Gina Holmes appeared on a talk show recently. Her advice to writers was, “Quit Tomorrow not today.” Sage advice and something she and I know a lot about.
I met Gina at a writers conference in 2004. We were both at the beginning of our writing careers. We became critique partners, along with a couple of other writers, and by 2006, we were sure we’d get that call any day.
We'd signed with agents by then, who were sending out our full manuscripts. Every year, we’d tell each other, “This is the year!” But each year would go by without contracts. We were doing everything right. We continued to grow in our craft, attended conferences, and yet ... those coveted contracts were just out of reach.
One year, I went as far as pub board, only to have the slate filled for that quarter. The editor was moving me to the next quarter. Then she retired. And her hard drive was wiped clean. The hard drive with my manuscript on it.
Discouraged? You bet your bippy! But I never thought of quitting. I couldn’t anyway; I’d have exploded. There’re too many stories and voices bubbling up in my head.
The only people who fail are those who quit. If you’re that discouraged, quit tomorrow; but don’t quit today. Instead, today start a new manuscript, write a blog post, plant a garden, write a short story, start a photography journal.
There are a lot of ways to spark your creativity. After all, if you’re a writer, you can’t quit writing. So don’t even think about it. I’m glad I didn’t. When I finally got the call in 2013, I had several manuscripts waiting and ready.
While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, bestselling novelist Ane Mulligan has worn many: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning website, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and chef son. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried Fiction website, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest. Her sophomore novel, Chapel Springs Survival, will release Dec 3rd, 2015.