Sunday, September 30, 2007

Diva Essay Contest

When I first started writing, I received the suggestion that I should look up some online writing groups, get my feet wet, learn a little. So I did. Romance Divas was among the first sites that came up when I googled. Want to know what I did?

I ran.

Yep, yelping in the other direction. I saw some well known names on this well designed, well put together website and freaked. I am a nobody, I won't fit in there. Well, about a year later, someone else recommended them from another group I had been with online. I recognized the site immediately. As well as Judi McCoy's name. Want to know what I did?

I ran.

Seeing a pattern here, huh? Eventually I did get over my OMG I WILL NEVER FIT IN HERE issues and signed up. Psychologically I know I didn't join then because I was scared, but because I wasn't ready for that next step. The serious kind taken when you are ready for the next stage of a plan, in my case, a writing career. But it didn't stop me from wanting to kick myself in my own arse for missing well over a year of valuable learning experiences that I would have received if I'd been two shakes smarter than a dead stick.
Well that dead stick has now become firewood fodder and I'm published. Not because of the Divas, but because I had found another outlet for my writing from them. It is because of Divas I learned of E-publishing. Some may snicker, or laugh with scorn because if it's e-pubbed, then it's *obviously* not good enough for NY. I say ptttt to that. It's two different markets. RD taught me what both are. Some say the writing is poorer quality. I've found several authors through this new Market that I specifically buy because they tell a good story, not because they line the B&N shelves. RD is the balance that showed me both, and the best way to use either market to my advantage.

Romance Divas has always been on the cutting edge of the important information in the publishing industry. They are a resource that no serious writer should ever be without. Whether you are starting out and need that push, or have something that can be paid forward, I've never found a more open, sharing, supportive place anywhere, live or cyber.

I've met so many other writers with the same struggles, the same drive, the same rejections, that it makes the single self-employed picture of a stay at home mom less lonely. I've met so many people in the last two years that I can't possibly name them all, but if you want to meet them, then hang a left in Florida, or cruise through California, or any state in between, because there's a Diva in just about every town in this country and across the world.

Being a Diva is more than just writing. It's believing. And I know I'm a Diva.

Romance that thrives in dark places


Jennifer McKenzie said...

That's right, darlin'. You ARE a Diva. No doubt about it cause we lurrrrrve you.
Nice post.
I didn't realize you'd done two drive bys before joining!

Diana Castilleja said...

Yeah, I was absolutely overwhelmed and terrified the first time I saw the site. Knew I wasn't going to fit in. Just needed to get a little more confident in the fact that I could fit in. ;)

Gwen said...

I snorted coffee at my monitor the second time you ran...we are funny creatures, aren't we?

R.G. ALEXANDER said...

Diana, I'm so glad you joined divas :)

jodi said...

well, now I feel better, 'cause I just ran once. BUT I lurked for a long time, so does that count? Glad you took that last step.

Morgan St. John said...

Haha! I'm so glad you stuck it out! You're an asset. :D

Debbie Mumford said...

Ah, Diana ... not only do you fit in with Divas, you epitomize RD to me!

Thanks for sharing your story!

Diana Castilleja said...

You brought tears to my eyes Debbie. That is the sweetest thing to say. :)

Emma Sanders said...

I'm glad you found RD, and I'm glad I found RD. I'll admit, I went through the same thoughts. Sometimes I still do! But RD is so supportive and inspiring!

Jane said...

Great story, Diana! I'm so glad you did join Divas, because new people like me look to the Divas like you for pretty much everything writing related. Thanks for all you do!:)