Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, February 27, 2009

Writerly Advice -- Guest Blog by Nancy Campbell Allen

by Nancy Campbell Allen

Long, long ago, in a mindset far, far away, in the days before I was published, I used to lap up positive writing quotations and stick them on the wall by my computer. Once I'm published, I used to think, I'll be over this insecurity.

Well, guess what. That mindset isn't really far, far away. I still grab onto positive thoughts regarding writing and publication because it's never a sure thing, especially in the market right now. What is a great career now can change on a dime if you're not careful.

One of the best quotes I came across was from Anne Rice. I think I found it in either a Writer's Digest or maybe online somewhere. I didn't write the source down and I wish I had. At any rate, this is it:"...[People who write have to] a)believe in themselves totally, b)work like demons and c)ignore the rejections. When you mail out a transcript, you are not turning in a paper for a grade. You can mail out a perfectly wonderful and publishable novel and then have it rejected 10 times. And the reason it's rejected is because you hit 10 different people who, for various reasons, don't want to work with this idea. You have to keep going. You have to never interpret rejection as a failing grade. They are not failing grades. they mean almost nothing...I kept writing and kept mailing out. My attitude was, 'I'm going to become a writer.' I was a writer."

And that's Anne Rice! Like her or not, you must admit the woman tells an amazing story and has done really, really well with it. The fact that, for me, this advice came from such a credible source was a real kick of inspiration.I'm not sure how many writers read this blog, but if you're out there and wondering if your work will ever see the light of day, take heart! It's possible, it's doable, you just cannot, cannot quit. You hone the art, you perfect it, you polish and scrub it, you get objective, kind feedback, you work and work and work. I love that billboard that has a pic of Edison on it. The quote is, "After the 10,000th try, there was light."

Good thing he kept at it, or we'd all still smell like kerosene.

Nancy is the author of the bestselling Faith of Our Fathers series and the new Whitney-nominated novel Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel. You can read her blog HERE. "Writerly Advice" was first posted on the VFormation Blog and has been used with permission.


At 2/27/2009 4:47 PM, Blogger Anne Bradshaw said...

Love this post. Thanks for the inspiration . . . and I can't STAND the smell of kerosene :-)

At 2/28/2009 12:58 AM, Blogger Nancy Campbell Allen said...

Thanks, Anne! And I don't like kerosene either. :-)

At 2/28/2009 1:12 PM, Blogger Cheri J. Crane said...

Great blog Nancy. It gives us all hope.

=)I have a small square of paper attached to my computer desk, something a cousin gave me years ago. It shows a mountain climber struggling up a steep incline with the inspiring words: "Never, never, never, never give up." This was a phrase uttered by Winston Churchill during the traumatic days of WWII. I've reflected on that wisdom quite often with regard to writing world.


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