not-a-fiction-writer writer--landing a two-book deal?
How did I cross from the black and white world of nonfiction to the "Can you hear the voices?" world of fiction?
Burnout.
Three years ago, I felt as creative as, well, an old, dried up ink pen. I told Rob I would never write another word. Never, ever, ever. He came home several days later and found me typing away.
Rob: "What are you doing?"
Me: "Writing."
Rob: "But you said you were never going to write another word. Never, ever, ever."
Me: "This doesn't count. I'm writing a novel. Just for fun. No one will ever see this."
And for a while, that's all the story was. Fun. No pressure. I ignored all but the most necessary nonfiction deadlines--I do edit a magazine, after all--and created characters. Chose names. Careers. Plotted crises.
One day as I ran errands, my hero and heroine started talking to me at the same time. Instead of driving to the nearest pharmacy and requesting meds, I listened. I also asked Daniel and Allison, my hero and heroine, to take turns talking to me, instead of talking over one another.
You see what happened? I heard Voices. And talked back to them.
Burnout--supposedly a very bad thing--had turned into a bend in the writing road. And around that bend lurked the Dark Side, aka the unexpected opportunity to write fiction.
Over time, my perspective, my passion, my commitment to fiction changed. Other writers helped me get where I was last Saturday--signing on that oh-so-unexpected dotted line. To hear about them, check back Wednesday.
(Ah, a cliffhanger blog post. See, I've learned a few things these past three years!)


Yep, that's me. Signing on the oh-so-unexpected dotted line.

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44 Comments:

At 8:08 AM, Blogger Lisa Jordan said...

So very excited for you, Beth!! You have a terrific voice. I'm so excited to hold your book in my hands. Hold on, friend, because this is just the beginning of an exciting new journey!

 
At 8:20 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Thanks, LJ! It's fun to be following you on this journey!

 
At 8:25 AM, Blogger Michael Ehret said...

Beth,

Congrats! What exciting news. And a great blog to boot.

 
At 8:27 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Thanks! It's fun to finally celebrate with everyone!

 
At 8:28 AM, Blogger Mike Duran said...

Congratulations, Beth! Godspeed to you and your writing career.

 
At 8:31 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Thank you, Mike, for the congrats. I enjoy reading your blog, so I'm delighted you've dropped by In Others' Words!

 
At 8:37 AM, Blogger Pat said...

Yay!! This is so exciting and couldn't happen to a more special person!

 
At 8:44 AM, Blogger Christine said...

Wow! A 2-book deal! I am so very excited for you!! Congratulations!

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Thank you, Pat, for such kinds words!
And thanks for sharing my excitement, Christine!

 
At 9:05 AM, Blogger Wendy Paine Miller said...

That has to feel sooooo good! Such cute pics too. Fun to see!

Way to go!
~ Wendy

 
At 9:32 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Wendy,
It was--and is--a beyond flabbergasted feeling. :O)

 
At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Lora Beth said...

Wow! So excited for you and new horizons! Love Ya! Lora Beth

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Thanks for dropping by, Lora Beth! Yep, it's has been--and it's going to be fun!

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger Erica Vetsch said...

Congratulations!!!! Wonderful news! Enjoy the journey, it's a wonderful ride.

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Reba J. Hoffman said...

Woooooo Hooooooo!!!! I'm HaPpY DaNgInG!!!! Welcome to the dark side TEE!!!!

So proud of you!! And to think, we knew you with you were just an Evil Editor. Hey, I noticed you signed your contract with a blue pen. Give up your red one did you?!

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger Jennie Atkins said...

Congratulations Beth! I'm happy danging right along with you!!!

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Keli Gwyn said...

Mega congratulations, Beth, on your two-book deal! I'm sooo happy for you. What fun it must have been to share the joy of the signing with Rachelle.

How did you celebrate this milestone event?

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger Evangeline Denmark said...

WAHOOOOO!!!! I'm so excited for you.

 
At 11:37 AM, Anonymous tracey Solomon said...

crying happy tears for you. So glad you posted pics.... can't wait to hug you in person:) YAY! Go Beth!

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Ava Pennington said...

Woo-hoo! So happy for you, Beth!
May this "bend in the road" take you on a fabulous - and lengthy - journey!

 
At 12:11 PM, Blogger Rachel Pudelek said...

Many congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you! I love seeing debut fiction writers break through!

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger Jeanne T said...

Beth, I couldn't be happier for you! My eyes are overflowing, and my nose is sniffling, all because of your wonderful news! You are an inspiration to many my friend!

 
At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Pamela Dowd said...

I'm beyond thrilled for you, Beth. I can't wait to hear your voice as I read your beautiful, polished words. 2 books! Way to go. Congrats to Rachelle, too. Great agents know a sale is nearby when they sign great writers like you.

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

I've been holding this news in for about six weeks as we walked the "almost there, not quite" road to signing the contract. It's so fun to share with all of you!!
Keli-- my husband took me out to dinner at our favorite restaurant when I got "The Call" from Rachelle. And then we had a family dinner at Rodizio's, a Brazilian grill restaurant in Denver later that week. Funny thing is, it actually shows up in my book!

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger Teri Dawn Smith said...

Woohoo!!! So happy for you, Beth!! I can't wait to hold your book in my hand!!

 
At 1:23 PM, Blogger Michelle DeRusha@Graceful said...

Oh wow, what a great story. Congratulations, both on the book deal and on stepping out of the box and taking a risk -- you inspire!

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Paulette Harris said...

Oh Beth, I just knew you could do it! I'm so happy and proud for you. Enjoy the moment and if there is anything you need besides prayer, which I do anyway, let me know!

Congrats dear sister in Christ.

Paulette L. Harris. :)

 
At 2:02 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Rachel--as the blog post says--breaking through to fiction was an unexpected surprise for me. I'm still flabbergasted!
Evangeline--you're part of the reason I'm where I am!
Teri--one of the Ps! Hugs!
And Michelle--thanks for your kinds words.

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger Katie Ganshert said...

Woohoo! That's AWESOME news Beth!! And we're going to be publishing buddies! May 2012 is my release date too! We'll have to learn together!

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Katie,
That would be so much fun! Tag-team blog posts? Talk through revisions?

 
At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Sue Harrison said...

I'm so very happy for you, Beth, and excited to read your book!!

 
At 7:00 PM, Blogger Sarah Forgrave said...

Wow, Beth, what AWESOME news!!! I love your story. I have the same talking-with-characters problem. As long as we don't do it while we drive, I think we're okay. :)

 
At 7:02 PM, Blogger Anonymous said...

Beth: Excellent! Just got your message and wanted to finish reading your excellent blog post - lots of fun to read (and see the pics) - and looking forward to the published bookS!

And soon, you'll have another book published when I have your childhood journal published - I still have it from when I stole it from your room when we were kids...that cheap little lock and key thing on the diary didn't hold up all that well!!!!

:)

love,
your brother
Bobby

 
At 8:58 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Thanks, Sue.
And, Sarah, I've learned, characters will still talking to you anytime, anyplace. I just have to have more control than my imaginary characters.

 
At 8:59 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Anon (aka, my brother):
What goes around, comes around.
And I do write books, ya know.
Enough said.

 
At 10:33 PM, Blogger Susan said...

Congratulations, Beth! So happy for you and can't wait to read your books!

 
At 11:14 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Thank you, Susan!!

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger Casey said...

Wow, Beth! I am SO thrilled for you, I know (just from watching around the forums :) how HARD you work. SO deserved! Now we just need to get you on the Alley. ;-)

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Thank you, Casey!
And I'd love to visit the Alley sometime! What an honor! Y'all are great!

 
At 6:58 PM, Blogger Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

That's the best news I've heard all week. So excited for you! I can't wait to see your book on the shelves!

~Debbie

 
At 7:08 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Thanks, Debbie! I know you'll be sharing your own fun story one day soon!!

 
At 9:50 PM, Blogger Patricia said...

THRILLED for you, Beth. Love how your writing "burnout" actually ignited a new "fire". Very cool story. XOX

 
At 11:06 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

That's a great way to put it, Patricia!! Thanks for dropping by the blog!

 
At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Amy Sorrells said...

I could not be more thrilled for you and I dare say I'm following in your footsteps (hopefully)! I swore I'd never write fiction either, mostly because I thought I couldn't, but after suffering from platform-exhaustion, I just started writing a story. And writing. And writing. And now I'm a Genesis semi-finalist (and a fellow client of Rachelle's!). And I can't wait to finish this novel. And I have at least 3 other ones brewing in my head and in loose outlines. You. Give. Me. Hope. And I'm thankful (for my sake) and thrilled (for your sake)!!!! YAY and backwards YAY!!!

 

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