Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guest Blogger ~ Rita Gerlach

Rita Gerlach has published three historical novels which received high praise from book reviewers and readers. Currently she is writing a novel set along the Potomac River and England’s gentle countryside entitled Beside Two Rivers, a story of love and loss, prejudice and acceptance, in a volatile era. She has articles in Writers Gazette, Will Write 4 Food, Write to Inspire, and the print magazine The Christian Communicator. She's a member of The Western Maryland Writers Guild and the American Christian Fiction Writers association. She lives with her husband and two sons in historic Frederick County, Maryland.

NJ: (Happy birthday, Rita)

Perseverance, Patience, and Humility

Sitting on my desk is a small piece of cross-stitch that I finished years ago. It says,

‘Commit your works to the Lord’

Beneath the verse is a cluster of red tulips, a basket, garden gloves, a trowel and a watering can. There isn’t a day gone by that I do not see those words before my eyes. Committing your work to the Lord takes perseverance, which has a few different facets that define it. Tenacity, steadfastness, grit, and determination, but never pride.

As an aspiring writer, ask yourself if you have the grit to continue writing after receiving rejections and harsh critiques. Do you have the steadfastness to improve your writing? Are you willing to learn the craft of good storytelling? Do you have the determination to continue to send out work? Do you have the tenacity to remain true to your goals, even if it means it could take years before you have your first book published? Can you be persistent and humble at the same time?

For a writer to truly become masterful it takes work, and you can never believe you've so arrived that you no longer need to improve or grow. Pride can lead to a fall. A humble heart keeps you open to learning.

Be patient in your search for publication. Do not rush it. After you have polished your manuscript to a high sheen, and you are ready to submit, study how to write a query letter and book proposal. Make a list of publishers or literary agents you wish to submit to. If you get a rejection, know that this is the norm. It happens to every writer. Just move on. Keep submitting. In the meantime, write another novel.

The industry may be tough. But there is one thing for certain. Whether you are published or not, no one can say you are not a writer, and no one can take away your gift. Only you can decide what you will do with it.

Surrender the Wind

When American patriot Seth Braxton inherits his grandfather’s estate in faraway England, he inherits more than an isolated manor house. He falls in love with the daughter of an eccentric landed gentleman, and uncovers a plot that leads to kidnapping, murder, and betrayal.

Juleah’s independent spirit and gentle soul win Seth’s heart, enraging the man who once sought her hand and schemed to make Ten Width his own, in this stirring tale of fidelity and forgiveness.


Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Rita, You give some great advice. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Sherry Kyle said...

I really enjoyed your interview, Rita! Great advice!
Congratulations on Surrender the Wind.


Myra Johnson said...

Truer words were never spoken. Without tenacity, courage, and humility, a writer won't get very far in this business. Congratulations on your success, Rita!

Gina Holmes said...

Thanks Rita... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

christa said...

I love that you said "no one can take your gift." So true.

Thanks for sharing and BRAVO!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Great advice Rita! Patience in the Lord is certainly advantageous to wind up getting His best for ourselves.

Bonnie Toews said...

Rita, this is such inspiring advice said with humble wisdom. Given on your birthday too! Pride, it is the ultimate killer. Sometimes it is difficult to determine the difference between pride and confidence, but confidence comes from faith. You live the example. Congratulations on a spectacular year--Stepping Stones, for sure.

Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

Thank you, Rita. I know I struggled with the process until at forty I "tried" karate and spent four years earning my black belt. That discipline taught me principles that I realized could be applied to writing - be a student forever, persevere, take small, measurable steps and practice, practice, practice! (Oh, and when you fall - get back up!). God bless.

NancyMehl said...

Great article, Rita! I've watched you over the years. Your perseverance and professionalism has been inspiring. Looking forward to reading your new book! God bless you.