Friday, May 6, 2011

Why You Can by Vannetta Chapman

Welcome to Fortifying Friday here at Seriously Write. Have you ever felt discouraged while trudging, strolling, or jogging down the road to publication? Guest author Vannetta Chapman offers encouragement and explains why you can reach your destination.

Why You Can
by Vannetta Chapman

There are plenty of articles written about how difficult it is to become a published author. Most of those articles are true, but they're only showing you one side of a coin. I thought I'd show you the other side--since I've experienced both. It took 12 years of intensely focused effort (while working a full time job) to be offered my first contract, but now I have 6 more books coming out in the next 2 years. I'll let you decide if it's worth the effort. Here are a few reasons Why You Can become a published author.

Unpubbed Writers Help Each Other: We live in a very competitive culture, and publishing is a competitive business. Maybe that's why it surprised me to find that other unpublished writers were so willing to help me along. Think of the road to publication as a line, with writers at different places along that road. It amazed me that folks took the time to help someone farther back. Why would they? Didn't that mean they'd have one more writer to compete with? Not necessarily. As a reader, it's hard for me to find enough good books to read. A rising tide lifts all boats, and improving the skills of a group makes us all better writers.

Pubbed Writers Help Unpubbed: This one really confused me. WHY would a multi-pubbed, award-winning writer take the time to help an unknown, unpublished author from Texas? Maybe it's that they were helped by someone else and wanted to return the favor. Maybe there's a desire to teach in all of us. All I know is that I couldn't be where I am today without the help of Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, and Mary Ellis. And that's the short list.

Editors and Agents Want You to Succeed: Whoa Nellie! Haven't you always heard that it's practically impossible to sign with an agent? That editors are too busy for anything more than a one-page query? The first is not true. I signed with my agent two years before I had my contract with Abingdon Press (A Simple Amish Christmas, Oct. 2010). The second may be true, but it doesn't mean they're not interested. It means they're busy. Respect their guidelines, and you might receive a request for more pages. Withstand enough no's until you find the publisher who has the perfect slot for the book you have written. In my case that happened with book #9 because I didn't stop writing while I waited for a yes.

You can become a published writer. Might not be easy. Might not happen right away, but as my momma has often said, "Good things are worth waiting and working for."

Vannetta Chapman holds a BA and MA degree in English and has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups.  She published an Amish novel with Abingdon Press called A Simple Amish Christmas.  Her first Quilt Shop Murder Mystery, Falling to Pieces (Zondervan), will release in September of 2011.

To find out more about Vannetta and her books, please visit

1 comment:

  1. Great advice! We definitely need other writers to help pull and/or push us along! :)


We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!