What a Difference a Year Makes…

A year ago today I sat down to write my very first blog post. Wow that year has gone by fast. This year I celebrated my fifth year as a teacher. My fifth year being out on my own. My fifth year out of college. And I’m inching one year closer to my thirtieth birthday. (Yikes)

As for my family ,this year one of my brothers turned twenty -one, while another is sneaking up on the big one-eight and college is looming in his near future. This year will mark my parents’ thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. The loss of my first childhood pet and arrival of a new puppy to take her place.

And my Scribes family has had a big year too. Katy and Casey have seen their babies published. REAL VIRTUE and MYSTIC INK are out and getting rave reviews from fans.

PJ is selling books all over the place, even appearing on the Amazon Bestseller list.

Susannah is polishing up her books and getting requests from editors and agents at conferences.

J Monkeys is churning out chapter and picture books alike to the delight of children of all ages.

As for me I finally got an agent and the other day my first phone call from an editor. No, I did not get a contract but I got valuable advice of how to make my book shine. Onward!

A year ago none of us were in the same place we were before and that’s a good thing because it means we are growing and hopefully one day we will all be in the place we only thought was possible in our dreams.

So what does this all mean for us? We’ve just got to work harder. Make new goals and do our best to become better writers.

For those of you who are new to us or just a little curious about where my mind was a year ago. This was my very first blog post…

Coming Out of the Writer’s Closet.

Okay, if this was my closet I might never come out of it.

Hello. My name is Jamie Pope and I write… Get ready for it…. Ready? I write romance novels. Phew! There I said. Step one. Check. What a load off my back. Almost no one knows that I write. It is-was- my well kept little secret, the thing I did alone in my room under the cover of night. And the reason that I kept it a secret  for so long was fear of one little question: What do you write? I love romance novels, they are somewhat of an obession for me. I discovered them when I was sixteen and looking for a way to escape my mundane teenage life.  Since then I have read hundreds upon hundreds of them. I can tell a good one from a bad one. I can tell when a writer loves their work or is just phoning it in. I can recite the format blindfolded with my hands tied behind my back and plugs in my ears. So with all of that ,why should I be afraid of a single little question? Here’s the answer: Inside all of us is a self conscious thirteen year old little girl. Remember her? The girl who thinks everybody is looking at her. The one who is having a miserable day because she can’t get her hair right . The one who thinks everybody is judging her. That’s me. I feared that by telling the world I wrote romance novels no one would take me seriously as a writer. I even imagined some jaded people rolling their eyes, immediately dismissing what I do because they think only Harper Lee or John Steinbeck can write a great novel. Taking that into account,I thought I might say that I wrote Women’s fiction. I am a woman.(Hear me roar!) Half the world is made up of women. Besides, women’s fiction sounded so serious and I am serious, very much so, about my writing. But then that label didn’t work for me either. My writing is funny or at least I hope it is, so I thought maybe Chick Lit would fit. But I immediately disregarded that because something about that phrase annoys me. Nobody calls any form of writing Dude Lit. So back to romance it is because I write about strong women, and hot men. Because I write happily ever afters. Because I write steamy love scenes. Because I write about the kind of love lives most women wished they had. Because I belong to the RWA and CTRWA. Because I am in great company with Nora Roberts and Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson and thousands of other unpublished hopefuls. Phew! There I said it. My name is Jamie Pope and I proudly write romance novels.

Your turn to share! How has your life changed in the past year?

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6 thoughts on “What a Difference a Year Makes…”

  1. So great, Jamie. The Scribes definitely have come a long way, It hardly seems possible that it was a year ago we started this blog. It kind of feels like we’ve been doing it forever, LOL. Not sure if that is good or bad, but it feels like home to me. Thanks for the reminder to step back and take in the huge accomplishments we’ve all achieved. The writer’s life is so full of up and down moments, it’s sometimes hard to enjoy that forward momentum and the small (and not so small) successes. It’s good to slow down and take stock.

  2. Wow! What a difference a year makes is right! It amazes me to see how far we have come. And I enjoyed reading your post from last year. :)

    And an editor actually “called” you???? That’s gotta mean something. Something good. :) Just think where you’ll be next year.

    Have a relaxing Memorial Day.

  3. Jamie, as a new author of paranormal romance, I found the timing of your post perfect for me. I’m just starting out and in one of the biggest learning curves I’ve ever experienced (I was a licensed realtor, then mortgage advisor, single mother, step mother…)! I’ve always known I wanted to write, but life just kept getting in the way. When you say you had felt some embarrassment when telling all and sundry just what you wrote, I can absolutely relate. That little thirteen year old girl inside just cringed at the imagined responses. Yep, there were those who asked “what do you write,” then when I told them, responded with a lukewarm “oh, really…interesting”. But there were also others who were very enthusiastic in their support. For those of us getting started in this insane business of writing, it’s nice to hear how others are faring just ahead of us. It gives us hope. It gives us encouragement. It gives us a sisterhood we never expected to find. Thank you.

  4. Congratulations on the first year anniversary of a great bunch of bloggers. I had no idea y’all were that young. You could have fooled me. It is amazing to watch everyone moving forward and gaining momentum in their writing careers. Keep on blogging.

  5. What a difference a year makes in deed! Congratulations on your first anniversary, on coming out of the closet (so to speak) and on getting an agent! It was a wonderful year for you, and I hope this coming year is even better. To answer your question, I write historical romance (with a twist).

  6. Hi Jamie, I too loved your blog and can empathize with you completely. I’ve been writing Historical Romances for years in my spare time, also two Contemporary Romances though they need reworking. While working long hours as a Public Health Nurse for 30+ years, family issues or ten thousand other things would divert me along the way, but just recently I decided to fine tune(adding more humor and tightening up my prose) and submitted my latest Historical Romance Only When the Loon Sings to The Wild Rose Press and BINGO! It released in Jan. For years when friends or acquaintances found out that I wrote Romance they’d either say “Oh that’s nice,” and sort of scrunch their nose, while others would embrace the idea and encourage me to go for it. And now I’m proud I stuck by my guns and did what my heart yearned for. Wishing you and others the best in your writing. My biggest problem now is promo and all this computer stuff–I’m not savvy at all when it comes to blogs, webs, facebook, twitter, but I’m SLOWLY learning the ropes. But I do love to write humorous, sensuous love stories–especially Historicals–that raises awareness of an issue or a lesson learned at the same time. Thanks again for a great Blog.

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