The journey for any writer is ongoing. There are always new challenges and ways to grow and improve. Today, author Janet Dean shares tips and encouragement for all of us on the road to publication and beyond.
Tips for Your Journey to Publication
I love Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. In her book, she tells about her brother waiting until the night before a report on birds was due, totally overwhelmed by the task. Her father put an arm around his son’s shoulder and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.” Isn’t that wonderful advice? Start with a word, a sentence and before you know it, you’ll have a paragraph, then a chapter. As Stephen King said “You can’t revise a blank page.” In other words, plant yourself in the chair and write.
Anne Lamont says, “Almost all good writing starts with terrible first efforts.” I find that advice comforting. It takes a lot of pressure off and allows me to write junk. She continues on, saying, “…the bottom line is if you want to write, you get to, but you probably won’t get very far if you don’t start trying to get over your perfectionism.” This wise woman gives us permission to get words on the page, no matter how ugly. We can clean it up later, which means in the rough draft we can write fast with more emotion and less restraint. So shoo that internal editor off your shoulder.
A few years back a non-writing friend asked me how long I’d been writing and I told her ten years. She said, “You’ve been in school for ten years.” The comment startled me, but I realized she was right. Even when we’re published, writers are in school, learning and growing our talent. Upon occasion we must reinvent ourselves when genres tank, editors leave and lines close.
For those still waiting for the call, use the time to prepare. Write. Purchase your domain name and get a web site. Start a blog. Connect on social media sites. It’s not always good to skip a grade in school and it’s not always best to sell before we’re ready to handle that career. Our youth pastor referred to this waiting as having patience in the waiting room. Some waiting rooms are tough places—waiting to conceive a baby, waiting for the return of health, waiting for a wayward child to get his life together…waiting for The Call.
If you’re waiting, you may feel like you’re wearing one of those pointed dunce caps as you traipse across reams of rejections. Write on your mental chalkboard: I won’t take these personally. If you don’t give up, good things will happen. As a friend said in an email, “…and sometimes, in between the darkest clouds, sunshine will pour down unexpectedly upon your upturned face and the world will turn shiny and bright.”
That’s hope. May the sun shine on each of you!
The Bride Wore Spurs
|The Bride Wore Spurs|
To keep the Texas ranch she loves, Hannah Parrish will wed a man she doesn't. Cowpokes won't take orders from a young, single female. But while her exasperating neighbor Matt Walker jokes about her being a mere debutante, Hannah is a rancher to the core. Just like Matt.
"Will you marry me?" It's a question widowed Matt never intended to ask again. Now spirited Hannah is asking him for a marriage of convenience! Yet whether she's birthing a calf or caring for a young orphan, the tomboy next door is becoming the partner Matt always hoped for. Now he must convince her the greatest strength comes in trusting your heart to another—and your future to God.…
Janet Dean grew up in a family who cherished the past and had a strong creative streak. Her father recounted fascinating stories, like his father before him. The tales they told instilled in Janet a love of history and the desire to write. She married Dale, her college sweetheart, and taught first grade before leaving to rear two daughters, but Janet never lost interest in American history and the accounts of strong men and women of faith who built this country. With her daughters grown, she eagerly turned to Inspirational historical romance. Today Janet spins stories for Love Inspired Historical. Four of her six published novels are set in Indiana. When she isn’t writing, Janet stamps greeting cards, plays golf and is never without a book to read. The Deans love to travel and spend time with their family.