Friday, February 6, 2015


My guest is romance author, Joanne Kennedy. Joan has published over eight books but she's also face many trials in pursuit of her dream of writing. I think every writer faces various insecurities and aspiring writers, at times, look at those published as ones who have it made and with no problems. That's just not true.

Joanne shares a bit about the worries and the triumphs she's faced as a writer.

The road to publication is a long road, paved with rejections and frustration—but I made it. I’m finally “there” – but now that I’ve reached my goal, I’m surprised to find that, in the words of Gertrude Stein, “there is no ‘there’ there.”

When you first start writing, you think to yourself, “If I could just finish this…”

You finish it. Then you hope to win a contest. Then you begin the long process of submission, aiming for goals like getting requests for partial manuscripts, then fulls, then getting offers of representation from agents.

When I signed with my agent, I really thought I was “there.” And I was close—closer than a lot of writers get with their first agent, because I was lucky enough to strike gold the first time out and sign with a really good agent who’s also a fine human being (actually, I think she’s a goddess). But even with her knowledge and contacts, it took over a year, many revisions, and finally a second manuscript, to make a sale. 

I can always find something to worry about.

But in some ways, that’s a good thing. No matter how well the book does, I’ll always be reaching for the next milestone. Bestseller lists. Awards. Making a living if I’m lucky, and then a better living.

The striving never ends—and that’s good. Life loses its flavor when you have nothing to aspire to.

But that realization showed me that the ultimate reward writing offers doesn’t lie in any of these achievements. The real reward is in the writing itself—the good days when the words flow freely, the triumphs when I solve a particularly gnarly plot problem, the weird, almost mystical joy of creating a world and characters who inhabit it and make it real, and even the satisfaction of knuckling down and getting the job done on a difficult day.

If you don’t take joy in the simple act of doing what you love, forget the other goals. Because if you think achieving any of them is going to complete your life, you’re wrong.

Whether your talent lies in writing, painting, teaching children, or running a business, you’re lucky if you’ve found what you were meant to do. Doing what you love is a privilege and a joy.

In the all-consuming quest for success, it’s easy to forget the biggest blessing of all: you have a talent that only you can offer. You have a place in the world.

So for all you aspiring writers out there, and everyone else who is always aiming for some elusive goal, take heart. When you sit down at your desk or your piano or your word processor, take a deep breath, and light into the day’s work, you’re already “there.”
  • What do you love to do?
    What are your goals, and how would achieving them change your life?
This cowboy is living a charmed life

Winning comes naturally to bronc rider Brady Caine. Ruggedly handsome, careless and charismatic, the rodeo fans adore him and the buckle bunnies are his for the taking. He's riding high when he lands an endorsement deal with Lariat Western Wear that pairs him up with champion barrel racer Suze Carlyle.

Until one wrong move changes everything

A stupid move on Brady's part lands Suze in the hospital, her career in tatters. Now it's a whole new game for both of them. Brady is desperate to help Suze rebuild her life, but he's the last person she wants around now. Suze's got plenty of grit and determination-learning to trust Brady again is a very different matter.

Joanne Kennedy's lifelong fascination with Wyoming's unique blend of past and present inspires her to write contemporary Western romances with traditional ranch settings. In 2010 she was nominated for a RITA award for One Fine Cowboy. At various times, Joanne has dabbled in horse training, chicken farming, and bridezilla wrangling at a department store wedding registry. Her fascination with literature led to careers in bookselling and writing. She lives with two dogs and a retired fighter pilot in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
You can find Joanne:



~Sia McKye~ said...

Joanne, welcome back to Over Coffee. I always love to hear your thoughts on writing. Some excellent points made here.

I've also enjoyed many of your books and the fun world you take me too. Keep them coming!

I have to work first thing in the morning but I'll pop by as soon as I can.

Anonymous said...

Great post, hope Joanne's book is the success it deserves.

Peaches Ledwidge said...

"Life loses its flavor when you have nothing to aspire to." Profound statement.

Yes, wrting rewards me with something money cannot buy. Solace. Strength. Empowerment.

Yolanda Renee said...

The journey is a surprising one. Worth every moment, but so emotionally taxing. Still I can't turn away, it's what I love.

Good luck with your book!

Robin said...

As an aspiring to be published writer, the more I read from published writers, the more I wonder this: When does a person feel successful? Your answer, which I like a lot, seems to be doing what you love and making a living doing it. Just enjoy creating the story.

Joanne Kennedy said...

Sia, thank you so much for hosting me, and thank you to all you commenters for making me feel welcome. I always enjoy visiting "Over Coffee!"
It took me a long time to learn that you have to find satisfaction in what you're doing NOW. If you're always hanging your happiness on what happens next, you're never quite content. Life should be appreciated just as it is!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Joanne--absolutely. You have to find happiness in the moment. It does offer contentment and encourages you to reach for the next stage.

PEACHES--solace, empowerment, strength--all good things.

YOLANDA--it is emotionally taxing. You can't write intense emotions without it draining yours.

ROBIN, I think success means different things to different people but I do believe you need to love what you do to reach it. :-)

Joanne Kennedy said...

Nashville Cats, thank you ! So far it's doing well.

Peaches, I'm glad the post meant something to you, and glad you're finding joy in writing. I think it's important to have a creative outlet.

Yolanda, it can be taxing emotionally, but there are lessons in everything. Still, I hope the rewards will always outweigh the difficulties for you!

Joanne Kennedy said...

Robin, I think we feel most successful when we've written something that lets loose our inner voice and truly communicates who we are. In fiction writing, it's those moments when you discover meaning in the book that you didn't expect; your subconscious often has something to say and it comes out in the story. Those moments are magic, and whether a book gets published or not, they're their own reward.
I also think you've reached success when you've written something your proud of, something you know is your very best. It's so challenging to get published these days; I know many very talented writers who can't get a contract, so you can't use the goal of publication to measure your success. It's definitely something to shoot for, but you know when you've written something really terrific!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Ain't it the truth? I was so surprised to find that people I thought were "there" didn't feel like they were "there". No wonder I don't feel like I'm there.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great post! Doing what we love is the reward and we do need to remember that - thanks for the reminder :)

Liza said...

No matter what it is, if we love what we do, that is success unto itself!

Joanne Kennedy said...

Donna, it was a surprise to me, too! I thought being published would be the top rung - but the ladder just keeps going, up and up. And that's a good thing, even if we slip down a few rungs once in a while.

Jemi, I'm happy to give folks that reminder any time. And those folks include myself once in a while!

Liza, you're so right. I have a friend who loves creating a comfortable and loving home for her husband. She does a wonderful job at creating a peaceful oasis in the busy workaday world, and finds enormous satisfaction in making others happy. I admire her a lot for finding her bliss. Doing your best at what you love is always a good thing. said...

Words of wisdom. Thanks, Sia and Joanne. I'm working on getting my first novel published and it feels like there's no finish line. Not ever. You've confirmed this. As you state, though, that's a good thing.

Zan Marie said...

The journey is so important to making us who we are! Thanks for dropping by my blog on Blitz Day!

Cate Masters said...

It's amazing how many levels of success there are. Best of luck with your book.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Nice to meet you, Joanne :)

A Beer For The Shower said...

It's true, the 'there' IS never really there. And frankly, it would be boring if it was. We should always strive for better. It's how we improve as writers in all aspects of writing. Even the dreaded m-word (marketing).

Al Diaz said...

"In the all-consuming quest for success, it’s easy to forget the biggest blessing of all: you have a talent that only you can offer. You have a place in the world."

I think I really needed to read this today of all days. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!