Friday Speak Out!: The Loudest Tree in the Forest, Guest Post by Jamie Anne Richardson

Friday, May 17, 2013
I’ve finally answered the age-old question; yes, if a tree falls in the woods with no one around, it definitely still makes a sound. How do I know? Right now, I am that tree.

Last month I finished the final draft of my first women’s fiction novel. As a mother of three young kids, it took me years to get to this point. My goal was to have it finished by the time my youngest started Kindergarten. Now I hope to have representation before that celebration-worthy day this September.

As Whine and Wine awaits recognition in several agent and publisher inboxes, I feel very much like the tree in the forest. A part of me has been cut down and now longs to be harvested. In the right hands the tree may become the pages of a bestseller or it may become the framework for an entire library. In the wrong hands, it may appear on that little roll in the powder room.

My assumption through the writing process was that I’d feel like my words were wasted if they weren’t published. I thought I’d feel like a failure, rotting on the forest floor, waiting for someone to take notice. Instead, my feeling is just the opposite… I feel accomplished. I set out to achieve a goal, and I did it.

I breathed life into three amazing female characters that I believe are easily relatable. I took my knowledge from a unique background and brought interesting twists and controversy into traditional chick lit characters. Even as I reread my novel I thought to myself, “dang… this is really good!” Coming from a perfectionist editor, that is saying a lot.

I’m trying to take the advice of sending off the queries and then moving on to the next work. I can’t sit by my computer waiting for some agent or publisher to see how amazing I am. Instead I have to know that my writing is great and wait for the super hero who can recognize that for him or herself. And until then, I’ll plant another tree and watch it grow into another novel. If my future is what I believe it will be, I’ll have grown an entire forest of books before I die.

I’d love to take my kids to Barnes and Nobel and show them my book on the shelf, but even if that doesn’t happen with this first book, it’s okay. I’m doing what I love to do, and I’m getting better at my craft every day.

Just as trees take a long time to grow, the publishing industry takes a very long time to break into. But I’m getting there. My branches are pushing their way through every opening they can find, my roots are feeding on the manure of rejection, and I am searching for the sunlight. And I’m just stubborn enough that I won’t give up.

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Jamie Anne Richardson is a wife, mother, and author who lives outside Dallas. She is currently seeking representation for her first chick lit novel while writing her second. You can keep up with her adventures on Twitter (, Facebook (, and on her website (
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Jamie--I love your image of a tree growing branches and using the manure (ha) of rejection to become stronger as a writer.

Thanks for the post.

Marcia Peterson said...

Congratulations on your accomplishment, Jamie! I love hearing anout writing/parenting successes too.

Audrey said...

Great attitude about your accomplishment. I especially appreciate your ability to separate the joy of finishing the book from the joy of getting published. Too many times, I find myself unable to appreciate my writing until someone validates me by wanting to publish it. I need to feel positive along the way, and not just at the final destination. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

Unknown said...

I loved the tree image. Congratulations on your MS completion. And you have such a perfect attitude about the book, your accomplishments and looking forward. What a great example.

LuAnn Schindler said...

Congrats on finishing your novel!! It's a long road, but isn't it a wonderful feeling of accomplishment? :)

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