Earlier this month, something wonderful and unexpected happened – I got to interview Debbie Macomber. That’s right – Cedar Cove Debbie Macomber. The shop on Blossom Street Debbie Macomber. New York Times best-seller Debbie Macomber. (You can read the interview here.)
Me, a small-town, barely-making-any-money, struggling-to-succeed, considering-a-new-career writer, and Debbie Macomber.
To call the situation exciting would be like calling open-heart surgery a “small procedure.” I read my first Debbie Macomber book a decade ago at my sister’s house. A few months later, Borders had a “Buy 3, Get 2 Free” sale in the romance section, so I picked up 1-5 of the Macomber’s Cedar Cove series.
I fell in love.
For the next few years, my husband would pick up Macomber books any time he saw them at a used book sale or garage sale. I read them, re-read them, and still have many on my bookshelf, in case I want to read them again.
As if writing dozens of best sellers isn’t enough, Macomber’s list of accomplishments also includes: cookbooks, devotionals, non-fiction books, TV movies, and a TV series. She also owns a knitting shop and tea room.
That’s all very impressive, but it’s only part of the story. Here’s what I learned about Macomber:
*She couldn’t read until she was 10, and her teachers told her she wouldn’t amount to much.
*At a writing conference, someone told her to throw away her manuscript.
*She couldn’t afford a typewriter-she had to rent one.
*She wrote with four kids in the house.
Here’s what else I learned:
*She taught herself to write by dissecting her favorite books.
*She didn’t give up, even when only she and her husband thought she could do it.
*She led God guide her, which led to her first book contract.
After listening to Macomber speak, I thought about all of the excuses I make for not getting my novels written: I have to run errand, I need to cook dinner, I have to clean the house … so did Debbie Macomber.
I struggle with adrenal fatigue … she has dyslexia.
After work I’m too tired … she had FOUR kids at home. Do I really think she wasn’t tired?
It doesn’t matter what excuse I come up with, it’s just that – an excuse. The great ones – like Macomber – don’t make excuses, they write.
It’s time to retire my excuse.