Friday, June 7, 2013

Tips for Your Journey to Publication by Janet Dean



Janet Dean

 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. 
~ Dawn


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!


~ Janet




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.

Visit Janet at her website: www.janetdean.net and blog: www.janetdean.blogspot.com  and group blog: www.seekerville.blogspot.com

15 comments:

  1. Ah, yes...so true. Even after publication, a writer still taps her foot impatiently in the dreaded waiting room. lol

    Lovely post, Janet, and YOWZEE! Can't wait to get my hands on THE BRIDE WORE SPURS!!

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  2. "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." Great advice and reminder. Thanks, Janet.

    I love the idea of a woman initiating a marriage of convenience. :-)

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  3. Love the "world will turn shiny and bright" quote. We are in school, aren't we? Thanks so much for the encouragement, Janet!

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  4. Janet, Great post and good advice. Been there, done that, still waiting anxiously for school to be out.

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    1. LOL--you and me both, Doc! On the other hand, seeing as we both have many more stories to tell, let's not wish this particular "school" to be over anytime soon!

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  5. Hi Dora! That waiting never ends, but we writers learn to use the time productively.

    Your bubbly enthusiasm for my book truly blessed me this morning! Thanks!

    Janet

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  6. Hi Sandra,

    It took me a while to learn that waiting teaches us perserverance and strengthens us for the career we long for but has its own set of ups and downs.

    Hannah is a strong woman who learns that independence she cherishes can be taken too far.

    Janet

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  7. Hi Angie,

    Glad my post encouraged you! A writer must learn to enjoy the journey and trust God with the outcome. When we're called to write, we must never give up!

    Janet

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  8. Good morning, Richard. The more we know, the more we know we need to know more. LOL A convoluted way to say we're never finished with school.

    Janet

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  9. Waving to my Seeker friend! Nice to see you here, Janet! Such great words of wisdom--so very true about the never-ending "school of writing." Published or still waiting, we learn with every page we write.

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    1. So true, Myra! Hey, we hold school over in Seekerville five days a week. I learn more than I teach.

      Janet

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  10. Thanks for the encouraging words, Janet. I used to feel sorry for myself because it seemed all my friends were getting published and I was still struggling. Now I realize that the journey is as important as the "goal," which really isn't a goal at all, just a milestone. Bird by Bird was one of the first books I read on the craft. I may have to go read it again now.

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    1. Hi Ron,

      We've all been there but we grow not only in craft but in wisdom. :-) Thank goodness! I love Bird by Bird. I may read it again too. Once I turn in my wip.

      Janet

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  11. Thanks for the encouragement, Janet. I used to feel sorry for myself because all my friends were getting published while I languished. I didn't have time...it's not worth the effort...my back hurts too much to sit and write. I had all the top pity lines down pat. But now I love the journey and realize there are no real destinations, only milestones.

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    1. Ron, good to see you again. We've all experienced this kind of redundancy. LOL

      Janet

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