And Now I’m A Writer! by Anjanette Morton

In Guest Blog Posts on December 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Though I’d always had a secret passion for writing, I never imagined that I would someday make it my career. But as with many fabulous turns in life, once I decided to walk down this path, I received just the right feedback to let me move forward.

A few years ago, I left yet another soul-draining job. I was 29 and completely dissatisfied with the direction my so-called career was taking. Too often I let a misguided sense of obligation keep me in a role that I preformed well, but got no satisfaction from. This particular job saw me working for 2 owner/managers who spent most of their time pursuing their spiritual growth rather than growing their own business.

I decided to leave the job and spend time thinking about what approach I should take with my seemingly non-existent career aspirations. I actually preferred to work alone, with a general guideline and a specific deadline. And, for once, I wanted to do something that might use my creativity (before it was stomped to a definitive death).

When my husband and I also started to talk about possibly starting a family, an idea began to crystallize. I’d been shopping around fruitlessly for a book to give me some tips-and-tricks about what I could do to ready my body (and our life) before we began to start trying for a baby. I wanted something easy to read, not overly wordy or medical and with some practical ideas about exercise and nutrition. No matter where I looked, I just couldn’t find something to fit – everything on the market (and there wasn’t a lot) was either dated or completely intimidating. Complaining one night to my husband, he said “Well, then why don’t YOU write the book you’re looking for?”

And that was the start of my career in writing.

I spent the next several months doing research and slowly writing my book. I had a very specific idea about how I wanted the book to look and how it would help the readers. I got a variety of friends and acquaintances with different areas of expertise to read through the manuscript. I wanted all feedback, as many suggestions as possible – I truly wanted to reach the right balance between informative and accessible.

After my fourth edit, I wrote my book proposal (a virtual necessity if you are writing non-fiction) and began to approach literary agents to test out the interest in my concept. I was amazed that I actually got positive feedback from my query letter from greater than 20% of the agents I approached. However, the overwhelming message was that my lack of previous publishing experience (and the fact that I wasn’t a doctor) would hold the manuscript back. So I decided to ask my trusted doctor if she would co-author the work – vetting all of the recommendations and adding any medical info she thought should be included. Lucky for me, she was impressed enough with what I’d created to jump on board.

Fast forward a few months and one overseas move later and my project had stalled. I was busy with a baby and had let my query process take a back seat. I didn’t have the funds to self-publish, so that wasn’t an option, but it also seemed unlikely that a major publishing house would be willing to take a chance with a (purposefully) shorter manuscript. I then remembered that an old friend of the family had recommended a publisher who was a mix between a traditional and a vanity press. I went to their website and completed their online query form. The next day they requested a full copy of the manuscript and within a week I had a contract in front of me. While it wasn’t my top publishing house choice, it would mean that my book would be available for purchase in hard copy and I’d be receiving royalties for all sales.

Since my book was published I have done some (not nearly enough) marketing for it and have more recently branched out to do paid articles for various local magazines and web sites. I started my own blog this last year with hopes to expand the site to include video blogging and perhaps contribute to various other blogs and online magazines. Like anyone who has done the hard yards with their manuscript, I look forward to getting the time to do a full edit and update with fresh eyes, more experience…and possibly another book or two under my belt.

You can find Anjanette online at Writergrrl on the Loose… or follow her on Twitter.

  1. Awesome!!!

  2. Following your dreams is always worth the wait sweetie! Now that those boys are getting a little bigger you might have more time to get back to your passionate work and see what blossoms! Good luck to ya girl and always, always we have your back!

  3. Hey, I thought your book was an excellent source of info and would highly recommend it to anyone even contemplating getting pregnant! Congrats on getting out of the soul-sucking rat-race and I wish you endless success!

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