Last Thursday, I achieved one of my big dreams--I published a story with Ellora's Cave. The big EC. An erotic romance writer's Mecca. Okay, you get the picture. As thrilled as I am (and I'm really, really, really thrilled!), I'm not the kind of person who ever rest on her laurels. I'm always pushing to work--as Kanye would say--harder, better, faster, stronger. Still, I look back on the three years since I became involved with digital publishing and I can't help thinking--this time borrowing from the Grateful Dead--What a loooooong strange trip it's been.
A good friend of mine, Denyse Bridger, who also happens to be a wonderfully talented author, told me once that this business is mostly about perseverance. Looking back on what I've endured thus far, I think she's absolutely right. Yes, it takes talent, voice, flow, writing style and emotional depth. You know, all those things that rejection letters tell us our manuscripts lack *grin.* But if I gave up every time I encountered a set back, I wouldn't have the honor of working with my Ellora's Cave sisters nor would I be looking to the future with so much hope.
My advice to aspiring writers? Don't give up. Well, write as much as you can as often as you can AND don't give up :) We all get rejection letters. Take them as an opportunity to strength your writing...and thicken your skin. We've all endured the ups and downs of the emerging epub business. Take it as good experience. We've all seen our share of lackluster sales. Figuring out promo takes a little time. Heck, I'm still learning. What I do know is, that as a writer, when life gives you lemons--make whiskey sours!
So what's next? Well, I'm thoroughly thrilled that the NY Times Bestsellers List will now include digitally published material! NYT Bestsellers List here I come...I hope :) Until then, me and my lemons (and whiskey sours) will keep on keeping on.
Now it's your turn authors, share with me what frustrating, discouraging or just plain odd things you've bounced back from in your career.