Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 9/27/13

Whether you are a novice writer, experienced writer, self-publishing writer, or dreaming of seeing your name on the cover of your book—and haven’t ever submitted a manuscript, anywhere—there is one central piece of advice I was given that I share with you today: NEVER QUIT!

Years ago, when I jumped in to an unexpected teaching position—with both feet and knees knocking—my daughter gave me a poster for my classroom.  In big, bold, bright-colored lettering it read: NEVER NEVER NEVER Quit!  The miracle of learning comes when you least expect it.  The truth of that statement played out many times, and since then, I have translated it into my personal pep-talks when I’m struggling with a writing project.

Ever read any of the stats about famous writers?  Mystery writer Agatha Christie had no formal education yet taught herself to read and eventually wrote at least 66 novels plus numerous short stories, and even movies.  John Grisham’s first novel was rejected 25 times.  Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune was rejected 20 times.  Even Stephen King received more rejection letters than he cares to remember.  And, it has even been documented that Rudyard Kipling received a rejection letter stating: I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.  J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter sagas, was turned away by 12 publishers only to be “discovered” by a very small publishing press. 

So, how do writers defeat the nay-sayers and the doubting thoughts that creep in?  We create our own, personalized, Pep Rally points:

  • Listen to your supporters!  Family, friends and other writers from your writing group who know your work and appreciate the story you’ve created can offer you the emotional support you’ll need before you publish and after you publish.Do you read the comics?  Remember when Charlie Brown was trying to kick a football and kept missing?  His good friend, Lucy, held the ball for him so that his perspective changed—just a bit—which helped him succeed.
  • Go to your first outlines and take note of the excellence in your writing! Yes, it really is okay to acknowledge that what you’ve created is well done!
  • Review the research.  If your project is based on a true story, maybe (just maybe) something slipped between the drafts. Then you can enjoy the satisfaction of enhancing the material—on your own—so that you can present the best manuscript.
  •  Re-think your publishing concepts.  If the general, mainstream publishers just don’t “get” what you’re writing, then look to the self-publishing presses. Children’s author, Beatrix Potter was not able to find a conventional publisher who would accept The Tale of Peter Rabbit.  She did not give up.  She self-published!

Someone once told me that “an apparent failure is only an opportunity to begin again; pray, reset, restart, refocus and succeed.”  I haven’t counted the numerous times this has happened in my writing life; however, I can tell you that I’ve never been happier with this gift of writing that keeps my fingers typing.  May you feel this satisfying enjoyment, too.

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

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