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Motivational Mondays: Learning To Fly

I think both songs might be about doing drugs. Or maybe about spiritual awakening. Whether it’s Tom Petty or Pink Floyd, you prefer, both sets of lyrics also apply to life as a writer.

The thrill of telling a story, and the rare awe of telling one well, is addictive. It’s so addictive that we’re able to endure “Coming down is the hardest thing.” Rejections. Poor reviews. Our own debilitating self doubts. We live swinging from heaven to earth as we try again and again to take flight and not come crashing down.

Some examples of my own falls:

Can’t please everyone: I have plenty of rejection letters, some aren’t even full pages. More like a half page. That was a tough one. Couldn’t even warrant a full sheet of paper. At least one reviewer panned not one but two of my books. (Ouch.)

Mistakes, mistakes: I’ve spelled an agent’s name wrong in a query. One who I met and got a request for a partial from AND triple checked that I hadn’t spelled it wrong! (Say it isn’t so!) I’ve switched the homonym write for right in a query letter to an editor. (Oh, duh, duh, duh.) And, my most embarassing mistake, I accidentally had a scene that technically contained necrophilia. (NOOOOO!)

Throwing in the towel: At one point, about a year ago, after reading Twilight, I had a total author meltdown, took down my website, stopped submitting my then current manuscript and almost hung up my spurs. Thankfully, it only took a month off to gain new, invaluable perspective on this dream of mine.

Back to the drawing board: I created a website no one went to. I started a free interactive community that the free site started charging for and since I had no one really in it, I ditched it. I wrote two full manuscripts that will never sell because I can honestly say there is no way I am up to working the stink out of them.

And all of that is okay. And so are your moments that do and will fall under these and other categories. We are not supposed to be perfect. One day, we will all gracefully soar in our careers, appearing to others as knowledgeable experts seasoned in our genre. They won’t see the bumps and bruises and scars because they’ll have healed. They won’t know when we crash beak first into a tree because we’ll have learned how to pick ourselves up, dust off, laugh over it and move on.

Like Gini Koch, author of Touched By An Alien (Buy Now!) told me, all it takes is 10 seconds of courage. So, c’mon. Step off into that sky.

:}Amber Scott

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About Amber Scott Project

Amber Scott writes romance across time and genre with three things in common: fate, love and complications. You can find her erotica titles at www.LiquidSilverBooks.com.

16 responses »

  1. All very well said and every serious author can totally relate! And yes, I’ve hung up my spurs more than once. But as every serious author also knows, we have to write, we have to get our work out there, even if it means possible rejection. It’s a love/hate relationship we have with words.

    Reply
    • amberscottproject

      Man, am I glad to hear I’m not the only one! I do hope I can always get back in the saddle, too. (Hey, that’s also an awesome Aerosmith song.)

      Reply
  2. It’s interesting isn’t it? I cringe when I hit send and wait to hear if I sold a story. The ideas when they come are so exciting that I rush to write them down and fight to continue my wip, ok several wips, without starting the new idea immediately. I once sent an email to an editor coming off as so self-important that even I hated me. But I’m learning!

    Reply
    • amberscottproject

      Me too, Kate. I bless, I do a ritual dance, but only getting back to the story where I want to be lifts me. Well, except when someone else ‘gets’ it to. Thank you!

      Reply
  3. I’d rather write and eat or maybe even breathe. That being said, I’m terrified of succeeding. What if I can repeat it?

    Reply
  4. Lately I try to tell myself that the worst thing that can happen is that people say no.
    That being said: now how do I shut up the inner critic who’s scarier than any rejection letter?

    Reply
    • amberscottproject

      I named my inner critic Charles. When he gets particularly pesky and snooty, I write him a tell off letter. That usually puts him back in place, though he still hates my shoes.

      Reply
  5. Amber, I can relate to all of that. I’ve recently considered hanging up my spurs, too. Then I remembered that this truly isn’t a life or death situation and I can take as much time as I need to work it out.

    And hey, I remember reading a review of one of your books just after your “Twilight Meltdown” and the reviewer said she was so disappointed to learn you had taken down your website and were no longer writing. She said that she hoped you’d be back at it soon. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  6. My lowest point came when I’d just sold my first humor short…after well over 100 rejections (on novels, shorts, novellas, essays…you name it, I was writing it and it was getting rejected). I got the $20.00 check in the mail…at the same time I got two impersonal rejections from two top agents I was so positive would love my book. They didn’t even like it enough to insult it.

    I stood there, staring at the $20.00 check from an e-zine that loved something I’d put about 10 hours into, tops, in one hand, with the rejections on the novel I’d put two years into in the other, thought about all the other rejections I had, looked back at the check, burst into tears, ran into the bathroom, and cried my eyes out.

    Know what I did when I got out of the bathroom? What I always did then and still do now.

    I wrote another book.

    It’s called “Touched by an Alien”. A couple of you might have heard of it.

    Never give up, never surrender. Perseverance wins out over everything — every rejection, every setback, every obstacle can be overcome by the simple act of never giving up. And writing another book. ;-D

    Reply
    • amberscottproject

      Oh, man, Gini. I hope you have the exact opposite coming your way in triplicate. May they be tears of joy because you can’t decide between two amazing offers, like Kitty on TV versus the big screen.
      Thank you so much for sharing this.

      Reply
      • Ooh, from your keyboard to God’s eyes or some such, Amber!

        You never know what’s going to sell. The thing you think is your masterwork or something you did for fun or something you wrote as a challenge…any one of them could be what sells, or what sells next…or what doesn’t sell.

        The only thing you can control is what you create, the books, short stories, essays, novellas, etc., that you can turn around and offer to an agent or an editor. You just have to write the best things you can, and as many of them as you can, and keep on keeping on, and it WILL happen.

        The definition of a published author is someone who never gave up.

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