Friday, September 9, 2011

Lessons in Writing!

Once a marine, always a marine--after serving six years and a two year tour overseas, my twin sister still carries herself with the marine mentality that was engraved in her since she was seventeen. And as warped as some of the military ideas were, they are still beneficial to everyone. So…I’ve accumulated a list of ideas—ways of thinking, which can help a writer, strive to achieve their goal….PUBLICATION.

1) Adapt and Overcome- Most literary agents have difficulties with authors after suggesting that they make changes to their manuscript to make it more appealing to publishers. For one—if you get a request for a full or partial manuscript that’s AWESOME. That means that you have something that interests a literary agency. So, if they send you a 15-page rewrite letter don’t take offense to it. Everyone, sooner or later has the same thing happen to them. It’s not like the agent HATES your novel. If they did they wouldn’t have prepared such a lengthy edit letter. They are trying to make your book marketable…make it better. So, suck it up. Adapt and overcome. Do the suggested edits and move on. The sooner you do, the sooner you will complete the goal of every writer. Being PUBLISHED.

2) Success Doesn’t Happen Over Night- Yes, you might get the occasional, “I had a pitch session with a BIG NYC LITERARY GURU and they requested a full manuscript and then I had my book published in a year.” Yes, those stories are out there. But realistically, we all want success and we want it now but 9/10 times it doesn’t happen that way. You start writing a book…and then in eight months you start the query process only to get rejected 50 times. So you decide to do a re-write and then you start querying again and then you receive 50 more rejections. And then after what seems like the tenth round of massive edits and changing your book title, you finally get one hit. And that’s all it takes, which could take YEARS. Don’t be discouraged. There is someone out there looking for your book, they just don’t know it yet. So keep writing, no matter what.

3) It’s Okay to Fail-Everyone has heard the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” After writing for over a year, I have to say that it is tough work and even if we work on a project and put our heart and soul into something, it doesn’t mean that it will get published. There are thousands of authors who have unpublished manuscripts piled up beside their desktops. Works of art that they put their sweat and tears into that will never be seen in print. But that doesn’t make you any less of a writer. The publishing industry is so competitive and subjective. What’s popular today won’t be popular tomorrow. And as a writer it’s your job to not give up after one failure but to write through the gunk that is holding you back onto bigger and better things.

I hope that what I have written encourages some of you. Because even when life gets you down, you have to keep your head up and keep writing.

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