The Meandering Path of my Writing Life

My life as a writer started with this little blog, and over the past four years, it’s taken many turns, some I expected, some not so much. But like any good ride, they’ve all been fun.

I thought I’d do a little review of where I’ve been and hopefully where I’m headed on this winding writing path.

February 2011 – As a kid, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I’m all grown up now, and I realized that, yes, I’d still like to write. It took awhile, but I got there despite the mean professor in college who told me that my story about hiking sucked. It probably did, but I didn’t take it well.

It only took twenty years to get over it.

March 2011 – I started this blog and with shaking hands and panicking heart, posted my first post. I declared “I am a writer.” My husband, mom, and dad read my post. Progress.

The rest of 2011 – I kept a really great blog schedule, posting pretty much once or twice a week, and outlined novel #1, The Overlander’s Daughter.

2012 – I kept posting here and wrote my novel, well, I wrote lots of it, but it was a long, slow learning process. I could whip out an essay or academic piece in thirty minutes. A novel? Not quite so fast.

August 2012 – I went to the Willamette Writer’s Conference and learned how much I  still had to learn about writing. It’s a never ending process.

2013 – Blog? What blog? Oh yeah…this one. Um, didn’t write much here, but kept working on my novel and planned for…

March 2013 – …launching, my online community for teen writers. This is where I posted during 2013 & 2014 (when I went missing from here). There, I post about writing and try to answer all those questions my students ask me about writing. The site’s growth is slow but steady…and I’m still enjoying the whole process.

November 2013 – Along with ten of my intrepid students, I completed Nanowrimo – finishing 50,000 words of a young adult contemporary mystery.

January 2014 – Whew – three years after embarking on my new “life as a writer,” I finally finished The Overlander’s Daughter. It’s a good feeling, but I completely ignored this blog, as in, I never posted a single time in 2014. Ooops.

February 2014 – I finished draft one of my YA mystery – woah, two novels done. Am I a writer yet? I also queried Overlander’s and actually got requests for manuscripts – happy dance.

March 2014 – Rejection.

March-July 2014 – I decided to have OD professionally edited before querying it again and found an amazing editor who wouldn’t be able to get to it until October. She’s that good, so I set that manuscript aside and spent all summer polishing my YA mystery.

August 2014 – I went to Willamette Writer’s Conference again and pitched my YA mystery. Agents requested it – happy dance.

September & October 2014 – YA novel rejection, but good to know I can write a decent query and pitch a novel.

October 2014 – My amazing editor began polishing the rough spots out of  Overlander’s and making it shine. After daily emails all month clarifying details, plot, and characters, she asked if I “would mind” if she sent my manuscript off to an agent with a recommendation. Um, no – I didn’t mind.

November 2014 – I signed a contract with an agent! Biggest Happy Dance ever!! I’ll write more on this milestone later. My new agent wanted more Overlander’s revisions – back at it.

January 2015 – I continued revising Overlander’s until, I can say, it’s finally done and ready to go. Well, at least until another editor decides it’s not.

February 2015 – I’m back here!  I found when I got back on here, I kind of miss writing my random musings about life, writing, teaching, and quilts. And hopefully, I’ll have some writerly updates to report on my writing career – that’s what I’m calling it now.



  1. Dad on February 4, 2015 at 10:28 am

    You go girl. I couldn’t be prouder, not just of your creative talent, but also of your perseverance and belief in yourself. You’ve come a long way from “jots”.

    • Amy Isaman on February 4, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks Dad! And yes, a long way from jots – I guess I had to start somewhere right?

  2. Susan on February 4, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Great news! So excited on your signing announcement! I want to heat about it.

    • Amy Isaman on February 4, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Thank you!! It was a shock but a happy one – missed you at Willamette this year. I didn’t have any continuous run-ins with anyone in the bathroom like I did when I met you, so no new friends! I’m glad to hear you’re picking up your writing again this year too.

  3. Claire 'Word by Word' on February 4, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Wonderful news Amy and thanks for the update, it’s been a great journey and congratulations on getting your manuscript edited and finding an agent! I look forward to more happy news, keep dancing!!

    • Amy Isaman on February 4, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      Thank you Claire – it was super exciting and somewhat unexpected the way it all happened. I had pretty much decided that I’d query some more and then self-publish Overlanders. I wasn’t expecting it at all, but it is definitely a happy step forward on a long road!

  4. Lissa Cowan on February 4, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Love the timeline of your writing life. Your novel, The Overlander’s Daughter, sounds fascinating. I can hardly wait to read it when it comes out.

    • Amy Isaman on February 4, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      Thank you Lissaa – and thanks for your feedback on the site – so appreciate it! I can’t wait for you to read Overlander’s either because that will mean it’s actually a book. Super happy dance on that day!

  5. Stacie Gardner on February 4, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Amy – I am so excited for you and proud to have played a (very small) role in your journey with OD!!! I can’t wait to have a copy of it in my hands!!!!!

  6. debramae on February 4, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Good to hear you are still out there with pen in hand Amy. Sounds like a very prolific few years! Please email me your home address…I have a little something to share that I will send in the postal mail. Can’t wait to see those novels of yours in print 🙂

    • Amy Isaman on February 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Hi Debramae – good to hear from you too! I just sent you an email, and I can’t wait to see something in print too. That will be a great day!!

  7. Sharon Rosse on February 5, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Congratulations on all your achievements! Can’t wait to see what’s next and to read/collect your books.

    • Amy Isaman on February 8, 2015 at 8:30 pm

      Thanks Mama!!!

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