By Joan Hall Hovey
Dear Writer: Having been a writing instructor for some years, I know that many struggling writers think there is some trick to getting published. Some well-guarded secret at the bottom of it all, and perhaps they are not too far off the mark. The secret is, of course, an indomitable belief in yourself -- a belief so well entrenched that all the rejection and frustration that is part of the writer's life, (or any artist's life) will not dislodge it. You must rise above the fear that all writers know, the fear of putting your work (yourself) out there, never knowing if it will be praised or ridiculed. It takes courage to be a writer. (You're already an avid reader if you aspire to be a writer, so no need to go into that.) Books I have loved and learned from. I can tell you, there is no rush quite like the one that comes from hearing (or reading) the words: 'We love your novel and would like to publish it'. I've compared the novel to having a baby (maybe a slight exaggeration) but it is true that the sight of that beautiful child tends to make you forget the pain involved in bringing it into the world. And here are the real perks: Writing a novel allows you to play god, albeit with a small 'g'. You get to play all the roles, you are producer, director, soundman, lightman -- what freedom. So, although there are no guarantees in this precarious business, the possibilities are boundless. As an agent of mine once said, 'Don't quit five minutes before the miracle'. And good luck. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me and let me know how it's going. I'd love to hear from you. Thanks. Joan Hall Hovey,
Happy reading! And Writing!