March 22, 2009

The Learning Curve

I’ve been a new wife, a new mom and now a new writer. Each time, I had the bone-headed idea learning curves didn‘t apply to me.

Although my days as a “new” wife are long gone, my husband won’t let me forget the horrid Three Mustard Chicken I cooked our dog even refused to eat. Lucky for me, he didn’t channel the male species’ innate sense of self-preservation. Had he declared me the next Paula Deen, I wouldn’t have forced myself to open Betty Crocker’s Bridal Edition Cookbook. Obviously, Betty knew husbands were out there starving to death.

Now, I can cook most anything. I’ve yet to see him take a bite and go running for the sink with his hand over his mouth!

When I had kids … well, let’s just say I’m flabbergasted the nurse let me leave the hospital, much less, waved as I drove off with a defenseless baby. I’m sure every time I called the pediatrician, his nurses fought over who’d have to take the “Crazy Lady’s” call . Yet after three years, I feel confident, safe even, being locked inside a house ALONE with three toddlers.

Then I decided to write a romance novel. I’ve read the darn books for years, which is the same as experience, right? I even practiced my signature in preparation for my future book signings. Wanting an adoring fan club, I joined a writer’s group, knowing I’d be hailed a literary genius.

I’m fairly certain my face mirrored the same look of shocked horror I wore when I saw my hubby gagging on his mustard chicken. Yikes! My pages bled! I was afraid I’d leave a trail of red ink out the door.

Was I shocked? Yes.

Did my disappointment keep me from moving forward? No.

Instead, I refused to give up. I asked questions and took notes. I latched on like a barnacle to writers who were willing to show me the ropes. Now 7months later, I no longer write with my head in the clouds or in the 1980’s.

I’ve learned things like: the importance of word choice and sentence structure. By not giving in to my fears, I’m a lot closer to achieving my goals. I belong to two writer’s groups and can’t believe how much my writing has improved. My continued progress keeps me motivated. I’m going to savor the feeling of writing “The End” as much as the day I got my son to sleep through the night.

So join a group- get out there!

I’ll be just as grateful to the woman who told me my son’s desire to eat dirt was just a phase as I’ll be to the people who said stop worrying and just write the book.

Yes, I’m still learning, but I’m enjoying the ride a lot more, because I’m surrounded by people who have the same desires. The only way I can fail is if I were to throw in the towel. I didn’t then and I won’t now.

So ask yourself, how bad do you want to succeed and what are you willing to do to achieve your goals?

For me, it was simple- I took a chance. Will you?


At March 22, 2009 at 9:00 PM , Blogger Dorinda Ohnstad said...


Glad you took a chance on us. (Sounds a bit like a ABBA song doesn't it?). You have grown so much during the last seven months. Your writing went from having potential to having zing.

While you have learned a lot from your writers groups, I know that some of us--like me--have learned a lot in return. You have a gift for words.

At March 23, 2009 at 3:05 AM , Blogger Cassie Exline said...

Your enthusasium for words shines through, which is a big draw for a writer, best of all for readers. You're very lucky to find a good writers group to help you. I was also as lucky. Good luck!

At March 23, 2009 at 5:50 PM , Blogger F. M. Meredith, author said...

Your blog tickled me. I remember with my first baby I truly wondered how on earth I would be able to take care of the wiggling, crying squirming being. I was 3000 miles away from my mom, so relied on a Good Housekeeping Baby Book.

There's plenty of information about writing available--but just like taking care of that first baby, you really learn by doing.

a.k.a. F. M. Meredith

At March 24, 2009 at 10:36 AM , Blogger Sarah Simas said...

Thanks for all the great comments! I had a blast writing this piece!

At March 25, 2009 at 3:38 PM , Blogger Miss Mae said...

Enjoyed the post, Sarah. :) Not sure I would mustard chicken! LOL

At April 2, 2009 at 7:54 AM , Blogger DesignbyBrenda said...


What a great post. I feel like I'm walking in your shoes. I too, new mommy, not so new anymore wife also took a stab at writing recently and found I love it. A very good friend read my first chapter back in August, and bless her heart, said it had promise. Now, 95,000 'polished' words later, I have something that doesn't have baby gook and slobber on, that's mine, has strangers telling me it has promise and a new passion.

Good Luck!


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