My Journey to Getting Published: Rhonda Bowen

Rhonda Bowen is a guest blogger for The Word On The Street. This is the first post of her monthly, guest column exploring her road to becoming a published author. Are you interested in being a guest blogger for The Word On The Street? Pitch us your ideas by emailing


The Journey of a Thousand Pages

I guess if I should talk about writing I should start at the beginning. But what is the beginning? Is it that January morning when I excused myself from my meeting to answer the first ever phone call from my would-be-editor? Or was it several years earlier when I sat in a cubicle working my dead end job and decided to start writing for real so I would have something sensible going on in my life. Those were beginnings of sorts.  But I think the real beginning was with a girl named Simone, a boring Geography class, and a $1.25 notebook.

It was Simone’s idea to write a story. I hadn’t seriously considered it until she wrote chapter one, and slipped the notebook to me, with instructions to read it and write chapter two. So I did. And this we did back and forth for most of our ninth grade. The attention span of ninth graders meant that by the end of the year we had a quite a few unfinished stories. But had I not started writing with my friend, I don’t know if I would have started writing in notebooks on my own much later.

I still carry a notebook with me all the time (a tip for writers and also a reason for my oversized purses) because you never know where inspiration may find you. It may be in an overheard conversation during rush hour on the TTC, or in the back pew of church on a Saturday evening. Whenever you are inspired you better write it down, because writing it down leads to more inspiration, which starts the momentum that can take you from a random idea to a finished novel. And that’s where we all really begin, with a blank page, and a little inspiration.


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