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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Never Say Die

I've been feeling discouraged lately about my writing prospects.
I now know this goes with the territory. The editor has had my full MS for about 2-3 months now. He seemed to be staying in touch often in the beginning and now the tumble weeds blow.

I know I need to be patient, I know I need to wait.

I also know I've been through a similar situation where I wooed one agent and ended up wasting months and months only to be rejected.

This could happen again.
I e-mailed an author whose had 60 or more books published. His advice about my dust gathering MS? Wait. He said, it takes time (I knew that) and I should be excited because "most authors don't get that far."

I know he's right. I should be thrilled. I'm getting attention from agents and editors. Published authors have been helping me here and there.
I finished a book, a good one, I think. And I'm working on one that I couldn't be more excited about.

I considered giving up anyway. Writing is often a miserable, lonely, frustrating process. I tried to ignore my novel in progress a week to give myself a little vacation. Guess what? I couldn't.

I've got the fiction addiction. Dagnabit.

I wondered if other writers suffered the hopelessness I am constantly plagued by.
I found a book at Barnes and Noble titled: "The Writer's Book of Hope" by Ralph Keyes.

Guess I'm not alone.

Great book btw. You get to read how this and that best seller was originally rejected by every agent and editor in the world before one lucky publisher gave it a chance.

The secret to being successful? Never say Die.

Sit down, snap a pencil in half (a dozen if you've got 'em), then get back to work.
Day two: repeat.

Will your big break ever come? Not if you quit.
Not if I quit.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Get Published

I chose the title of this post because I knew countless of hopeful authors will type those two words into Google and maybe my site would get a hit or two.

How do I know that? Eight years ago, I ran the same search and what did I come up with? Mostly scams and e-books I could buy. I also came up with many good web-sites that offered free information. But no advice no matter how good, will get you published. The heiney to seat ratio,(time spent actually writing),combined with a bit of talent, lots and lots and lots of stamps and most importantly: teachability--is what will.

If you want to get published to be read--start your own blog. Easy enough to do.

If you want to get published to see your name in print: write for your church newsletter or a letter to the editor. Also easy to do.

If you want to get published for the above reasons AND insist on earning a check for it, not as easy to do,but still doable: Find a couple of local magazines and pitch the editor a story with a local slant.

My first publishing credit came when I pitched an article on Accupuncture in the Roanoke Valley to The Roanoker's kind hearted editor. He suggested I have a tighter angle and write the article on 'spec'.

That means I do the work and he can buy it or not. Gina wasn't happy about writing for free, but with the rejection letters piling up, I didn't have a whole lot of other options. So, away I wrote.

The kind hearted editor wrote back that my story read more like an encyclopedia entry. He suggested I begin the story with a "hook" (A human interest story.) Eg. When Martha could no longer feel her fingers, she knew it was time to try something drastic...

Okay. I called a couple of local accupuncturists who were happy to provide me with a human of interest (and to have their names mentioned in said article). I wrote it and sent it in.

A couple of months later I received a check in the mail for $150.00.
I jumped up and down, made everyone call me "published author" and refused to spend my check. Of course, it needed to be framed.

Ten minutes later, I cashed it, deciding the article itself would be nicer to frame (and cheaper).

Several months after receiving the check, I called editor and asked him when my article would be published. He said it had, didn't I get a copy?

He graciously left two copies of the magazine on the stairs for me.

There was nothing quite like seeing my name in print,knowing I got paid to do it.

I can imagine how overwhelming it will be to see my name on the cover of a book. And since I'm dreaming, let's make it a hard cover.