I am currently in the process of seeking an agent. Can be a daunting process but as long as you follow submission guidelines, respect their time, and ensure that your story is ready then go for it!
I was digging through some of my older posts regarding my personal passion for the written word and came upon this article written about me from the St. Louis Writer’s Guild. If you are frustrated, trying to find your way, please read what I had to say and do not lose heart:
How do you motivate yourself? How do rejections affect your writing? Janet Terrell wrote the following article on motivation for St. Louis Writers Guild.
From the time I was thirteen years old I had an urge to express myself. I used to write out my stories longhand. Then my father gave me an old Remington typewriter, the kind that had the horrid dual ribbon with the black stripe on top and the red on bottom. Even though it was a labor of love, I still sometimes wondered what motivated me to write.
What I have found from my own personal musings is that writing is more than putting words to paper. It takes a lot of thought, time, and energy. I have asked myself many times: What motivates a person to write, to expose their soul to the world? What compels a writer to express his or her views and ideas in characters and a storyline? Most important, what encourages a writer to persevere through the highs and lows of the writing process to reach the end of a story, or what’s even more challenging, a novel?
For me, motivation comes from inspiration, and inspiration arises out of my surroundings. I typically write in an environment that evokes my creative juices. I tend to gravitate towards calm places away from my family and cat. I love sitting on my bed with my laptop, door shut, allowing my mind to focus on the task at hand.
I began my first novel more than twenty years ago. I had watched the television mini-series North & South. I was inspired. This movie was all I needed to embark on my venture into the world of Historical Romance. However, what I found from reading a variety of this genre is that I do not like heavily laden novels dripping with sex or drowning in too many historical particulars. I had heard that one should write what one loves to read and so I was motivated to create historical romances that combined sex and history without overdoing it.
One of the ways I motivated myself to finish my first novel was by listening to inspiring music. The soundtrack to the movie Gladiator did it for me. Each song has its own special theme. I wrote my scenes to the music, thinking of various ways to bring out the meaning to the reader.
On a more personal level, I was inspired to share my work with the world. There is little in life that is more disquieting than the prospect of sharing one’s work with others. There is the potential risk of rejection from agents and publishing houses, however, a writer who is true to his or her craft will persevere. Even if he or she receives tons of rejection letters, they can be regarded positively. Rejection slips are nothing more than an opportunity to redirect energy into improvement. My advice is that a writer seek out any weaknesses, address them, and move on.
Sometimes the publishing industry can make a writer feel defeated. However, it’s important to realize that rejections are not always an indication of the quality of one’s writing. Sometimes perfectly good work is just not marketable at a given point in time. Sometimes a publisher has recently released something very similar. A writer seeking commercial publication should expect some difficulties finding a publisher. Self-publishing one’s work is a now a popular option given the advancements in technology that make it easier and less costly. Many new authors find this route easier. However, I highly recommend that those who choose to self-publish hire an editor to ensure a quality product.
What motivates one person to complete a novel may not work for another. It is incumbent upon writers to discover the circumstances that best stimulate their personal motivation to write. For myself, I allow all of my five senses to completely encompass me. Writing is not just placing words on paper from my point of view; it is a full body experience where emotions are caught up in the moment—not unlike a characters’ emotions are caught up in a romance, a loss, or rejoicing. Writing, to me, is not something that can be forced. Genuine creativity comes when the spirit and mind work in harmony, and that is where I find my motivation is at its peak of power.