I don’t know about other writers but when I was a novice, I sometimes fantasized about becoming an editor. To have the power to let a manuscript live or die.
That was a long time and several identities ago. I started writing in my early twenties and I was so far from being an adult. So not only was I immature I also stunk at putting pen to paper because back when I was in my twenties what is how many of us would write. Put it on paper then start typing on the old trusty typewriter. Make a major error on page three and on page 23 and the entire piece needed to be retyped. Needless to say, I only submitted about five manuscripts during my first fifteen years as a writer because I was simply one of the world’s worst typists. The five I submitted I had other people type for me and then I had to listen to how bad my stuff was. I didn’t want to hear how bad I was, I I just wanted to be worshipped for my stories.
Ooopps, that was a bad thing. By the time I hit my thirties, I started taking classes and workshops. I joined writer’s critique groups, I was forced to grow up because I was somehow inexplicably a wife and a mother. Then like a miracle, I sold my first story and then another story. Of course that was it as far as sales went for another two years of rejections, but I was published twice which meant to me I had potential.
Organization was never my strong point, but procrastination was. To fight my time management shortcomings I became a stringer for a daily newspaper. I had to have my stories completed by 2:30 am and back then email wasn’t available so I’d sit in the newsroom and type. Than stint changed my life, I was getting published in the paper three to five times a week and I was selling short stories as well. PC’s were in the homes and I learned to type.
That phase of my life rolled to a halt with the pregnancy for my second child. I had to leave the paper but I discovered freelance and I found myself writing for multiple papers and magazines. Email came into existence and deadlines became much easier to meet. By the time I was in my mid forties I not only had met my dream of getting published but I had a regular column, which was something I’d always wanted to have every since reading Erma. Here I was, sharing my life with the world, something my kids eventually got used too, but people were reading my thoughts and opinions and enjoying them. As many mothers know, our opinions are pretty much stupid once the children reach middle school.
So how did this lead to being a publisher. I guess it was just a natural progression. I was on the board of a writer’s organization that put out a major writers’ conference and met with editors and publishers. Up to then, I was in awe of the faceless persons who would accept or reject my writing. I found that what they did was fascinating. With a good friend who is the other publisher/editor of Jersey Pines Ink I began to organize writer workshops for townships and the county. Of course we named our enterprises Jersey Pines Ink.
Now I’ve retired and the time seems right to pursue my next step in writing: co-publisher and editor of Jersey Pines Ink, a company I’ve been heading toward my entire adult life. I have longed passed being that young girl wishing for fame and glory. The me today just wants to publish good books and continue writing my short stories.