My Writerly Story

All the writer gals here at Women Unplugged are represented by a literary agent and/or have one or more novels published. Except me. I fall into neither category.

Talk about feeling like a peon.

It’s been a goal of mine—securing agent representation and book publication—and I’ve come close. Four or five years ago a New England publisher considered the full manuscript for my first novel, kind of a wholesomely-approached women’s fiction premise, but the final decision was that certain aspects weren’t the right fit for their overall brand. (wholesome: good — stalker element: not good)


writer’s own photo

In the years following, my then-blog and writing caught the attention of an agent, and she requested the manuscript for my second novel, also women’s fiction. For both creative and personal reasons, though, the potential faded before I could really even grasp it firmly.

Writing fiction since about that time has been a near-impossible task for me. It’s a mental thing, after life-changing events like my dad’s passing, which devastated us, and my divorce.

Some writers come alive during emotional struggle, finding escape and the creative process cathartic. They flourish and write their best works. Not me. My reality the past few years has been too heavy. I haven’t been able to pull from under it and redirect myself to fiction. But it’s a discipline thing, too. At this point I’m out of practice, and unable to implement a new system for writing. Where would I start?

I’m also a single mom who works full time—which means the craft of writing fiction, while still something I love and dream of excelling at, does not make my list of priorities. It makes me sad, that fact, but it’s true for this stage of my life.

And yet, my creative career has not floundered. In fact it’s grown quite a bit, just down a different avenue.

Here’s where I shamelessly plug my new website (now linked in both the left and right sidebars here on WU, through my photo and name respectively), which represents what I do these days, in lieu of writing fiction.

I hope you’ll check it out and bookmark me, and consider calling on me to handle your creative projects.

That is until I get back to writing fiction…


About Janna

writer, editor, marketing assistant, resume consultant, mom, wannabe philosopher, advocate, and possibilitarian / you can call me Janna

Posted on May 1, 2013, in Blog Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Nice website, Janna, and I wish you luck in your new endeavor. You know, I read a lot about people who have been writing for years and years and then suddenly get an agent and publish their first book. Life gets in the way and they’re unable to follow their passion for months at a time. And all of us (and I mean ALL of us) get writers’ block. I didn’t until after writing my third book. I stalled and thought I was washed up, finished, never to write another book again. But I took the advice of my fellow writers and didn’t trip out about it and pretty soon I was back at it and just finished my fifth novel. If somewhere inside you lurks that desire to still write, I say sit down and plunk out whatever comes to mind and edit later.

  2. Christy Hayes

    Congratulations on your new website and your creative endeavors! So lovely of you to share your talents with others. I wish you all the best!

  3. Janna, you wrote the key words in your blog: stage in life. Life is a four letter word and it can bite you when you least expect it. However, all those life experiences actually make you better at your craft. If writing continues to be your passion, you will find a way to make it work in your life–just as you are now. It might not be the way you envisioned it, but there’s still time for that dream, too. I speak from experience. πŸ™‚ Love the new website.

    • Janna Qualman

      I really feel that, too, that I have to allow this stage, and trust the process. I believe I’ll get there again. Thanks for the support!

  4. Janna, like you, I’ve taken off long periods from writing. I’m not one who can write life is in chaos. I need zen. πŸ™‚ When you’re ready, you’ll get back to writing. Until then, you’ve found a way to stay connected to the industry. Yay for you! I will you all the best in your new endeavors.

    • Janna Qualman

      Yes! Zen. At least in spirit, and I’m very nearly there. πŸ™‚

      I think it’s better to embrace the break than to force myself when I’m not ready. I may not always feel that way, but it’s true for now. Thanks for your well wishes!

  5. Kimberle Swaak

    For me, writer’s block comes because I’m putting too much pressure on myself somehow. Planning my calendar too full. Setting unrealistic goals or deadlines. I find if I give myself permission to not only step away from the computer for a bit, but also stop thinking about the story completely, all sorts of new ideas just pop up. Creative endeavors can be a total mind game, but don’t drive yourself crazy. You’ll get back to writing fiction when you get back to writing fiction, it’s that simple. πŸ˜‰

    • Janna Qualman

      I can completely relate to what you say about putting too much pressure on yourself. Me too! Especially when it comes to creative stuff.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

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