January 22, 2013

On Launches & Legacies

Filed under: Backstory,The Writing Life — jenny @ 8:36 am

It’s been four years since I started blogging, and this site has been quieter over the past week than I think it was since the day I launched it.

Launch. There’s that word.

I began blogging at my husband’s behest in 2009. I was far from the first, but blogs weren’t quite as ubiquitous then as they are now, and my husband, a tech guy, wanted me to jump into the pool while there was still water left in it.

I was wary, though. After all, who was I to write a blog? After a whole decade of writing novels and querying agents and trying to get published, I still hadn’t broken in. I wasn’t a writer…I was a failed writer.

I solved my problem in two ways. If I invited other authors to contribute posts, then I wouldn’t have to put myself out there. And if I sought in those posts some source of wisdom, perhaps I could glean nuggets that would help me along my own journey.

Mysterious BookshopThus was born the Made It Moments forum. Over 275 authors have to date answered the question, “How did I know I’d made it?”

The funny thing is that every single one of these posts is utterly unique, and every single one says the exact same thing.

“I haven’t.”

Over the past week, a lot of wonderful friends and writers and readers I’ve come to know–in no small part due to blogging; thanks, husband, you were right–have written to say things like, “Congrats on your Made It Moment!”

You see, after that decade-long struggle, and then another four years thrown in, my debut novel was published just last Tuesday. After fifteen almost-offers, and more no’s than I can bear to count, my eighth novel finally found its way to the brilliant editor who could help me become the writer I always wanted to be.

But like all the authors who have been kind enough to appear on my blog, I don’t feel I’ve made it. I haven’t even gotten close enough to write a post about how I haven’t really made it.

The Bookstore PlusWhat have I done? I’ve launched. Like birds leaving the nest and six year olds starting school and marathoners getting to the starting line, I now have something that I can bring to you, that I can try to do myself.

What about you? Have you launched anything lately, or do you hope to? Please tell me about it. Please join me in my hopeful march to the Made It Moment.


  1. Jenny, thanks for doing this blog. I’ve found a lot of books for my tbr list that I would have never known about if it wasn’t for you. In my eyes you’ve made it just by sticking it out.

    Comment by Kellie — January 22, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

  2. Jenny, even if you’d never written a word or published so much as a letter to the editor, you would have made it in my book by being one of the all-time most supportive, author-friendly people in the world, by cheering others’ successes and lamenting things that didn’t go as hoped. That you have a book on the shelves is icing for the seven-layer cake of your generous soul.

    Comment by Carolyn J. Rose — January 23, 2013 @ 3:43 pm

  3. Jenny, I seem to be following in the wake of your bookstore visits. I was just in Lake Placid (visiting) and a bookseller at Bookstore Plus told me in glowing terms that you had just been there. And then I return home to where I work at R.J. Julia’s in Madison CT to hear about your event there from normally not fawning booksellers who could not say enough good things about you. Sorry to miss you in both places. But I did thoroughly enjoyed your book.
    Thank you for all your support.

    Comment by Pat Becker — January 24, 2013 @ 9:27 am

  4. Hey Jenny,

    You were one of the first writers I met when I started on my own journey. It was, in part, your support that really got me going. And it was your persistence and determination that keeps me going today.

    I published my first book over a year ago, and you’ve probably sold more books in one week than I have in a year. Still, I feel like I’m on the right track, and I know that I must keep forging forward.

    You asked about any of us who are launching anything soon, and I am. March 1, 2013 my second book will be released to the public. I can only hope that it will receive half the attention that my first book has received.

    Good luck with Cover of Snow. As soon as I have the money, I’ll be picking up my own copy, and as soon as you can, you need to come up here and sign it for me. :)


    Comment by Thomas A. Knight — January 28, 2013 @ 12:29 am

  5. I’ve independently published my own book, Judas the Apostle, and I’ve just finished the manuscript on the sequel to it. I’ve had some great reactions to the book so far, but so much more can still be achieved.

    Comment by Van Mayhall Jr — January 28, 2013 @ 11:25 am

  6. Thank you for your great comments! So many friends I’ve met along the way…one of the very best parts of launching. And congrats to books just out, Van Mayhall, and books soon to come, Thomas, and to everyone for being here during this journey! If I get to be supportive, or introduced you to a new author (warms my heart, yay), it’s because you’ve all so often supported me.

    Comment by jenny — January 28, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

  7. I just finished your novel, “Cover of Snow” and had to let you know, it is sooo good. I couldn’t put it down. Thank you.

    I hope you will write another one.

    Comment by Sue Smitha — February 1, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

  8. Congratulations, Jenny! It sounds like a wonderful launch. One justly deserved.I am new to this highly praised blog. Your story about writing for years and receiving countless rejection letters is one I can relate to. My novel, Murder at the P&Z will be published this April1 by Mainly Murder Press. My first novel that took six and have years to write and six and a half to live, was self-published by iUniverse.
    So I get it. I know what this fees like.

    So my very best wishes to you,Dot Hayes

    Comment by Dorothy Hayes — February 1, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

  9. Seeing these new comments from the road is a special treat. Thank you, Sue and Dorothy, for discovering the blog–and the book. New post to come about that thing I mentioned…the road :)

    In the meantime, thanks so much for being here.

    Comment by jenny — February 3, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

  10. Enjoying your journey so much Jenny and all the places you have been to and will be visiting. The reception you are given has been wonderful, and just goes to re-enforce what I mentioned a while back about the Mom and Pop stores, the little nooks and crannies where these places are to be found, they are so special….the people running them are so special too. But, without the writers and authors and their books, you’d have empty stores and shelves and no aspirations, dreams and fantasies. Magical places, books stores. Anything is possible there. Keep safe and good luck.

    Comment by Jane Risdon — March 6, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress