Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Confessions Of An Unpublished Writer

I've been writing since I gave birth to my son in January 2005. There I sat in between breast feeding and typing away my ideas on a desktop. It was a light bulb moment for me. Early on I dreamed I'd write the world's bestseller and I'd become an elite writer with all the red carpet trimmings. Boy, was I wrong! At the time I was twenty-one with a new baby, a high school education, and unemployed. I realized I needed to do something with my life that would make me happy. It dawned on me that I loved reading. I was practically obsessed with going to the library, checking out all the books, and always returning them late. Minus the late fees, I knew I'd tapped into my passion.

I'll be completely honest and say  I put the cart before the horse many times. I prematurely submitted my unedited manuscript to agents, I looked into vanity presses, and I called myself hiring an editor with no experience what so ever. I wanted a rewarding life and I wanted it instantly. It didn't help that I told people I'm writing a novel. Many wanted results or scuffed at the idea of me writing a book. You're too young. You look like a nurse. Blah, blah, and blah. I couldn't deliver.  I grew frustrated. As the years went by I closely evaluated my writing skills. I wanted to know what I was doing wrong. I knew I deserved representation.  I put my pride aside and started over.

My manuscript was horrible. If I'd saw it in a bookstore and I wrote it I still wouldn't have bought it. I started reading WD magazine, reading more varied authors, and writing where ever I could. The harder I worked the more confident I became in my abilities.

It's been nine years and some change since I wrote my first manuscript. Here's what I've learned so far :

  • Writing is not for the faint of heart. The only way to get better is to study the craft and challenge your capabilities.
  • Read varied authors. The title of my first novel was Slippery When Wet. Gross. It wasn't an authentic representation of me. Be true to yourself.
  • Trust your voice- I read everything from erotica to suspense. No two authors are alike. Although I love EJD...I don't want to sound like him. I've learned to trust my voice in my writing.
  • Rewrite. Rewrite. Rewrite. Leave it alone for awhile. Rewrite.
  • Learn from those before you.
  • Although the market may be saturated in your genre. There's still room for your book on the shelf.
  • Spell check is not perfect. Editing is required.
  • Write. Write. And write some more. 
  • Tough skin is required for this industry.
  • Writers groups are an necessity.
  • An agent is not required for success. 
I've learned a lot over the years, more importantly I've grown up. I don't think the same and those things that I used to write about no longer interest me. Time has caused me to mature in my writing and my life. I'm grateful for that. I want my books to be a representation of who I am and the woman I am becoming. Perfectly Imperfect is the title of my debut novel and I couldn't be more proud. It's the perfect title for where I am in my life and how far I've come. Today I am an unpublished writer. But, tomorrow I'll be a New York Times Bestselling Author. Watch and wait!!

Be in peace, not pieces ! Sm:)e