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Triumph Story: Dreams Can Come True, They Can Happen to You

February 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 135

Writing for publication was something that I had wanted to do since winning a national student writing contest when I was in high school, but after leaving school, writing sat on the back burner while life took center stage. I married my high school sweetheart and together we raised two children while my husband's career took us to live throughout the United States and foreign countries, but there was always that voice within wanting to write.

• You the creator are the one making it happen

I have always liked creating things. It gives me a feeling of being in control. With crafts or writing, there is a beginning, middle and an end. Like most writers, my life experience has always made its way into my writing. From writing about one's life a person cannot help but learn that we are the creators of our own lives through the small choices we made along the way and continue to make. Reading our words makes it so.

• I was silenced by not knowing where to begin

While living abroad, I tried to immerse myself in the diverse culture around me. At the same time, I would think about writing of living and raising children while residing overseas. I thought my experiences might have made for interesting articles. Family and friends would tell me that I wrote interesting letters about our experiences and travels, in letter writing I suppose my need to write and my interest in my surroundings was not entirely wasted.

Without connections in the publishing world, I wondered how could I get a publication to consider my writing, who would I submit to and how would I go about formatting a manuscript for submission? I was allowing the fact that I was not a journalism grad to checkmate my desire to write for publication.

• Defining moment

During a trip to Hawaii I experienced a defining moment. My children were grown. Suddenly as I stood in a park over-looking the ocean it hit me, if I was ever going to write more than interesting letters to friends and family, I was going to have to stop making excuses and do something about it.

If I continued as I had been, I would inevitably live out my life nurturing the habit of being defeated in what I really wanted to do - be a writer. My self-imposed obstacles kept writing for publication nothing more than a dream.

When I returned home from Hawaii, I enrolled in writing classes. Classes designed to give students what they you needed to know to get published. My classes covered the basics of formatting a manuscript and manuscript preparation, writers' guidelines and self-editing. Can writing classes turn the student from an amateur to a professional writer? Only if the student wants it enough!

• Writing is a study in determination and persistence.

As I learned the basics of formatting and submitting, I gained confidence and set submission goals for myself. When I made my first travel article sale, I was so excited that I preserved the telephone answering message tape that told me of the good news, for several years.

Writing is the way I endeavor to make sense of my life, try to find meaning in events and find reason in what happens. Writing is what I do on a daily basis, but it took realizing that time was running out and I had to get started or lose out. Writing has become something I can continue indefinitely at my own design.

It isn't for everyone; writing is not a good occupation for the person who needs to have people around them. Because their work is solitary, writers usually don't want to deal with other people too often, because they can't succeed with multiple interruptions.

• I had the same talent when I was younger, but I didn't trust it

The little girl who was full of a sense of order and self-discipline, we are all the young person we once were, but often we grow up not trusting ourselves to follow our dreams. Out of fear, I placed myself in self-imposed shackles. My triumph came when I decided to go after my dream.

In every way commercial publishing is a game of chance, but today I am a free-lance writer and enjoy doing it because it fulfills me. I write a monthly travel column syndicated in two regional newspapers. I have also had essays and articles published in a variety of nationally read magazines and newspapers.

• Parting words of advice

Remember, anyone who wants to write, but doesn't love to read is like someone who talks and never listens. Writing is a form of communication and to be successful it should be a form of expression as important as breathing. And most importantly, the best reason to write for publication and the one thing not to lose sight of is to serve your readers.

Get ready. Get writing. Get published. With determination and persistence, dreams can come true. They can happen to you.


Kathy Manney is an award winning writer whose monthly syndicated travel column appears in several newspapers. She lives with her family in the Southwest, where she is at work on her next travel article which will be published next month. Much of Kathy's writing comes from life experience. She has been interviewed on radio and been guest speaker for several groups.

Source: EzineArticles
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Triumph Story


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