Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Best Lesson I've Learned Since Getting Published...

Persistance pays off ... if you have the guts to stick it out and enough brains to know when to forge ahead. But most importantly, you need talent.

I've been a member of Romance Writers of America for more than ten years. I love the networking opportunities it affords and I love my local chapter. But I believe RWA has done a disservice to a large number of its members. It lets them believe that if they really, really, really wish hard enough, attend enough workshops and want it bad enough, they too will be published.

For more than 70 percent of the members, that's not going to happen. Why? Because there is such a thing as natural ability.

I love to sing. The radio goes on in the car and my mouth never closes. I know every word of MCR's The Black Parade. But I can't carry a tune to save my soul. My kids will be more than happy to tell you how bad I am. Do I think if I sing long enough and loud enough, someday I'll be onstage at Radio City Music Hall? Hell no. I'm not deluded.

I do have a natural ability to write. Some of it comes from being a lifelong reader. Some of it is imagination. More, though, is having some talent. I can craft a story and make you love my hero just as much as I do. I can make my heroine's plight believable even if she has pink wings and can do magic.

It took me six long years to see my first two books published with Avalon. It took another three to get into Ellora's Cave. I'm still working toward a contract with a major NY house. As I just signed with literary agent Elaine English, I'm hoping that dream becomes reality soon.

Many people have more natural talent than I do. I read their books and wait breathlessly for the next. And I work at perfecting my own stories every day. Even if I don't write every day, writing is never far from my mind.

There are those who believe if they wish on a star and learn the secret handshake, they'll see their book on a shelf someday. But without natural ability and persistence, they'll still be dreaming of writing instead of actually being a writer.

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