In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Thursday, June 30, 2011

In My Words: Where are You Along the Writing Road?

I often refer to the writing life as a journey along the writing road. I mention the bumps and the roadblocks, the bends and the unexpected detours. I've even asked other writers what road signs would they post along the writing road. (That's another blog post. If you have a suggestion, email me at

When I first set out along the writing road, I knew where  I was headed. My destination? Establishing myself as a nonfiction writer. My market: magazines. And, with the tried and true method of submissions + rejections + acceptances = real writer status, I "arrived."

Then the road took one of those unexpected turns and I wrote a book. Before that, I had no intention of writing a book--ever. But there was a felt-need for a book on late-in-life motherhood. And I knew that topic, up-close and personal, thanks to an unexpected pregnancy at 41. So I wrote Baby Changes Everything.

And then there was another surprise waiting for me around the bend: I landed a two-book contract for my novels. Me, an avowed I-don't-write-fiction writer.The writing road had taken me somewhere I'd never imagined--and I was thrilled. Flabbergasted, but thrilled.

Enough about me. Let's talk about you.

In Your Words: Imagine with me that your writing life is a journey along  a road.  Are you where you want to be? Have you encountered some bumps along the way? Any detours? Discovered something surprising around the bend? If we were looking at a map together and I asked, "So, where are you headed?" what would you tell me? What's your ultimate destination, i.e. dream or goal, as a writer?

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At 9:32 AM, Blogger Jeanne T said...

Loved reading the abridged version of your journey on the writing road, Beth. You ask good questions. You know me, I never, ever thought I'd be attempting fiction. I would have been happy to write articles for magazines. Someday. Like when the kids are grown. Then, God gave me a story to write. And a great friend to help me along the journey!

Is any writer where they want to be? I am working to get back on track with writing regularly. I've encountered the bumps that come with learning craft and coming to terms with how much I have to learn. As far as dreams, I'm afraid to dream too big. I'd love to be published, but most of all I want to be right where God wants me to be.

Thanks for making me look beyond the here and now to the possibilities!

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Stacy S. Jensen said...

My ultimate destination is getting my memoir published (I envision traditional, but when I began this journey a lot of options were not available). My "slow down" sign arrived in the form of an agent rejection and a pregnancy (couldn't focus on memoir about late husband as I was happy to be living a different life). Another agent suggested my life was not a book, but a magazine article. I accepted this advice as a good way to on personal essays to gain some publishing credits. My writing GPS will eventually say, "You have arrived." I'm taking the alternate routes, not the Interstate.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Jeanne and Stacey: You both illustrate how bumps and detours aren't necessarily bad things along the writing road. We may be aiming for one destination and discover the best way is somewhere else--and it's a better place than we imagined!

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Barb V said...

I guess I'm wondering around touring with any real direction. I've done a book but it went nowhere, I've done magazines (and loved it) and now I'm working on web-content (which is a lot of work for little). I guess I could use a map and a plan. I'd like my writing to just pay some bills, touch some hearts and enable me to stay home with my kids for a little bit longer.


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