Author Jo Huddleston

Sweet Southern Romance

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Writing Journey, Part 1

Remember the scene in the movie The Princess Diaries where Mia (Anne Hathaway) sits on the low stone wall outside of her high school before classes began? A boy came along looking for room to sit there also; he sat on her lap before realizing she was there. Mia told her best friend about the incident and wailed “I’m invisible, nobody sees me,” or something like that. She didn’t fit in and felt like nobody even saw her much less paid any attention to her.

When I decided I wanted to write for publication all I had was aspiration and hope. I had not studied the craft of writing but I had loved books and reading all my life. So I sent my first stories to Good Housekeeping and Ladies Home Journal. Those form rejection letters got back to me post haste. It didn’t take me long to learn that I needed help.

I scoured the magazine racks in the mall bookstore and found some about writing. I bought Writer’s Digest and The Writer and devoured their contents. I discovered names of books about all aspects of writing and lists of writing conferences. Who knew there were writing conferences to attend and gain knowledge?

I decided my first conference would be the Professionalism in Writing School conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a long trek from Alabama. I’d read in my new magazines that I should take samples of my writing and business cards to identify myself when I made an appointment with an editor or agent. I didn’t have business cards and was relieved when I read that I could put my information on a 3x5 card and share that with people.

My husband let me out at the front of the large hotel where the conference was held while he parked the car. The wind blew horizontally all the time we were there so while waiting for him I stepped into the area between the outer entrance doors and the doors into the lobby. A young lady came inside pulling a carrier stacked with books and paper materials. At the threshold of the first doors when she pulled her carrier into the space where I stood, everything tilted and scattered around us. I timidly helped her stack things back as best as I could. Didn’t introduce myself, didn’t recognize her.

My Writing Journey, Part 2 continues next time. While you wait breathlessly, please enjoy this beautiful rendition of the hymn,  How Great Thou Art, by clicking here.

Till next time ... keep on smiling.

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