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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Does It Take to Get Published?

I have never heard anyone mention talent first. PERSISTENCE is the most common answer I hear. Stubbornness is a word I use. It certainly takes to allow other to see your work such as critique partners, editors and agents. After all these are your babies and we believe they are perfect.

Through all the rejections, (93 on one book and still is not published) I still couldn't quit because every book I submitted to an editor or agent was better than the last. When one was rejected, I started another and believed it would be the one. Oh, I cried and took to my bed, ranted and raved at their stupidity of not wanting my story while I quit writing for a few months.

Here are some quotes from well-known authors about writing:

'For God's sake, don't do it unless you have to. . .It's not easy. It shouldn't be easy, but it shouldn't be impossible, and it's damn near impossible.'
Frank Conroy

'I like to do, and can do many things better than I can write, but when I don't write, I feel like shit. I've got the talent and I feel that I'm wasting it.'
Ernest Hemingway

Often ideas would call to me. No matter what I did, I could not shake them. In the middle of sleep, more ideas to go along with the original would pop up. I had to get them written down, and I began to write again. I quit crying and ranting after the first few years, and I started to toughen up. I talked to other authors and heard their stories about breaking into the business. At a local conference, an author who gave the luncheon speech cried through her whole speech telling how hard it had been for her.

'There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.'
Ernest Hemingway

'Easy reading is damned hard writing.'
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Many wonderful writers quit and will never know how close they may have been to being published. I always thought the next book would be the one, so I kept writing. For years, I thought of myself as a hack because I revised so much, but then I talked to multi-published authors and many of them did the same thing. It can take a short time or many years to make it to publication.

'Books aren't written-they're rewritten. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it.'
Michael Crichton
'Writing is rewriting. A writer must learn to deepen characters, trim writing, intensify scenes. To fall in love with the first draft to the point where one cannot change it is to greatly enhance the prospects of never publishing.'
Richard North Patterson

By now, you are probably saying to yourselves: Why in the world does she write if it's so difficult. The answer for me is that I can't quit. During the times when I was hurt from many rejections I would eventually start to get antsy and bitchy because I wasn't writing. I had to get back to writing.

'You must want to enough. Enough to take all the rejections, enough to pay the price of disappointment and discouragement while you are learning. Like any artist, you are learning your craft-then you can add all the genius you want.'
Phyllis Whitney

'Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential.'
Jessamyn West

Don't give up on your dreams unless another replaces it. You have to keep learning even after you are published. It never ends.

See you next month.

Sandra K. Marshall;;


jean hart stewart said...

Loved your post. Agreed or we'd definitely be doing something else. I think one of the things that keeps us going is the definite thrill you feel when you you've finally got that elusive phrase just right. Even before your editor agrees. Worth all the rewrites. Jean

Katalina Leon said...

Wonderful post Sandy! I'll treasure this one for the quotes alone.

Molly Daniels said...


Why do I write? My head would explode if I didn't write down all those scenes/ideas!

Writing keeps me sane. And apparently, people like to read what I've written:)

Sandy said...

Thank you for your comment.

You're easy to please. lol Getting one phrase just right is good but getting the whole book just right is better. Smile.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Kat.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Molly.

I agree with you that writing keeps one sane. Anyone who battles depression should try it. It gets your mind off the small stuff. Grin.

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