Going on seven years ago, my friend Jen (aka Jenna) would meet me on Sundays for a writing session. At the time, I was working weekends in a very small bespoke boutique in Denver. The shop was lush, and the patrons very friendly and interesting. However, some days could become quite slow, so I would bring my laptop and write while waiting for the bell above the door to ring.
At the time, Jen was writing a historic romance novel and needed a bit of a push to get it finished. So, we made a plan to meet in the shop once a week and push each other to write. We’d set up our laptops, back to back, on the till counter, and type away until a customer entered.
Now, onto a quick side note to those of you who are saying, ‘Great customer service there Rachel. Ignoring the shop to write your own novel.’ Let me justify my multitasking of Sunday afternoons as shop keeper and novelist. I always stopped writing when someone walked in the door (although it would have taken a nuclear blast to keep Jen from writing), and 90% of the time they would ask what we were up to on the laptops. Explaining that you’re writing a novel instigates conversation, putting the customer at ease, and nearly every time leading to a sale. So, for anyone looking for a business idea: bespoke boutique/creative writing centre.
End side note: The reason I bring this up is because Jenna has published her first book, Animal Attraction. It’s a saucy romance novel about a vegan animal rights activist and a cattle rancher who fall in love. It’s got all the steamy twists of the romance genre, but with an added political bent. It’s quite good and a really fun read.
Also, this is a great story about persistence. Nothing was going to stop Jenna from writing her novel, and even less was going to stop her from publishing it. She spent gloriously sunny Sundays plugging away at her first book, and, when she was done with that, she started her second. She pushed her work to agents and publishers, attended conferences and honed her craft. She is proof that a lot of hard work and dedication will get you everywhere in life.