Girls Write Out
Friday, December 09, 2011
Once upon a time there was a young woman named Leah who wanted to be a novelist. From her earliest memories she made up stories--some of which were to the dismay of parents and teachers, and sometimes her classmates. She even wrote true stories in such a way as to make them sound fictionalized and grab the attention of her reader.

When Leah was 29, she got serious and sat down with notepad and pen and began her first real novel. To her surprise, the words fell into place. Even when she was seated in the living room with family all around, she found she was able to concentrate on her inner thoughts. In three months, the story was finished and she purchased a word processor to type it into a readable novel. In one year she completed four novel-length manuscripts and purchased a copy of Sally Stuart's Christian Writer's Market Guide to find out where to send her stories.

While Leah continued to write, she marketed what she'd already had written, attended writing courses, began meeting with other writers and discovered she could also make a decent income writing magazine articles. Life continued for her. She had some rough patches when she wasn't sure how she could go on but she did. She had some good times when her articles sold and she was able to hold those published articles in her hand, with her byline beneath the titles. Life was good, and life was bad, and years rolled on and Leah continued to write her novels, market them, learn her craft and make friends in the writing world.

Fourteen years later, after more experiences of ups and downs in her life than Leah had ever dreamed anyone could endure, she sold a novel. She had written thirteen novels, was working on the fourteenth, when someone took a second look at her work and saw quality there. They saw depth of experience and a wisdom that came through years of living life. One publisher after another began to pick up Leah's work and consider it for publication. One reader after another learned about Leah, and word spread.

Leah wasn't an overnight success. She continued to write and sell and see her share of contest awards and ugly reviews. She saw some good sales and some disappointing ones, and she kept on writing through it all.

And the moral of that story, my friends, is that if you want to become a successful novelist, you sit down and start writing and you don't stop. You live life and keep writing. You study the craft and study other crafters, and you keep pushing forward.

Now that I think about it, isn't that the way you do anything you really dream of doing? If you want to be a movie producer, you don't just walk into a movie studio one day and sit down at a producer's desk, you do the work, learn the skills, study other masters of the trade. If you have a dream, you follow that dream and live it for the rest of your life. And that is success.

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Hannah Alexander  
posted at 8:55 PM  
  Comments (12)
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At 10:25 PM, Blogger Tracy Ruckman said...

I love this. Excellent.

My husband was forced into retirement a couple of years ago, and although I could occasionally use a rest (like right this moment!) I just can't imagine "retiring" from writing.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

I needed that today, my friend. Thank you!

At 11:30 AM, Blogger jel said...

I 4 one, am glad ya took up writing


At 1:43 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thank you, Tracy! I can't imagine retiring. It would be like cutting off a part of my body.

So glad I could help, Ane. We often need to be reminded to keep going.

jel, I'm glad I did, too. ;-)

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Jackie S. said...

I agree with jel.......glad you are a writer!! Just finished The Wedding Kiss.....loved it! It will be enjoyed by many in church library. Blessings~~

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Jackie, thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the read. More to come, if I can get it in gear and get back to the writing.

At 12:22 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

Your story, Cheryl, really explained why I didn't become a writer. Though I can write well, I don't have the passion to push through in the tough times. In fact, I get rather tired just thinking about all the work involved in writing a book. Obviously, my calling is elsewhere. :-)

P.S. Finally moved and getting settled. I'm too old for this!

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Yay, Ruthie, you're moved! Whew. Now to see to the unpacking. I hope you find the church you need.

As for becoming a writer, that obviously wasn't what you're called to be at THIS time, but the call comes at all times of life. The older, in my opinion, the better. Your job is to find your true passion and follow it. I never followed through on anything before i followed through on writing...except perhaps for this cold that's following me through. UGH,

At 3:17 PM, Blogger jel said...

ya havn't been taking your
Emergen-C have ya ?

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

jel, would you believe this? I took my EmergenC yesterday and found I was allergic. UGH! Time to treat.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Katers said...

I saw the blog title and got all excited thinking you were blogging about the new show Once Upon a Time! :)

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oops. Sorry, Katers. I need to get out more.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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