Thursday, January 26, 2017

The People Who Keep Us On Our Toes

Sometimes we feel alone. We may have a job in a cubical, are a work at home person, a traveler, even a cashier, server, or basically any job can have that alone feeling to it.

Potential friends cross our path more than we realize.

Author Keli Gwyn sensed this problem as well. Here is how she tackled the issue:

When New Friends Cross Our Paths

The stereotypical writer sits at a keyboard, alone for hours on end with no one but a cast of characters for company. When I embarked on my writing journey nearly nine years ago, that description fit. I wrote in virtual isolation for two years. Although I had the support of my family and local friends, I knew no other writers.

I have a feeling musicians, artists, cooks, and others do the same.

And then the Lord began showering me with even more blessings.

How did it happen?

He brought some awesome people into my life. People like you.

I’m sure you’ll agree that the many people we meet on our journeys are one of the biggest blessings.

Contest judges were the first people I met. A friend of a friend suggested I check out writing organizations. I joined one, learned about the numerous contests held and its many chapters, and began entering four of the five stories I’d written. (The first remains hidden on my hard drive.) Those generous judges taught me a great deal about writing.

Next came friends with similar interests. Discovering the blogosphere and the wonderful world of writers online was a huge blessing. I realized I wasn’t alone. They, too, heard voices in their heads, had story ideas wake them in the night, and got excited when a plot point fell into place. I was so excited to meet blogging buddies and make Facebook and Twitter friends.

Some of my writer friends became writing partners. My critique partner, Anne Barton, and I met at a conference and have been together nearly five years. Not only does Anne help me improve my stories; she is also a treasured friend and confidant.

I’ve attended nine writing conferences, where I've learned a lot. Sure, there were great workshop leaders imparting their wisdom, but the lessons didn’t stop there. I learned from my fellow conferees, too. And had oodles of fun in the process.

Publishing professionals have played an important part in my journey. My agent, Rachelle Gardner, offered me representation in December 2009, after having judged my story in a contest. She went on to sell the story to Barbour Publishing, which released it as my debut novel, six and a half years after I embarked on my journey.

When the book hit the shelves, I was blessed beyond belief by friends, bloggers, and book reviewers eager to serve as influencers and reviewers. I couldn’t keep up with the generous offers to serve as a guest blogger that flooded my inbox. To say I was grateful would be an understatement.

Then came readers! What a delight it’s been to have others read my story and enjoy it.

What follows the thrill of one’s first release? The return to reality. I won’t sugarcoat things. There can be a bit of a letdown when the month is over, a bunch of new of books hit the shelves, and your story becomes old news. The high can’t last forever, although the memories made can be treasured for years to come.

Which means we need to keep reaching out to others, right?

One thing remains the same. The friends I’ve made along with way are still there, supporting and encouraging me.  Friends like, Mary, who graciously invited me to share my writing journey with you readers. Thank you for this opportunity.

• • •
I’d like to end with a question for all of you. Who are some of the people who’ve blessed you as you’ve worked toward your goals?

Keli Gwyn writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life. A California native, she lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, set in the heart of the Gold Country where she lives is currently available.

To learn more about Keli, you can visit her Victorian-style cyber home at, where you’ll find her parlor, study, carriage house, and more, along with her blog and her social media


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Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for stopping by.