Regis diploma and hatAfter four long years, I graduate from Regis University with my Master of Arts in Creative Writing and graduated with honors. I was surprised about the honors, but I know I worked damn hard for it. I obviously didn’t go straight through and took my time. I also practiced what I learned and took other outside classes, specifically through Savvy Authors i.e. Lori Wilde’s Mentoring Class and Colorado Romance Writers’ workshops. These classes all propelled me to be a better writer.

It was a long haul and while I was going through Regis, a small press picked me up and I had both a young adult, Healer, and a paranormal romance, Betrayal, were both published. I also received another contract with a larger press, Lyrical, and Dark Promise will be published in March 2014. I feel Regis did help me get published, but it wasn’t enough. I had to practice what I learned and continued taking courses. I also belonged to a critique group, but now, I have a critique partner because I wanted to quicker turn around then just getting a critique once a month on a chapter.

Sitting at graduation, I was glad that I decided to walk the line. I almost didn’t. I was going to go to the Romantic Times convention, but what changed my mind wasn’t just graduation, but deciding to self-publish. The decision was the right one.

But more important, graduation caused me to reflect. Joseph Haggerty, a Master of Science candidate, gave a speech on perspective and I found he mirrored my progress in publishing. Mr. Haggerty had taken the medcap once and received a low score. He took it again and realized he was probably going to receive a similar low score and opted not to finish the exam. He was devastated and floundered, his dream slipping through his fingers. He didn’t give up. Instead, he attended Regis and obtained his Master of Science degree and now has been accepted into a medical school.

Rejections are never easy and I have had so many. A few months ago, I was rejected by a pie-in-the-sky publisher and like Mr. Haggerty, landed in despair and almost threw away my dream. A friend of mine gave me a half day to be sad. I got over the pity party and like Mr. Haggerty, pursued another way to get my dream. Self-publishing.

This is my second masters, my first was a Master of Social Work. This one meant more since I had to push myself harder and get my feet wet or more like plunge into the publishing waters. I swam with sharks. I almost drowned. I grabbed a life raft and pulled myself out. More important, I survived.

If I could say one word about this experience, it was perseverance. Never give up. Whatever your dream is, spit on your hands and climb that mountain. You’ll fall, you’ll scrap your knees, but you’ll make it. You won’t make it, if you don’t try.

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