Frequently, on one or another of the on-line groups of writers and readers I take part in, someone will announce good news — a review full of praise,  good publicity, or, perhaps most important of all, the acceptance of a book manuscript by a publisher.  And other authors in the group cheer, sometimes publicly, sometimes only in our own thoughts, but we are happy for the happy author.

Because we know what it’s like.  I do.  I remember very well the phone call from New York that came to our home on a Sunday evening in 1993.  The voice said:  “Radine, I want to talk to you about your lovely book.”

Exhultation!  The long wait, the letters of rejection were done with.  My words were going to become a REAL BOOK.

Around sixteen years ago, just after that first published book of mine had come out, the chamber of commerce in our small town asked me to teach a writing class.  In fear and trembling I accepted, and, a month or so later, faced a class of beginning writers. One member of the class was a woman named Lou, and, like the others, she had come to find out what possibilities there might be for her in the world of writing.

The class went well, thank goodness, and after it was over, my students wanted to stay together, so we formed a writing critique group and began meeting regularly.

Over the years, members came and went.  A couple of sincere ones achieved publication, others moved away, some decided the writing world wasn’t for them.  But in the group, a constant, were my husband and myself.  And Lou.

At some time during this period, Lou found out she would soon be deaf.  She learned sign language and began helping deaf children in school and elsewhere. She decided to write a book featuring a deaf child.  She wanted hearing children to know what being deaf was like, and also to learn that, except in just one way, deaf children were just like children everywhere.

Over the years, her book about Ricki moved from a simple sharing of mild events in a young girls’ life to a story about challenges and victories, about sharing and caring.  She was finally ready to  send queries to agents and publishers. She began accumulating rejections. Eventually she became discouraged, wanted to give up. I told her that the Ricki  book was too important to give up on!

And, in the meantime, the writing group continued, a constant in her life and mine.  (During those years I wrote and sold seven additional books to publishers.)

Others in the group wrote books, completed them, began sending submissions to publishers.

And then . . . then . . .  last night, Lou, and one other member of our group, announced, in surprisingly quiet and shy tones, that they had received contract offers from publishers.

I already knew.  Both told me days before. I had already done my grinning and cheering and happy dancing.

So we can believe in ourselves, in writing, and in miracles, can’t we?   After hard work, of course.  After, perhaps, dozens of rejections, after discouragement and doubt, and, well, after sixteen long years, the miracle happens.

What about you?  Could you stick to a dream for sixteen years?  Or longer?


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6 Responses to “CHEERING FOR OTHERS”

  1. Terry Palardy (@thoughtsthreads) Says:

    What a great blog entry for me to read today… I’ve finally begun writing the story that has been rattling around in my head for the past year or so. I pray that I have the diligence to get the story right and written. Will I be brave enough to send it out to publishers, or will I do as I’ve done so far: self-publish it. Aren’t I silly, thinking of how to publish it before I’ve finished writing it?

  2. Brenda Says:

    Great and inspiring post!!! Thanks for it!!! And congrats to the soon to be newly published ones.

  3. radine Says:

    Thank you for sharing and understanding, Brenda. (NOW I, too, have to wait impatiently to see their books in print! Fortunately, these days, acceptance to actual book doesn’t take as long as it once did. It took almost two years for my first book (DEAR EARTH) to make it from acceptance to print. Now, it’s a matter of months.)
    Cheers, Radine

  4. Joanne Guidoccio Says:

    Radine, thanks for this inspirational post. My writing dream has been percolating since high school and now in retirement, I’m hoping to finally realize it. It’s never too late and I am determined not to give up before the miracle happens. Lou’s story proves that.

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