After I had my first puzzle book published, I wanted to receive another book cover in the mail (for me, that is the most exciting part of publishing). I went to the library and picked up three Harlequin Blaze books; Brazen by Carly Phillips, Out Of Control by Candace Schuler and I can't remember the last one. After reading those, I was hooked. I found Vicki Lewis Thompson, and so many others.
I came up with a plot idea. Wrote the entire story in 50 single spaced pages and I was hooked. I went into chat rooms online and that's when I learned I had NO IDEA what it took to be a writer. I read books, took a writing course at Brown University, met people online, joined RWA and local chapters.
I started submitting to contests, editors, agents. The more rejection letters I received the more determined I became to do this. After five years, the tears on a rejection letter had stopped, the week of depression and not believing in myself had stopped, and the emotional roller coaster ride a writer goes through came to screeching halt. The skin had thickened and I wrote because I couldn't give up.
Finally, after seven years, the tears became happy ones when I got the ecall. I'm an example (as many other writers are) that persistence and believing you can do anything really is what it takes to get what you want.
When the journey has been this long, and when you actually reach out and touch the light at the end of the tunnel, it makes all the tears worth it! Of course, it could be years before I make another sale, but for me and those who know me, selling just one novel was confirmation that the impossible can be possible!
Visit my website at http://www.tonilynn.net/