Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, girl gone nova, project enterprise series

I was sure I’d never, ever forget a single moment of my journey to becoming a “real” writer. Oh, there are things I do remember, like the very, very first encouraging letter. It was sent to me by an actual theater creative director and he said that “…one can appreciate the playwright’s word choices…”

He called me a playwright. I still feel the sense of wonder at that moment of “realness.” He also commented on my characterization. It was a confidence boost I needed right then. I pinned it to my bulletin board, where I could look at it when needed that boost again. That letter carried me over a lot of rejections.

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, girl gone nova, project enterprise series
Box of memories

Like the one from Playgirl Magazine. I expected the rejection, but was hoping for a more interesting letter. You can’t imagine my disappointment when it arrived rigorously bland. Okay, I should have expected it, but if I ran an,,,interesting magazine, I’d make sure the rejection letters were more fun. (grin)

I remember the highs and the lows of the last, well, let’s just say its a lot of years, but what actually prompted this blog post wasn’t the things I remember. I pulled out an old box filled with research material for my Lonesome Lawmen books, thinking I’d do a blog post on something from it. Wow. Take a gander at the now useless floppy disk and, yeah, that is a video tape. It’s a tape of the hubby filming the environs of my story for me (and almost getting arrested, which is another blog post).

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, girl gone nova, project enterprise series
It was also my first book nominated
for a reviewer’s choice award!

No, this is a blog post about the things you forget when pushing toward a goal. It’s easy to compare our progress to others and I’m as guilty as this anyone else. When you divide the number of years I’ve been writing by the number of published books, well, it is easy to feel like, not a failure exactly, but like I haven’t reached the goal posts I’d eyed up when I admitted that I wasn’t going to settle for being a writer. I wanted to be an author. And yeah, I wanted to be a famous, best-selling author, because who doesn’t want that? But if you’re in the business, you know there’s a strong line of defense guarding those goal posts, even with all the recent changes in publishing.

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, girl gone nova, project enterprise seriesSo I’m sitting at, say the 50 yard line in publishing, and the seventy-five yard line in my life (not my age, it’s a metaphor, okay?), thinking I could have done more, written more–run through those goal posts while I could still run. (I’m not at the point of tottering, but I have an agreement with gravity. I won’t run and it won’t cause things to jiggle.) So I was feeling a bit…contemplative and then I opened this box to my writing past.

It wasn’t all of my adventures in publishing, but diving into the box reminded me of those early inches and feet and yards I gained during those first years.

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, girl gone nova, project enterprise seriesOut of the box I pulled first reviews for that first release, articles by me and about my work, contest announcements, information shared, networking, early promotion efforts, conferences attended, play scripts, movie scripts, and rough drafts. Well, if my adventures were a football field, that first half of the field showed a lot of movement as I learned the craft of writing, the business of writing, and built my support network.

I met some amazing people during these early days in my adventures in publishing, learned so much from them. It really helps to have a team moving in the same direction you want to go, players willing to share what they are learning with the people behind you. 
As I was rummaging through my boxes of memories, I also happened on this poster, made by son.
Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, girl gone nova, project enterprise seriesI’m not sure how old he was when he made this ad for me, since I neglected to add a date, but he wasn’t very old. What you probably can’t read is the penciled in details on the left. It reads “she is capable of making web pages, flyers, logos and much more.” (The phone number no longer works, btw.) He rather over estimated my skills and I can’t remember if he posted it anywhere. (This same son is now making an app of one of my books. My how times change!) But he was part of my cheering section, which includes my husband and wider family.

The photos in the blog post aren’t pin worthy and they are only of interest to me. Not even sure my kids would be that interested. I try not to make my blog posts all about me, because I know that writing books doesn’t make a person interesting. I do know that this little trip into the past has been good for me. I didn’t find everything that I began to remember from those early years, but I also didn’t find anything I regret. I wasn’t perfect on this journey, but I did my best and that’s all anyone can hope.

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, girl gone nova, project enterprise seriesAnd for you, dear readers, I hope that maybe this blog post will get you thinking, maybe wondering about the events in your life that you were sure you’d never forget. Is there a box of memories somewhere in your house? Or maybe you just need to rummage through your memory. Don’t spend a lot of time at it, but do make sure that you’re heading where you want to be, doing the things you love with the people who matter the most. And be sure to note your progress, because its easy to forget how far we’ve come if we don’t look back every now and again.
And if something bubbles to the surface, I’d love it if you’d share it. And to show my thanks, anyone who comments on one of my blog posts in the month of May will be entered into a drawing for a $10 gift card from AnaBanana’s Bath & Body Treats.
Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, girl gone nova, project enterprise series
Perilously,
Pauline
Pauline Baird Jones found more than memories in that box. Holy cow some of that stuff was a long time ago! She’s been writing longer than she realized! To find out more about her and her adventures in reading and writing, visit www.paulinebjones.com 
Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, girl gone nova, project enterprise series
My first published novel and first finished novel. 🙂

A Box to the Past

4 thoughts on “A Box to the Past

  • May 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm
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    Many thanks, David. You’re right, it totally has to be about the story, the writing. Glad you stopped by!

  • May 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm
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    Hi, Pauline! Fantastic post. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking sales/promote/sales/promote … we have to keep writing. That’s what it’s all about. 🙂

  • May 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm
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    Oh, thank you, Holly! Wasn’t the sign a hoot? It is so true that the writing has to come from the heart, whether its a book, an article or a blog post. Learning that again. 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  • May 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm
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    Pauline, this is such a great post. I think we all need to remember that, if we’re writing, we’re writers. It’s definitely not about publishing or sales, but the desire to reach deep within ourselves to craft sentences–and the fortitude to keep putting those sentences out there on the page and making them better with every rewrite. Loved your son’s sign, by the way!

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