Gina has been in love with the written word since the day she received her first diary in the second grade because it has the power to touch, stir, and reach from the depths of one soul to another. Gina’s published mystery novels include Cherry Blossom Capers Digging Up Death.
Her passion is to inspire others to write their story and she teaches novel and memoir writing to kids, teens, and adults. In addition to teaching writing classes online and at conferences, she co-hosts the Teen Writers Publish podcast on iTunes for teens of all ages.Gina Conroy
You’ve heard it before; there are no overnight successes. Well, there are a couple I know of, but thankfully we’ve remained friends to this day. For the rest of us, publication takes three things. Sweat, tears, and perseverance.
Sweat. It’s what got me from being an unpublished novice writer to a published author. We all start out green, thinking our prose is brilliant until our first critique. Then the scales fall from our eyes, and we see that we have a lot of learning to do. That’s when we roll up our sleeves and learn new terms like head hopping, info dumps, and backstory. All the things our WIP is filled with that we’re not supposed to do. But we’re excited, ready to learn, not afraid of the work before us. We buy a couple of craft books and start to learn the rules.
Rules? Yes, writers need to follow them if they want to be published. It’s the published writers, and those darn overnight successes, that get to break them! Once we start to learn the rules, it’s then the real writers are separated from the fantasy writers (and I’m not talking genre.) It’s then we start to sweat. It’s then a writer needs to ask the question, “Am I willing to put in the hard work it’s going to take to become a published author?” It’s a question I had to ask myself for the last fifteen years after every disappointment and rejection.
Tears. If you want to be a published writer, there will be many. Writers have heard over and over again that writing is not for the faint of heart, that you have to have thick skin, and when you’re knocked down over and over again (and you will be,) you have to get up again and again. And it’s true. I’ve been knocked down so many times I swore I’d never get up. But I always do because I’m that stubborn and determined to keep at it until I succeed. And with two fiction books and my Release the Novel in You workbook, some think I have succeeded. Not even close. I still deal with the “stuff” all writers experience, but I’ve learned a couple of tricks to deal with the tears. I will save those for another time.
Perseverance. This is what separates the writers from the wannabes. You’ve also heard that if it was easy everyone would be doing it. There are many who start on this writing journey only to fizzle out and quit too soon. What keeps me going is the fear of missing out because I gave up too soon. It’s not easy to persevere through sweat and tears, but when I keep my mind on the goal and my heart attuned to my calling, then quitting isn’t an option.
Writing isn’t easy, but it is attainable if you remember the three keys to getting published. You need to work hard, handle disappoints, and pick yourself up and start typing again. If there’s any other way to succeed in this crazy business, I’d sure like to know!