Alrighty, I have now finished the partial requested by Mills and Boon, and also the full I need to send to to Carina. All I need to do is a final polish on both and then a synopses each. Easy.
Well, okay apart from actually writing the synopses.
And the HUGE subbing fear that is currently lurking around in my brain.
Yep, easy all right.
I think this might be a good time to remind myself of the speech Jane Porter gave at the close of the Romance Writers of Australia conference. She was incredibly inspirational and what she said really struck home to me at the time. She spoke about how long it too her to get published and the ups and downs of the industry. Then she then went on to describe a little incident with her son about how he was learning how to play baseball and how his coach was talking to him as he prepared to hit the ball, how the coach was telling him he owned the ball, this one was his, this one had his name written all over it, he could do it. The kid struck out about three times but the coach was constantly telling him how he could do it. How he could hit this one out of the park. And on the third time he did it.
She mentioned this in the context of how wonderful it is to have support when you’re doing something hard, but I got something out of it that was a little different. Because it gelled with something else that someone had told me earlier on in the conference – that we are the experts in our stories. No one else knows our stories like we do. No one else knows our characters like we do.
And I thought to myself that yep, I’m that kid. I’m standing there with a bat in my hand. And that ball? That ball is my story and I’ve been afraid of it. Afraid I’ll get it wrong somehow, that my characters will be wrong, that my conflict will be wrong, that my plot will be wrong. And for the past year, I’ve been kind of taking punts at the balls that keep being thrown at me, but I’m so afraid of them, I don’t even try swinging. Because deep down, I’m not sure I can hit them.
I am not owning my stories. They are owning me.
Well, at the end of her speech, Jane spoke about not giving in to despair. That your journey is your own, it’s not anyone else’s. That all you’ve got is you – but that’s the biggest strength there is.
And I thought ‘yeah, she’s bloody right’. I need to stop giving in to despair. Stop being afraid of my own stupid stories. Stop letting them own me. Because I am the expert here, not them. I write them, they don’t write me. I own them. They’re mine. And the more I own them, the greater the chance will be that I’ll hit one of them out of the ballpark.
It may not be the ones I’ve just written. But one day, one of those stories will, literally, have my name written all over it.
So there, inspirational speech/pep talk/coach for the week. Just remind me of it when the time comes to hit send! 🙂