I realized after rearranging my site and looking back on past blogs that I never finished my submission story. How could I? I left all two or three of you hanging selfishly So, let me catch you up. In March I did complete my first full-length novel, huzzah! 334 pages of…well I’m not really sure, but I finished it. I sent it to the editor who had requested it and 3 very long weeks later I received my first rejection. I’ll admit, I was disappointed but not surprised. I knew it didn’t fit in with their line, but, you never know…

So, what do yah do after a rejection? Well, you eat some ice-cream, drink some wine, whine and lament. Then you pick yourself up and dust yourself off and try again. Such is the life of a writer seeking publication. Then you polish a little, seek some advice, tighten a little, and query. But as with anything there are eventual pitfalls. Energy draining, blood sucking, self-doubt pitfalls. Some days you find yourself sitting there wondering, why? Why am I doing this to myself? Why am I working so hard? Then you realize as other artists do. You have no choice. You are compelled by some unseen force inside of you that says you must go on. You are battered in the morning, noon, night, while showering and trying to sleep by other characters in your head that must have their story told. You press on to tell your “heart story” there’s no reason, no rhyme, you’re not getting paid nor getting glory. You sit there in your chair typing away, pouring your soul out on paper because you simply, must. That is why. No one but another artist can understand this lunacy. But it is a common thread we all share.

I have blogged about what a joy it is to have writing in my life. To be a writer. Yes, I said it. I’m a writer. I’m good enough, smart enough and creative enough. I will believe I am a writer. I will believe in myself, my stories, my compulsion. And for the most part it is a joy, except when you have to draw your sword and battle your demons that hover, lurk, stalk you from the inside and wait for just the right moment to attack and drain you of your drive. I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Recently, I have read posts by other writers who have had similar experiences and their words are bright shining beacons to cling to. Thanks to one of my friends Isis for her inspiring post.

For the most part I’ve kept a good outlook on my journey, this beautiful, dreadful journey. I want to remind myself, my critique partners, my friends and cohorts, and everyone, that it shouldn’t be so much about the end result, and in the particular case of the writer’s journey, publication. I advise you to love, savor, immerse yourself in the journey, sink into each moment of it. And in thinking about this reminds me of a song some of you may know. I am well aware that some of you will think it’s cheesy and juvenile, and so be it, but it speaks of the journey.

The Climb – Written by: Jessi Alexander and Jon Mabe, Performed by: Miley Cyrus

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there’s a voice inside my head saying
“You’ll never reach it”

Every step I’m taking
Every move I make, feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I’m not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It’s all about, it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith

So, savor your climb, live in the present of your journey whatever it may be. Because when you finally reach the top, it is the journey that you will reflect upon, the journey that will have made you what you are, the journey that will have taught you the lessons and fed your soul.

Feel, experience, be, the journey.