Friday, December 9, 2011

Tis a Writer's life for me!

Winners of Free tote bags filled with books are:

Drumroll please!!!!  Debbie Mitchell and Rhonda !!!    By the way, I used to generate the winners. We had 24 people who entered and over 77 reviews!!  Thank you all so much!!

I get a lot of emails from writers who want to know how they can get published. I mean, I get A LOT!!  I try to answer them as honestly as I can, but to be honest, I'm sure I sound discouraging.  Let's face it, nothing worthwhile in this life is easy. There are no tricks or shortcuts to publication, no magic wands or potions that can transform your manuscript into gold.  Yes, there are the success stories of Harry Potter and the Twilight series, but most of us aren't going to write a best-seller the first time around (And then have movies made of them!!!) 

I compare most of us writers to the actors and actresses that lurk around Hollywood, waiting on tables and hauling garbage in between auditions in the hope that they will get that one shot and become a star!  They just need that one chance!  My manuscript just needs that one editor or agent to fall in love with in.. then I'm in!

The truth is that writing is hard work. Most of us don't just get some grand idea, spend a couple months writing down a story and then end up on the New York Times Best seller list!  Writing is a skill that you must learn like any other. You must study the craft. Yes, I said the dreaded word STUDY.  You must Practice, Work Hard, Sacrifice.  Yikes, did I say Study, Practice, Work Hard, Sacrifice!!   Man what a complete downer I am!! What a scrooge! And at Christmas time!!  

After you've learned how to write, then there's the research! I don't care if your story is contemporary or historical, unless it's set in the town you grew up in, chances are you're going to need to research. You can't short cut and gloss over details in a book. If you have a scene with a pilot flying an airplane that crashes, you're going to need to know what the cockpit looks like, how to fly, what to do in an emergency, what the tower would say, what the pilot would say.   Just like I have to know what a captain would say aboard a ship during battle. Think all this is easy to find out? It's not! It takes hard work! Uggg.. did I say that 'Work' word again? 

The thing about being a writer is, even after you do all of the above and write a glorious masterpiece, there are no guarantees it will ever see the light of day.  It's like delivering a baby and never being able to take it home from the hospital!  How unfair!!! 

But just like having a baby, if you do get blessed to bring it home, (get published),  your trouble has only begun!!  You've birthed a great career, but now the work and the expectations become even harder.
Like an infant who continually wakes you up at night to be fed, you'll soon discover how unnerving the dreaded Deadline is!  Then, what about when your baby throws up all over your new silk sweater or poops on your wool pants. Those are akin to the bad reviews and bad sales numbers your books receive. 

Why would anyone want to do this, you scream!!!  Because God creates writers and they can't stop writing. It's who they are. It's in them and won't let go.   It's the reason they stay up half the night pounding away at a manuscript. It's the reason they daydream about characters and scenes and get excited when a new plot twist lands in their heads. It's the reason they endure long lonely hours and bad reviews... because they can not do otherwise. We are writers. God appointed. Holy Spirit breathed. Stories and characters float around in our minds driving us crazy until we unleash them on paper. We are willing to suffer anything to bring our stories to life. If this is you, don't give up. God has a place for your story!!!  But do the hard work. Make the sacrifices. In God's Kingdom, there are no shortcuts.


  1. Dec 9th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    First off, 'Congratulations' to Debbie and Rhonda ! Good work !
    Thanks for sharing today's blog, MaryLu .... W-O-W ... yet again !!! The "studying, practice, working hard, and sacraficing" ... what can I say ! Once again, I am most happy to let "you" be the writer ! There was a day and time when I 'thought' I might have had what it takes .... but alas ... not so anymore. So glad you have this God-given gift and talent, and, that you use it for His honour and glory ... by never giving up ! 'No shortcuts in God's Kingdom' ... I like that, and oh ... so true !!!
    Thanks again.
    P.S. -- We have "snow" today ! Temps are below freezing too. Don't you just wish you lived in Ontario, Canada ??? Maybe not !
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. congrats debbie and rhonda!!! enjoy your prizes :)

  3. Good morning, Brenda!! Snow today! Below freezing! Those are words that scare this ole sea captain to death!! I must say I'm glad to be south of you! Enjoy.

    Thanks Kara for entering!

  4. That last paragraph is absolutely beautiful. It's what we do. It's who we are. You're right. I can't stop writing.

  5. Congratulations Debbie and Rhonda!

    I wish it snowed at my house. Instead, we had a visit from ol' Jack Frost himself. My backyard looks like someone dropped thousands of pearls and diamonds! Until the sun melted it away. Is it possible for the sun to be a bad guy? Hmmm...

    I'm so glad that you made it! I just can't imagine not being able to pick up on of your books and enjoying it while drinking a nice cup of hot tea or cocoa. What would I do during the long winter's days/nights?

    Anyways, I like the pictures you used to accentuate your post. The scrooge one particularly made me laugh. But what you said is also true. Writing is hard work, and sometimes its hard to take bad reviews and criticism. But all of that helps us grow and become better writers. Besides, if you don't work on the research part, everybody who loves to read will pick up on it right away. I read a book once where the author didn't pay attention to those details, making things that were invented earlier and messing up on the vernacular and way of living. It made me go crazy-I couldn't read it because I was too busy trying to ignore the mistakes. It made the story really, really confusing.

  6. Then you are a God-appointed writer, Rebekah!
    Eszter.. I know.. the frost is really pretty isn't it? And yes the research part is SO important.. it's actually my least favorite part. I wish I could hire someone to do it. LOL

  7. Yippee! Thank you so much for giving me the chance to win, MaryLu! I emailed my choices to you.
    I, too, love the pictures you add to your blogs. They really help to envision what you are 'thinking'. Thank you for 'not giving up' with your writing. Your sacrifices are our blessings. :)

  8. I love research! Its like finding long hidden jewels in a treasure chest. That is, if you know what you are looking for. If not, then yes, reseaching is a drag. I also have special interests that I love researching about (atlantis, camelot, Tudors, romanov rule, ancient middle east...the list goes on!)

  9. Congratulations, Debbie and Rhonda! Thanks a lot for this post, MaryLu! It is very encouraging.

  10. You're so welcome, Debbie! And Eszter.. maybe I should hire you to do my research? Mine isn't nearly as fascinating as you're describing, though.

    Glad the post helped you, Heather!
    Have a great evening, Ladies!

  11. Love the pictures! lol How long does it take you to find them all?

  12. Not long.. I just google the topic .. probably 10 minutes..

  13. Nice! I like it! It grabs your attention and makes it more fun to read.

  14. How long does it take for you to research for a book? Whenever I'm researching for an essay, I sometimes find myself needing new sources as I go along.

    P.S. Your one of my favorite authors! I would gladly do the research for free. :)

  15. Depends on the book Eszter.. for a time period I know nothing about.. a month or 2. But then as I'm writing I discover lots of things that I need to look up.. things I didn't anticipate having to know. Sigh.. It's a long process. I wish I could hire you!! If I had the money.. LOL