Happy Thursday, writers! I hope you’ve had an awesome week and that you’re making steady progress toward your writing and/or publishing goals. I’m currently on a novel-writing hiatus as I prepare to write Book 3 in my Orchid series and continue editing my fantasy trilogy, but I’m having a blast working on some short stories. You can subscribe to my newsletter to read them for free!
I’m super excited to share today’s guest post from B.W. Ginsburg. I recently connected with her on social media, and after chatting with her a bit and seeing her heart and passion for writing and writers, I knew I had to have her on the blog!
At the end of the post, be sure to check out her interview where you’ll learn more about her writing process, what inspired her debut novel, learn key tips for marketing and productivity, and see which authors she finds inspiring.
Now put on some reading jams, get cozy, and enjoy!
“What if I never become an author?”
Those are words that I would often utter as my work either got rejected by the few publishing companies I sent it to, or because nothing productive seemed to come from my work.
I didn’t give up though. I have wanted to be a published author for a long time now. I’ve always loved to read and write and wanted to share my own words with the world. As Toni Morrison says, “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
So I continued to write. While there have been many stories that I’ve either been unable to complete or I’ve sent in only to receive that piece of paper stating that at this time, the publisher wasn’t looking for my type of work, I still wanted to one day see a book published with my work in it, with my name on the cover. It was never about the money or the fame, just about being successful at something that I loved and having people read my writing.
When I get ideas for stories that I’m really passionate about, I write them down. I mull them over for a while, and then if I still feel that the plot is strong enough to make a solid story out of it, I begin to write.
When I got the idea for my novel, Rest in Piece, I began thinking of ways that I could make it amazing. Then I opened my laptop and began to type.
The thing about becoming a published author is that it is possible. All it takes is hard work, good writing, and faith in yourself. I know that may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. Once you have an idea for a good story, you’ve already accomplished the first step!
I didn’t send Rest in Piece to a publisher. Who knows if it would have been accepted – that’s one thing that will always remain a mystery. You know what, though? It doesn’t really matter. I believed in the story and while it’s not as good as Stephen King’s The Green Mile or perhaps a bestseller of some kind, I think it’s a really good story. Also, I’ve had reviews that say the same thing!
My point is that just because you’ve received rejections, that doesn’t mean you’re not a good writer. Just because it may seem like it’s taking a while to get your work published or write something you’re really proud of, that doesn’t mean it will never happen. Sometimes we have to write a million stories before we find the one that we feel is ready for the world. And hey, even then someone may not like it while someone else loves it. It’s just the way it goes!
Here’s my advice to anyone who wants to be a published author. First of all, have faith in yourself and your instincts. If you think an idea is really good and will make for an excellent story, you’re probably right. Also, don’t give up on yourself. Even if it’s taking a while for you to be satisfied with your work, don’t stop writing!
My last piece of advice is to remember that no writer, or book, is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes – even the best authors in the world. If you get your work published and a reviewer points out an issue with it, gracefully accept what they have to say and learn from your mistakes. Don’t let imperfection make you feel like a poor writer!
What inspired your novel, Rest in Piece? What audience is it geared for?
My grandpa has always loved doing puzzles. When I was younger and slept over my grandparents’ house, they had this puzzle next to the bed. It scared the crap out of me! The novel is geared towards young adults, but I think adults will love it as well!
What is your favorite part of the writing process and why?
Coming up with the ideas and actually creating a story out of them are my favorite parts. I think that it takes a really good, solid idea to be able to create a full novel from it. So many times, we come up with ideas that go nowhere, so I think when an idea actually makes it, it’s an amazing feeling!
What is your least favorite part of the writing process and why?
Editing! Man, it’s a pain – and it’s boring! Especially if you find a story from a few years back and wonder, ‘Was there really a time when I was this bad?’
Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser,” or perhaps a blend of both? Have you tried writing both ways?
I think I’m mostly a “panster,” but I’m also kind of both. I tend to outline and think of what I’m going to write a little bit, but I don’t spend tons of time outlining. I mostly just write down a few notes and begin working!
Do you have any writing tricks or tips for productivity?
Not really. Though I am a firm believer in the fact that when you think of a good idea, write it down RIGHT AWAY! Don’t think you’ll remember it later or in the morning. Also, if you feel like writing, WRITE! Don’t put it off!
Where do you go for inspiration when you feel your creativity well is running dry?
That’s difficult. Sometimes I think about what I’d like to read about or what I’m curious about. I also think that there’s something to be said about just letting your mind wander to see what it comes up with. Also, while you should never copy from other books, I think that reading and watching TV, along with movies can help the creative process.
Which contemporary authors do you admire most, and why?
Harlan Coben, James Patterson, John Saul, and Stephen King! Harlan Coben is great at writing thrillers – his stories keep you on edge and he’s just a fantastic writer! James Patterson is also very good and writes quickly – he’s always coming out with books and they’re good which says something. I think it shows dedication in some ways.
Though I’m not sure how much John Saul writes anymore, I’ve read some of his books and he’s a wonderful horror writer. He’s fantastic at using imagery. Then there’s Stephen King who I’m just really starting to get into. His writing is just really good and so is his storytelling ability.
Do you have any marketing tricks or tips for authors who are new to publishing?
Ha, this is actually something I’m struggling with. However, if you’re comfortable with social media, go for it! I use Instagram and my blog. Take creative pictures of your book and share facts about it!
And, most of important of all, coffee or tea?
Neither really, but if I had to choose, coffee. I’m more of a hot chocolate drinker, though!