Friday, March 20, 2009

The Learning Curve by Sarah Simas

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 seven months later, I no longer write with my head in the clouds or in the 1980s.

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 writers' 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?



  1. Hey Sara. What a motivating article. Congratulations on taking that leap of faith!! Believe in your dreams :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sarah,

    Everything you said is so true - and you can say it with a smile! Keep on typing. . .eventually it will pay off!