Truly Blessed

I have been musing this past week or so about the blessings in my life. The one that came to mind the most often recently is the encouragement and support that I find myself surrounded by on every side. As I took part in the discussion boards for the writing contest I was struck by how many of the authors over there hadn’t told their families and friends that they had written a novel. They were scared of being made fun of, scared that their families and friends would offer harsh criticism, or worried that those closest to them wouldn’t even care or be at all supportive of their endeavor. I was, honestly, shocked and appalled by some of the stories that they shared about how their novels were received by family and friends: the unkind remarks that were made, the discouraging comments, the criticism they were subjected to by those who were supposed to be their biggest fans. One woman talked about how her husband “tolerated” her writing and referred to it to his friends as “her little hobby.”

It made me stop and thank the Lord for the people He has put in my life. I am truly blessed. I started writing because my Dad encouraged me to do so. He gave me the motivation to sit down and write an entire novel in a summer. He has been one of my biggest fans throughout my entire life, no matter what I set out to do. My Mom doesn’t normally read the genre I write (fantasy), but she reads my books, and she cheers me on by leaving me nice reviews on amazon, comments on my blog, facebook, and sending me emails to encourage me. I never feel alone with her on my side.

My brothers and sister constantly begged me to write more of the series. They refer my books to all their friends. They also leave me reviews, encourage me when I hit writer’s block or get cut from the ABNA, and are generally there for me whenever I need them.

My husband absolutely believes that one day I will be the money-maker in our home due to my books. :) He constantly encourages me to write new stories, and helps me when I need technical advice. He draws maps and helps me think through battle strategies when I have battle scenes in my books. He often gives me time in the evenings if I want to write.

My friends think it’s super-cool that I write. They have offered their services as proof-readers, editors, book cover designers, and self-proclaimed publicists. Some have even bought my books, most have recommended them to friends.

I only hope that someday I can encourage each and every one of the people in my life the way that they have encouraged me. I am awed to silence when I consider how incredibly blessed I am. Compared to the people God has placed in my life, and the love that I am surrounded by, a couple of rejection letters don’t even register.

~ jenelle

Tomorrow is a New Day

Or, rather, today is a new day.

Yesterday was kind of a bummer on the writing front. I got cut from the contest at the pitch stage… which means I got cut based on a 300-word synopsis that was supposed to explain what my book is about and make people want to read more. I had gotten a lot of feedback on my pitch, and was told by a few people I don’t even know that if my pitch didn’t make it, they didn’t know what would. Which made me feel a little more on the confident side than I was last year. So getting cut was a little rough.

However, I am an eternal optimist, and staying blue just isn’t in my nature. (the fact that I sold a copy of each of my books last night/this morning doesn’t hurt, either). I didn’t let the day close before I had submitted a query to an agent. I also have found at least a dozen or so other agents that I plan to query in the next few days/weeks.

I do have to get a synopsis written. I had one, but then I re-wrote my entire novel… the synopsis is still mostly accurate, but I should probably write a new/current one.

So for now, it’s onward and upward!

~ jenelle

On Growing Up as a Writer – accepting rejection

This one is harder. Criticism at least means you got some feedback.

The lists of the round 1 winners just came out, and my name isn’t on them. I’m ok. I’m actually a little relieved, because it means I don’t have to worry about the next key date.

Doesn’t mean I don’t want to cry… just a little… though.

~ jenelle