A writing friend has, after years of persistence, found a publisher for her third very interesting non-fiction book. This is a lesson in hanging in there. Her writing on historical subjects, that might otherwise lie untold, is lively, readable and scholarly and she continued to research, knock on doors, send in submissions, give talks and hang on, however often she had her manuscript turned down. It is truly and example to us all.
I have a small green shoot too. An agent (whose submissions are closed) has kindly agreed to look at the opening of my Far Eastern POW letters book.
I’ve never received much of any acclaim for my writing, but then again, I don’t think I’d change much either. I take criticism well, but every time I try to change – I end up falling back into my usual style.
I’ve been writing now for nearly twenty years and only have, as far as I know, a few hundred readers. I find that even if only one person gets a kick out of a novel I have written, then I am happy. There are more writers than publishers need, so you have to want to write for it’s own sake. I think the trick is to keep your own voice while ditching the bad habits. I find friends extremely helpful in telling me whether a story is working or not, but their feedback is not professional. It is only by submitting work to literary consultants (very expensive) that I have learned to write better (than I did when I started). I found there was a lot I could learn, but I am something of a perpetual student.
Hang in there…