Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Write On by Theresa Hall

My writing is awful. I’ll never get published. I should just quit.

If you’ve ever said these words to yourself, you’re not alone. I don’t know of a single writer who hasn’t felt this way. And the rejections certainly don’t help. Trust me, I’ve had my share. I wrote several full manuscripts that will never be published. And for good reason. They’re awful. But do I regret writing them? Not at all. I learned something from every single one.

My first book, I can’t even remember the title of it, was written on this weird little word processor machine back in 1998. It was 80,000 words of pure nonsense and I just knew it was going to be published. I got online, found a small publishing house to send it to, then printed it out, packaged it up, and mailed it off—unedited. (Oh, I can hear your gasps!) Yes, I checked for grammar and spelling, but that was it.

I had no idea my characters were just talking without really saying anything. They had no internal conflict. Zero. Although I was an avid reader, I had no idea authors actually had to work on characterization. I didn’t even know there was such a thing!

When my manuscript came back, the rejection letter was right on top. Not a form letter, but a kind, well thought out letter by an editor who chose to encourage me rather than deflate me. She told me she was sorry she had to pass, and that I needed to learn the “craft of writing” because she felt I had a talent for storytelling. She went on to say that if I would do that, she had no doubt I would someday be published. I still have that letter. That editor’s words kept me going until I sold my first novel to Love Inspired Suspense.

I wish I could tell you that there’s a “secret path” to publishing. If there is, no one told me about it. But what I can share with you is that you need to find the thing that inspires you. Maybe it’s a compliment from a critique partner, an editor, or an agent telling you something great about your writing. Use that to keep you motivated.

Also, read books on writing. I have a bookshelf and a Kindle full of books on the craft of writing. Now that I’m published, I’m still studying those books so I can become an even better storyteller.

Lastly, pray. I can’t stress this one enough. Everything happens in God’s time, not ours. Find peace with His timing. It took me twenty years to achieve my dream of publishing with Love Inspired Suspense. Looking back, I can see how perfect God’s timing was in my life. Every failure, every rejection, is merely a stepping-stone. It’s part of His plan for your life.

Enjoy being a writer and telling your stories, even if you’re not published. Just keep writing. 

I wish I could tell you that there’s a “secret path” to publishing. via @Theresalynnhall #SeriouslyWrite


Theresa Hall is an award-winning author of Christian fiction whose stories include military, law enforcement, and first responder heroes. As a native Texan, she loves to write suspenseful stories that happen in small Texas towns with old fashioned Southern values.  She’s also a first grade teacher who loves to cook, read a good suspense, and binge-watch episodes of Dateline and Discovery ID. She is a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). She actively promotes fellow Christian Fiction authors on her blog and can be found online at

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