Last summer, my agent and I were discussing final steps before submitting Confections of a Closet Master Baker to publishers. Should we send it in "as is" or was it begging for another polish? What to do, what to do?
It's a lonely vacuum, this writing life. And even with a wonderful agent, sometimes it's tough to look at your work objectively after staring at all those words for months on end. It all melts into a phonetic pile of blah blah blah after a while. I just wanted to be done with it. But I thought of Kathleen. I might have another revision in me and I could wait to send off my first book into the publishing abyss for a few more months if Kathleen Finneran was able to take a look at it and give me her thoughts and notes.
Mind you, I've never met Kathleen. Not physically. But in the cyber world, she has become a writer and teacher I admire and from whom I learned to trust my writer's voice.
I signed up for a nonfiction class with Gotham when I was searching for a way to harness my writing into something coherent and entertaining. As a grown woman with a law degree and a corporate gig, there was only so much time to devote to a pipedream. Because honestly, if I was meant to be a writer of worth I'd have found my way to the pen in college and have my MFA and my first novel behind me, right? But there was something about this place, a learning haven on the Internet, where I could participate on my own time and where I'd essentially be anonymous with no one to judge my sad ambition to better myself in prose.
Gotham and Kathleen gave me a swift kick in the writer's arse. It's never too late to learn, not if you're willing to put the work into your passions. And there are teachers and mentors who will come into your life long after your days of formal schooling are over to guide and inspire you, if you let them.
What Kathleen taught me at the ripe old age of "none of your business" changed my life when I believed there wasn't much left to change. Thank you Kathleen and Gotham for setting me on the path to being a writer.