How I Found The Write Path Bloghop

Happy Monday, Folks!

Today I'm taking part in the How I Found The Write Path bloghop, hosted by the awesome Carrie Butler, who is celebrating her third blogiversary! Congratulations, Carrie!!



The idea for this bloghop is to create a free ebook to help new self-publishers on their journey to publication. Which is a fantastic idea, and I'm sure will help not only self-publishers, but those seeking traditional publication, too.

THE PROMPT:
Please write a letter/note to yourself when you first started writing toward publication.
The only thing I ask is that you keep it under 800 words, including as many (or as few) of these elements as you like:
- A lesson you learned the hard way
- Something you didn’t expect about the industry (positive/negative)
- A writing-related resource you could never do without now
- One thing you’d change about your journey
- One thing you’re glad you did
- Your number one tip for pursuing publication
- Anything else you feel is worth passing on

INFORMATION:
- The name you wish to be credited as
- The title (if any) you wish to follow your name, i.e. author of the series
- One major link where people can find you, i.e. website, blog, Twitter, etc.

PLEASE INCLUDE: 
- Whether or not you give me permission to use your entry in the e-book compilation. Don’t feel bad if you don’t want in. We’d still love to read what you have to say!

Hey 2010 Clare,

Even though you're still unpublished, you're getting ever closer. But more importantly, you're happy where you are as a writer. So here's my advice to you, gained from the experiences of the last three and a half years, since you moved away from fan-fic and started branching out with your own original stories, and NaNoWriMo.

First and foremost ... don't rush and don't compare yourself to others. This isn't a race to see who in the blogging world can be published first. Just because some of your writing friends publish before you, that doesn't mean you're not as good, or that you're lacking in skills. Your time will come when you and your stories are ready, so don't sweat it.

Accept that your first story will suck. Hell, even your second and third won't be perfect. But no words are wasted words - those shelved manuscripts can be resurrected, and even if you decide not to, every novel is experience. Every MS is another step towards honing your skills. So, keep at it. And if you have to start over a bunch of times, don't worry, eventually all the aspects you're seeking will fall into place.

Never discount an opportunity. If there's a contest, or a blog hop, or a job opening, go for it. Even if you don't think you'll get it. Putting your name out there not only builds confidence, and connects you with awesome writerly people, but the end results might just surprise you.

Just because something worked/ didn't work for someone, doesn't mean it's right or wrong for you. Sure, ask other writers for their opinions based on their experiences, but know everyone's path is different. Seek your own truths by doing your own research and looking deeply at all aspects of something. Couple your own instinct with the advice of trusted friends, and you're sure to find the right way.

Hang in there, and know that in 2014, you're happier with your writing, and closer to publication than ever before.

Love,

2014 Clare

(Carrie, please feel free to include this in your book if you'd like, with a link back to my blog. Thanks. ^_^)

40 comments:

  1. Great advice - you never know where those opportunities will lead :-)

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    1. Thanks, Annalisa!

      Yeah, you'd be surprised of what comes from just trying! :D

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  2. That's right - every manuscript is practice and perhaps an opportunity later on!

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    1. Agreed! Thanks for dropping in, Alex! :D

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  3. Great post! I've definitely learned a lot in the past few years about taking opportunities and getting involved. And you're absolutely right that everyone's path is different!

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  4. "Never discount an opportunity" and "seek your own truth" are wise adages!

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  5. "Sure, ask other writers for their opinions based on their experiences, but know everyone's path is different." Amen to that! For years, I organized writers conferences and writing workshops and it was easy to become intimidated by the more successful writers. I remember when Robert B. Parker was a keynote speaker and someone asked him about the difficulty of getting published and he said that his work had never been rejected so he really couldn't relate. (Do I hear a collective groan?) Even though it appeared he did not "suffer" much for the sake of his art, the truth is that everyone's publishing path will be different. Timing is everything but BELIEF and PERSEVERANCE count, too. Great post, Clare!

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    1. Thanks, Eleyne- Mari! You're so right, belief and perseverance go a long way in the writing world!

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  6. There so much I love that you wrote here, Clare. But I especially enjoyed reading the words, "every novel is experience." As writers, we must always remember this. As you mentioned above, it's OKAY if our first, second, and even third stories suck, lol. But the experience we gain from building those stories is irreplaceable. They help us grow and become better authors over time. Thanks for sharing your letter! Carrie has done a great job with the blogfest!

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    1. Thanks for dropping in Gina. Learning every novel is experience took me a long time, but once I did, it's freeing, as you realize nothing is wasted. :)

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  7. Sounds like you are always moving forward, which is the best way to go!

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  8. Going at our own pace and not comparing ourselves with others is so important. Yes, we should know that we'll get there in our own time, but so often we rush through everything because others are moving at a faster pace. I've learned through trial and error to go with the flow - even if it's as slow as molasses trying to go uphill.

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    1. It's a tough lesson to learn, but when you do, it's well worth it. Going at your own pace is much more rewarding.

      Thanks for dropping in J.L. :)

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  9. Nice read. It's really important to know that every novel is part of the learning journey. Even if it doesn't go any further, it's never wasted.

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    1. Thanks for dropping in Nick. Hope you're well.

      It is a hard lesson to learn, but when you accept it, it really helps your writing.

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  10. "...no words are wasted words..."

    Brilliant! <3 Thank you so much for participating, Clare!

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    1. Thank you so much for hosting this brilliant fest, Carrie! <3

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  11. Loved the gold in this!! My gosh lots of great advice!!!

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  12. You're right--we can't compare ourselves to others. Easier said than done. As Neil Gaiman says, you are you.

    Yes, we should take advantage of opportunities. Good point!

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    1. Thanks for dropping in, Theresa. Neil Gaiman's advice is great, but especially reminding us, we are who were are. :)

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  13. You definitely can't be discouraged by others who are starting into the INSANITY of being published. Just remember, they're suffering too. (It's just different.) ;)

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    1. Thanks for dropping in Crystal. lol I'd never looked at it, but I suppose you're right.

      It is very easy for the unpublished to look as those who're published as in the Promised Land.

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  14. Oh, but putting away those stories is SO HARD! They're like our babies... but yes, of course, you're so right! Great encouragement, support, and thoughtful help here. I'm happy to "meet" you, Clare!

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    1. I used to find it hard, until I accepted it isn't goodbye forever, just for a while.

      Great to meet you, too, Liz, and thank you for visiting. :D

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  15. Yes, to the seeking your own truth, trusting your instincts and the advice of good friends. Wonderful letter!

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  16. *nods* Everyone's experiences are different! People may give advice, but we need to find what works for us.

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  17. As I'm working (still!) through the entries, I'm seeing lots of common themes. Don't rush, don't compare...so true. And I wrote something similar about everyone's path being different. Wonderful advice for your younger self.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Botanist. :)

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  18. It's so true. We spend too much time comparing and competing. It just doesn't work that way.
    Great post.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Heather

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Heather. :)

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Thank you for taking the time to read this entry, and comment. I really appreciate it.