Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Beth Vogt

Do you know who Beth Vogt is? She's a talented writer. I've been following her for a while at her blog In Others' Words.

When I moved to Colorado Springs, I heard about her through the director of a local writer's group. I never quite understood her name. All the other ladies nodded knowingly, if Beth's name was mentioned. I made a mental note to look up this author and editor.

Then one day, I ran across a post at the My Book Therapy blog — A Sure-Fire cure for Writer's Block That blogger's name sounded familiar. I liked her tips. Her name while wearing her editor's cap — The Evil Editor (TEE).

In May, I saw a post on literary agent Rachelle Gardner's Facebook page. It included a picture of Rachelle and her client Beth Vogt with a link to Beth's post about a new book contract. I read the post: Burnout & Hearing Voices: Why This is a Good Thing. And, here's where my "Oh, this is Beth Vogt" moment arrived.

See, Beth writes nonfiction, but got burned out. She began writing fiction. The conversation between Beth and her husband in the post is very funny. She began writing a novel — "Just for fun. No one will ever see it." She embraced change, worked on her craft and inked a book deal. Wish You Were Here, a contemporary romance, will be published in May.

In many ways, reading that post alerted me to my own bend in the road. I had read several blog posts about memoirs that were discouraging. As the deadline approached for a picture book retreat, I decided to go for it. Take time. Write something different. Take a break. Refresh.

I enjoy Beth's blog posts, so I recently checked out her book: Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35 at the library. I wish I had had this book when I was pregnant at 38 in Del Rio, Texas with a limited network. There was no one with a Mommy-Come-Lately life experience around me.

Beth's story and those throughout the book reminded me that I am not alone. With the book fresh on my mind, I shared a few thoughts with another mother at church on Sunday. She knew about Baby Changes Everything, but didn't feel like it fit her. I encouraged her to take another look. I learned a lot through Beth's story.

And all this, months later, reminds me that I need to convert my memoir-in-progress into a completed manuscript. I hope my unexpected life experience — not about parenthood, but as a caregiver — might be helpful to someone in a similar situation or to someone just trying to live in this world.

I'm grateful Beth wrote Baby Changes Everything and look forward to her novel debut in May. Please check out her blog — it's encouraging, funny and thoughtful.

Have you ever read a blog post that hit close to home or changed the way you do something?

16 comments:

  1. I think you should definitely write your memoir, Stacy. Who knows who it might help? Everybody wants to feel understood, and nobody wants to feel alone. I wrote memoir of sorts - it was really only about one experience in my life - and it will never be published - it needs a lot of work. But it was incredibly therapeutic to write. I didn't even realize how therapeutic until it took me 2 years to write the very sad end. And once I'd written that part? it was as though a weight had lifted. So even though it will never see the light of day, it was a very worthwhile experience.

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  2. Thanks for the encouragement Susanna. Light of day or not, I need to finish and say "the end." I think for news about publication chances just stifled me for a bit. Now, I'm refreshed and ready to go again.

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  3. I recognize Beth's name, but I will check out her site now.
    I ditto Susanna's sentiment! Keep going :)

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  4. Beth sounds delightful - going to her blog now. Thanks for the tip.

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  5. I want to echo Susanna, Stacey, and say, do finish that memoir, whether or not it gets published now, at a later date or not at all. Some of these stories in us really do need to find expression. I sometimes use blog posts for this too!

    I recognized Beth's name too, so now to check out her bog. Thank you.

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  6. @Coleen, @Karen and @Joanna - Thank you and Beth's blog is delightful!

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  7. Stacy, thanks for shining the spotlight on Beth. She's my agency mate, my friend, and one of my biggest cheerleaders. Talk about encouragement personified. That's Beth! I heart her BIG time!

    I wish you all the best on your memoir, Stacy, and if you need someone to encourage you along the way, just ask Beth. She'll be there in a heartbeat.

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  8. Stacy,
    Writer-me is searching for the right words to express my feelings after reading this post.
    And The Evil Editor me (TEE) is clutching the red pen, ever ready to edit my comment if I don't get it right!
    I am humbled by this blog post.
    You have encouraged me in so many ways.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to share how I've touched your life. I'm hugging your words close to my heart.

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  9. Aloha Stacy,

    Just saw your comment on Leigh's blog wondering if you had the nerve to link on a last-minute entry into the blogfest.... you should do it... no one will bite.. and if they do, just let me know... I'm quite good at making "grrr" noises :)

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  10. @Keli - Very true that Beth is "encouragment personified." And thanks for your encouragement.
    @Beth - I appreciate your encouragement and your words ...

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  11. And @Mark - Thanks for the encouragement to enter.

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  12. I hadn't heard of Beth until now, but I'm glad you shared her with us today. WOW! She sounds so amazing.

    I love when I find a non-fiction book that really helps me. One that I found is "A Day Late and Dollar Short - It's okay," by JoAnn Larsen. It was great!

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  13. Read your blog early this morning, but couldn't respond until now. Your interview with Beth was very special. I was an older mother and could have benefited from her advice. Interesting she wrote fiction and got burned out and turned to non-fiction. That fascinates me!

    And, I think you seriously conside writing your memoir -- it's an unusual perspective and relevant.

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  14. I agree with you about Beth. She's an amazing lady! I learned a lot from her when she led my crit group.

    And you should definitely finish the memoir someday. Having read some of your story, I think it could help a lot of people.

    ~Debbie

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  15. @Leigh-She is and thanks for the recommendation.
    @Patricia - She did non-fiction and then fiction.
    @Debbie - Yes, I think she's amazing.
    Thank you all for the encouragement too.

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  16. A note to Debbie:
    I still wait to hear you inked a contract for your novel! I love that story!
    :O)

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