Many years ago I received my first rejection, from Reader’s Digest, with a long explanation of how I might make it more suitable for them. Disappointed, I showed the note to my teacher who had suggested the submission. “This is wonderful,” he said, and went on to tell me how rare a personal note is and how it says in essence to rewrite and submit again.
by John Briggs
There are two types of rejection letters – the dreaded form letter and the personal rejection letter. The former is just what it sounds like—the one that editors and agents send to dozens, if not hundreds of authors every year that says, with very little subtext, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
The personal letter, of course, says, with very little subtext, “We’re sorry, thanks, but no thanks.”
Actually, that’s a bit unfair to the personal rejection letter. Some are effusive in their praise. Gushing even. But for whatever reason, they can’t publish or represent your hard work.
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Inspiring useful advice, though I disagree with #13; semi-colons can be effective if used sparingly.
Written by Millionaire’s Digest Staff Member: Amber M.
Founder & Owner of:A Not So Jaded Life
Millionaire’s Digest Staff Team, Author, Successful Living and Writing Writer
1. “I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. It’s the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it’s for only half an hour — write, write, write.” ― Madeleine L’Engle
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by Katie McCoach
You’ve finished the first draft of your novel, now it’s time for revisions. We know that you’ll need a professional editor soon, but before that, what can you do on your own? Revisions need to start somewhere, so here are a few options for editing your own work:
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My initial reluctance to writing my memoir are reflected by Ronit. I’d read too many whiny “poor me” illness or abuse-focused memoirs. I decided to focus as much as possible on the positive and relive the best parts.
By Ronit Feinglass Plank
I had been writing fiction and wanted to try nonfiction, so I began with personal essays. I didn’t think memoir was for me; in fact I was deliberately avoiding it. I didn’t see a reason to revisit the facts of my confusing childhood and thought memoir wouldn’t be as challenging as creating a world from scratch and putting characters in it. To tell my own story, the story I knew by heart, seemed almost too easy.
I could not have been more wrong. I was about to discover that looking at something you think you know pretty well with fresh eyes and trying to understand it in a new way is definitely not easy. I did try writing several personal essays but the history of how I grew up kept barging in, taking up more and more space. It seemed part of me really wanted to…
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by Jacqui Murray
Now that I’ve published my first novel, To Hunt a Sub, I can say from experience that writing it and editing it took equally long periods of time (and marketing is just as involved). After finishing the final rough draft (yeah, sure) and before emailing it to an editor, I wanted it as clean possible. I searched through a wide collection of self-editing books like these:
The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer
Self-editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne
The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall
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I wish all discouraged and disgusted and despairing Americans could read this and be uplifted and encouraged.
This Sunday Share comes from a blog I am new and unfamiliar with called An American Song but I liked what I read. This author has written a book where he (she?) interviewed people all across America, average people, and wrote down their stories. It sounds a lot like what I do here with Babu and although I haven’t read the book yet, I am looking forward to doing so.
This post, for me, hit on one of the things I find troubling with Trump’s slogan. You know the one. What exactly does he find not great? Are they the same things that I see need fixing? Does he appreciate what I see as wonderful? This is a positive post and I felt it was something I, personally, needed to hear right now.
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I have a fine collection of rejections. I consider them a sign of accomplishment: I have written, I have made the effort to submit, I have learned. Some of my rejection are heartbreakingly encouraging, eg “”such a fine book should first be published as a hardback. Then we could obtain paperback rights.”
by Tonya R. Moore
Rejection bites. That’s the plain and simple truth.
You pour your heart into a story and revise the heck out of it. Then you submit/query and repeat until hopefully, someone finally thinks that you have something worth publishing.
Unless you’re some sort of literary genius whose work always gets accepted on the very first submission, it can become quite a discouraging process.
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Food for thought.
by Tonya R. Moore
There’s all this hubbub floating around out there lately, conflicting theories of all the DOs and DON’Ts of what it takes to be or become a successful author.
Some time ago, I saw some Perpetual Writing Advice Giver actually tweet that if you’re a writer promoting your work and you don’t have this many (double digit) thousand followers on Twitter, you’re simply not trying hard enough. To add insult to offense, said party didn’t even have a half of that “strongly suggested” following.
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Fear can paralyze. Fear can discourage. Fear can devastate. Fear can destroy. Seventy-five years ago Franklin Roosevelt told a shaken nation that all we have to fear is fear itself. I’ve often considered those words and thought What? We have so many things to fear, and perhaps now more than any time in recent memory.
First are our own personal fears stemming from our unique experiences, often called PTSD. Wakened at night by a strange sound, I am paralyzed by fear, remembering an attack by an late night intruder years ago. It’s irrational because in the room with me is a dog and a husband who will come to my defense with barks, growls and if necessary, a gun. Still I’m struck dumb, heart pounding.
Another personal fear for me is fear of another stroke. What if it’s the BIG ONE? What if I’m no longer able to walk or to talk? Will life be worth living?
Agoraphobia makes affected persons home-bound, sometimes for years. Fear of flying can severely curtail ones travel. Fear of germs can make the sufferer AND those around him miserable.
Other fears are near universal — fear of public speaking, fear of failure at our most cherished dream (writing, music, comedy, professional sport) and of course, fear of death.
What if we ignored those fears and just went ahead and did our best at whatever we love doing? What if we didn’t worry about “doing it right” or what others might think?
Imagine our world if the great innovators and leaders had let fear of failure stop them: Thomas Edison, Madam Curie, the Wright Brothers, Nicola Tesla, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and thousands more. Imagine a world made a little better if we, free of fear, contribute our best to our own tiny corner of the world.