Am I A Writer? (Revisited)

 

writerAm I a writer? You ever ask yourself that question? I do, and am still hesitant to tell people I write. I’ve never published a book. I’ve never been paid to write anything. As a matter of fact, my work was rejected because it wasn’t good enough. Side note-it really wasn’t good enough-I just didn’t know it at the time. I was too new to the game. I lacked experience and knowledge.

Becoming a writer is a process. You may have the desire and a great idea, but if you’re just starting out, you lack the skills and knowledge necessary to produce a successful piece of work.

Think of it like anything else you try for the first time.  Did you start out knowing how to tie your shoes, ride a bike, or read a book? No! You had to learn. They were skills you developed.

Being bad at something you really want to succeed at is part of the process. If you’re not willing to fail, stink, make mistakes, accept corrections and criticism, or seek counsel from experts, then you’re not likely to progress.–Jerry Jenkins

So when can you call yourself a writer? As soon as you’re willing to jump in and put yourself, or maybe I should say your ego, on the line.

If you’ve failed and are still writing, if you’re scared and are still writing, if you’ve stood up to a stinging critique and made your piece better by applying what you learned, if you’ve stayed at it despite that pervasive fear of failure, you are a writer.–Jerry Jenkins.

I hope this cleared up some questions in your mind. I, as mentioned above,  still struggle with the concept-I AM A WRITER 🙂

-Jan R

Am I A Writer? (Revisited)

Don’t Muddle Through The Middle

beginmuddleend4When you write a novel, one of the things you’re probably going to experience, is the mayhem in the middle. You have a great story idea, with a great beginning and a great ending. The only problem is, you haven’t thought about what happens when you get to the middle.

Most people who fail to complete their novel, become lost in the middle. They bail when they realize they don’t have enough cool stuff to fill the pages. They may attempt to add scenes, but become bored, and know readers will be too.

Every book becomes a challenge a few chapters in. Trying to keep up the tension and pace gets harder and harder. But don’t panic or do anything rash, like give up.

What can you do? If you’re one of those people who hasn’t developed an outline, thinking it would just come to you as you muddled through, maybe you should consider backing up and doing one.

An outline to set every scene gives you a blueprint of what will happen next. If the action starts to wane, think about a subplot or introduce tension between your main characters. Maybe there was a misunderstanding, or maybe that one minor character that was suppose to be the good guy, isn’t what he appears. Maybe the butler did it, but nobody knows.

You can have so much fun with subplots. Just keep them believable and resolve them all in the end.

Hope this helped.

Jan R

 

 

Don’t Muddle Through The Middle

The Dreaded Rejection Letter

So you received the dreaded rejection letter.  Well it was bound to happen.  You are in great company and I wasn’t talking about me.  If you are a writer, then rejection will be a part of your everyday life.  Author David Eddings said, “If you don’t have callouses on your soul, writing isn’t for you. Take up knitting instead.” Funny but true.

When you get your rejection letter and odds are you will, treating it as an insult and allowing it to bring out the worst in you will stall your dream of becoming an Author.

Those who are successful as novelists, recover and learn from their rejection using it to motivate them to become better writers. They recognize that rejection hurts but see it as part of the process. They don’t take it personal. Writers like this do the following.

  • Wallow then write – Give yourself thirty minutes or so to  get the rejection out of your system then get back to the keyboard.
  • Learn from the critique – Attempt to understand what you did wrong and correct your mistakes.
  • Try to understand where the publisher is coming from and why your novel didn’t work.
  • Remember publishing is a business and publishers are in the market to make money. It’s not personal.

I received rejection letters from four different agencies. I hated the ones that said ‘Thank you but this isn’t what we are looking for’. What do you do with that?  Fortunately one saw something in my manuscript and while she said it wasn’t ready for publishing, she offered suggestions to make it better. As a matter of fact, that particular agent has offered me advice on three separate occasions. That’s why I started this blog. She informed me I needed to build a solid platform.

I took all of her suggestions to heart. I researched, took classes to make me a better writer and I started this blog to begin building a platform. If you’re not sure what that is, I have written about it in previous blogs and you can google ‘building your platform’ for more information.  I recommend reading some of Michael Hyatt’s stuff. The man is very knowledgeable on the subject and easy to follow.

I hope this helped somebody. I would love to hear from you. Any comments or questions would make my day.

Please consider following me.  Just press the ‘follow’ button in the lower right hand corner of the page. You will receive a notice whenever I update or write a new blog.

-Jan R

The Dreaded Rejection Letter