Working for an evil corporation that rapes our planet with its gremlin-like construction of coal-fueled power plants was not a place I thought I’d end up and the last place I wanted to be, but there I was hired and there I stayed for nearly eight years.
Weird thing was, until the last year when I said, “See ya” to the most unethical human being let alone boss I’d ever known, I’d had some fantastic bosses. While I worked in the Training department, one such boss, initials K.L., encouraged me to write articles for the company’s monthly newsletter. (When I say “encouraged” I mean assigned the task, no talk-back!) And while the professional writers, the people who had gone to college to earn their journalism or technical writing degrees, sneered at my offerings, my boss backed me and my articles were published.
Holy carpal tunnel syndrome, batman! Someone I respected and admired believed in my writing. It was so on!
I began sharing my fiction and poetry again—to trusted friends only, but just admitting that I loved to write put me in a rocket ship to the moon. And I started to believe, little-by-little, that maybe just maybe I could support myself through my writing.
I pulled on my big girl panties and began to submit some of my work. A poem here. A short story there. My words were out in the big wide world for strangers to read and judge…and reject.
Oh, yes, there were dark times. Rejections upon rejections. The realization that I knew absolutely nothing about writing when I went to my first local critique group where I met two much more worldly, well-written authors. I had been writing on instinct and passion and love, but without any craft or literary tools.
I struggled. Combining left and right brain thinking while writing was to me like learning a foreign language. But my writing group was there to give me pointers and I started reading book after book about fiction writing.
My favorite writing book to this day is Techniques of a Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain, which offers none of that touchy feely crap, instead giving easy to implement tricks and techniques on writing fiction that people will want to read.
The most useful book I’ve read on the creative process of writing is a classic (or maybe just really really old): The Courage to Create by Rollo May. This may sound like it would be a touchy feely book, but it’s written by a therapist who understands what it means to be creative and has analyzed the blocks that often prevent creative people from reaching their full potential. I learned that many of the frustrations I experienced while creating where not only normal but helpful if I knew how to use them to my advantage.
And so with these two books and my two writing buddies, I took the next step on my path to becoming a published author.
Jocelyn Modo may be crazy but writing keeps her from going insane. She grew up reading science fiction and fantasy and fell in love with romance when her girlie hormones kicked in. Nothing makes her day like working on her current manuscript…and nothing makes her crazy like working on her current manuscript. But all’s fair in love and war, and Jocelyn likes to put a whole lot of both in everything she writes.