Keli Gwyn
Persevering Through a Publishing Plateau

Three years ago today I was offered my first publishing contract.

Much has changed since then, but much is the same.

Bride Opens Shop 1

My contract was one of the two Rachelle mentioned in her tweet.

My novel wasn’t due to be released for eighteen months, so I had a long time to anticipate the milestone event. I enjoyed each part of the process as my publisher and I got the book ready for the big day.

A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California hit the shelves July 2012. I celebrated at my book launch party attended by some one hundred fifty friends and family members.

Bride Opens Shop 5

My cheeks were sore after all the smiling I did at my book launch party.

My release month was one of the most exciting and busiest of my life. In addition to planning my launch party, I was hosted by many wonderful bloggers. I didn’t get much sleep that July, but I didn’t care. I was too excited to sleep anyhow.


A Return to Reality

Once my release month was over, things slowed down. I was privileged to visit two local book clubs, sign at some bookstores, serve as a guest speaker, and participate in a couple of author events, but the pace was more manageable.

I’ll be honest and admit that I experienced a bit of letdown. I’ve been told that’s fairly common. After all, one can’t expect to soar in the clouds forever. I returned to my regular life wiser and ready to see what came next.

Like many authors eager to make writing a career, I’ve waited for another contract. And waited. And waited some more.

snails on alarm clocks - group portrait

At times I’ve felt like a has-been, a flash-in-the-pan, a one-book wonder. Doubts, discouragement, and disappointment have relentlessly pursued me.

I used to struggle to come up with an answer to the question put to me by many well-meaning friends eager to read more of my work: “What’s next?”


A Look Ahead

And what is next? The honest answer is, “I don’t know.” As much as I wish I did, the future is not in my hands, but I’ve learned to be okay with that.

While I might have felt like giving up a time or two, those around me have been as supportive as ever. My husband and writing partner have encouraged me. My agent has stood behind me. My friends have cheered me on. And my readers continue to await more stories.

So, am I eager for something to happen? Definitely! Will I keep on keeping on? Yup! Will I rejoice when another contract comes my way? You’d better believe it! But in the meantime I’m doing just what I did before I was contracted: waiting, hoping, and trusting while living my dream.

These days when I’m asked what’s next, I respond quickly: “I’m having fun working on another inspirational romance set in California’s Gold Country,” or “I’ve completed more stories, and my agent is busy seeking homes for them.”

I look forward to the day I have exciting news to share, but until that comes, I’ll keep on writing.


What do you do to keep yourself motivated when your dream is deferred?



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Keli Gwyn