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WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN ABOUT BEING
1) Glory! . . . Not
RARELY does a non-writer get me. I’ll stop in the middle of a foreign city to smell it. Study the citizens. Listen to the accents and hope to catch some idioms. I stare at people to analyze their behaviors. I’ll even touch statues and handle unfamiliar plants. My husband does not enjoy going to museums with me because I spend hours absorbing the facts and figurines that someone else collected for me. I hoard their booklets and mini-maps.
ONLY A WRITER fully understands another writer and why we do the things we do. My weekly critique group points out my punctuation blunders and they fearlessly tell me, “That scene totally stunk. Rewrite it!” But more important, they help keep me sane, because they also consider all life experiences (good & bad) indispensable to their next story and to making their characters come alive.
When I first started out, I wish I knew
how much I’d be misunderstood.
I would’ve hunted down a critique group
from the very beginning.
2) Educational . . . Surprisingly
ASIDE FROM those rare geniuses whose brains store every bit of data known to man, authors are among the only people I know who possess a mental pantry full of an abundance of eclectic knowledge. Let’s say a fireman reads your story and instantly spots the unrealistic fictional fire marshal you created. He’ll likely close the book, never to pick up another with your name on it. Thus we authors must research to make characters and their settings believable.
When I first started out, I wish I knew how much fun I’d have discovering fascinating facts.
Like the founder of the first American nudist organization—an ordained Baptist minister.
Or the electrostatic shock present during helicopter water rescues.
Just as there is diversity in reader preferences, editors and agents are no different. They want to sell what they enjoy reading—and that’s a good thing. People in the publishing industry aren’t in it to make big bucks—they might do better selling used cars if that were the case. No, agents/editors seek out and publish entertainment and educational material they believe will benefit readers. Yet, for many, it’s more than a job. It’s a passion.
When I first started out, I wish I knew it wasn’t the end of the world
when the first agent rejected my first manuscript.
The best rejections come with helpful advice on how to improve your craft.
4) Passion . . .Essential
Why do I write?
DID SOMEONE CALL YOU LAZY? Don’t believe it! Ask them if they’ve ever completed a 100,000-word novel that people–other than their grandma–actually want to read. Or how long it took them to verify and footnote all the references for the biography of “Famous Joe” so no one sues them or their publisher. Meeting pub deadlines requires you hone your organizational skills. Marketing your book? That’s mostly on your own shoulders these days. Oh, and thus far, you’ve haven’t been paid a penny for the tons of hours you put into all that research and writing.
When I first started out, I wish I knew how my passion to tell the story in my heart
would play a part in getting me out of bed and to the computer
—to learn what I don’t know about storytelling
—to get me through the through the edits
—to push me to find alpha and beta readers.
And finally, getting it into readers’ hands
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I know it’s crazy, but I love it all! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Looking to read a great contemporary suspense with thick threads of spiritual warfare and romance? Click here → Destiny Defied, book one of The Destiny Series, by J.A. Marx.
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The Way of the Embattled Spirit