We're delighted to welcome today's guest blogger, Sheila Connolly, whose sixth mystery "Red Delicious Death" was released just last week.
Thanks for having me here today!
All the motivational words I live by seem to be "P" words: persistence, perseverance, and patience.
Writing was one of those things I thought I would do someday. Eventually. I had plenty of time, right? I'd always loved reading, so I assumed I knew everything I could ever need to write a book.
The reality was, I had no idea how to set down tens of thousands of words in a way that would make a book. I had no clue about structure or plotting or even word count. So what happened? 9/11, for one thing. That single event made it clear to me that you never know what life is going to throw at you, so you'd better do what you really wanted to–now.
So I wrote a book. I won't tell you it was a good book, but at least I finished it.
I know, you'll hate me, but I never found it hard to write. Once I started, I couldn't stop myself: words just gushed out all over the place. I didn't agonize over every adverb or semicolon; I didn't polish every paragraph before moving on to the next one. Nope, I spewed words. I was having a wonderful time.
Then came the next step–actually selling something. That's a lot harder, both because I had to learn the ropes about agents and submissions–and rejection. In the beginning, when you aren't plugged into all the blogs and loops and websites where writers and agents generously share information, you don't realize just how much rejection there is in this business. I wonder how many aspiring writers just give up, after the first ten or fifty or even hundred soul-numbing rejections?
I didn't, because my love of writing outweighed my fear of rejection. I kept at it, both revising and polishing my first manuscripts and trying out different things. I experimented with romantic suspense and mystery genres; I dabbled in both funny and dark stories; I wrote in first person and third person.