So over to Emmie....
The one and only secret to publishing success (IMHO)
Hello Serena and everyone, and thank you so much for asking me to be a guest on your blog. It’s an honor to be here, especially considering Serena was one of the first people to read my very early attempts at romance writing and helped to steer me on the path that has led me to where I am today!
Serena has asked me to write a craft post, to give you some advice on writing approaches and styles. Well, I’ve decided to take it one bigger than that, and let you in on the big, incredibly secret recipe to success. You know, the thing that makes published authors different to unpublished authors. The magic formula, the absolute one-and-only way to write that will instantly turn you into a multi-published success.
Okay, here it is:
There isn’t one.
Sorry to set you up like that, but unfortunately, it’s the truth.
There is no one-and-only, “right” way to get published. Do you know what there is though?
Now, if there is a secret to getting published, it’s this: you have to find your way.
It’s very useful to listen to the stories of other authors’ journeys, to read craft books about how to write, to attend conferences and workshops and participate in a critique group. All of these will offer some level of value.
But what I’ve learned over my years of trial and error is that no one else’s method works exactly right for me. No one else’s planning formula works exactly right for me. No one else’s writing habits works exactly right for me.
What I have found are my own habits, my own planning approach, my own method. Not overnight. And not without the valuable input I’ve gained from listening to other authors, reading craft books, attending workshops and conferences. But after a certain point, the learning comes with diminishing returns.
It’s so easy to get caught in the trap of learning and reading and sharing so much you forget about the actual writing. And guess what? The only way you discover your way is by writing.
My way won’t work for you. So while sharing my writing habits (always first thing in the morning, when I’m fresh, with a cup of tea by my side), my planning approach (a pantser, at first, until the characters come together and I can then plot out their journey), and my method (a good critique partner is worth their weight in gold), might be interesting, and you might take something of use from it, what I really want to advise you to do is to make the time to find your way.
Write, write and write some more. Take note of when and where you do it best. Be clear about which interactions give you the most energy, make you feel most positive and send you back to your story with renewed enthusiasm. Be ruthless in figuring out what activities genuinely contribute to your writing and which are really time-suckers that allow you to pretend you’re “writing” when really you’re not. (I include here talking about writing, reading about writing and thinking about writing. I’m incredibly cynical about things like collaging, but hey, if it’s part of your way, then go for it.)
Like the shampoo ad, finding your way doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and it’s never really set in stone, either—you have to be flexible to changing circumstances around you and you have to be open to learning new and better ways of doing things.
But the first step is to stop looking for someone else to provide you with your way. Unfortunately you won’t find it in a book, at a conference or from a critique partner. You are the only one who can find it. It’s between you and your story and no one else.
I wish you the very best in finding your way. I can tell you, nothing is quite as satisfying as when you do.
Emmie on the web:
Emmie Dark’s Bio:After years of writing press releases, employee newsletters and speeches for CEOs and politicians – none of which included any kind of kissing – Emmie Dark finally took to her laptop to write what she wanted to write. She was both amazed and delighted to discover that what came out was sexy, noble heroes who found themselves crossing paths with strong, determined heroines. And plenty of kissing.
Emmie’s overnight success has taken about five years to achieve. She began fiddling around with story ideas when the urge to write fiction became overwhelming. In July 2011 she sold her first book to Harlequin SuperRomance and she’s not looking back, with her second sale in September. Both books will be out in 2012.
Emmie lives in Melbourne, Australia, and she likes red lipstick, chardonnay, sunshine, driving fast, rose-scented soap and a really good cup of tea. Like, a really good cup of tea. She’s particularly fussy about it, and has been known to pack her own teabags when she travels. Most members of her family are too scared to make her a cuppa, in case they get it wrong.
Four steps to a brand-new lifeCassie Hartman knows what she needs to do to get her life under control. First, she’ll get herself promoted. Then she’ll update her appearance. Steps three and four—marriage and family—well, those will have to wait.
Then Ronan McGuire shows up. The too-sexy, too-polished business consultant has the power to derail Cassie’s plans before she’s even really started. If he doesn’t approve her promotion, she’ll be back to square one—and that’s not an option. Cassie needs to keep her focus on that first step, no matter how much Ronan tempts her to skip ahead to the third and fourth ones….
Win a Copy of Cassie's Grand Plan:
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Grand Plan" somewhere exotic, exciting or unexpected. And yes, there's even a way
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