Writing Excuses Made Me Cry

Thankfully when I listened to the episode “Persevereance” on Writing Excuses I was doing a morning cardio walk on a trail, with no other people in sight, because it made me cry. No, the guys at Writing Excuses aren’t big meanies, honest. Despite this being one of my favourite podcasts, I’m behind on listening to episodes and this one aired back in March. I do believe the saying that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear, which is why this episode hit me so hard. I’ve been querying a novel, facing rejections (some very nice, but they still sting!) and a discussion on perseverance is exactly what I needed to hear right now.

Sherrilyn Kenyon is a guest on the podcast and quotes Cher, to “be the cockroach.” Sherrilyn explains how Cher said she would be the cockroach of music, still around when all others were gone, not even a nuclear bomb could stop me. Sherrilynn said she wants to be the cockroach of writing. She said that mindset has been important for her entire career, and that “it’s not an industry for the meek.” Sherrilynn said she went through at time after already being a best selling author, where they were homeless, living on the streets with an infant. But she didn’t give up. You need to listen to this episode to hear the story of her ups and downs, her brother’s death, her incredibly terrible letter from an editor and how she’s persevered to become the succesful, diverse author she is today.

Dan Wells talks about the disappointment in the sales of his first book, (I Am Not A Serial Killer) and his decision to keep going. His books are fantastic and are now selling around the world. If you haven’t read them, I highly recommend them. I’m a big fan of his series.

Howard Tayler reminds us we need to be the hero we’ve been writing about. Focus on your strengths. Rejections are out of your control, what you do have control over is the ability to “write another manuscript, your ability to keep doing this. If you’re going to the hero of your own story, then you have to go back to your strengths and act like a hero and submit another manuscript, or write another manuscript.”

Brandon Sanderson said he wrote twelve unpublished novels. TWELVE! I’ve written two. Puts it into perspective, doesn’t it? He tells us if you’re feeling low remember he felt the same in 2002 after writing twelve unpublished novels. One year later he sold a book, three years later he was number one on the New York’s best seller list.

If you’re feeling down, if you’re feeling like quitting, listen to this podcast! I’m so glad I did.

Writing Excuses 5.27: Perseverance

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Writing Excuses Made Me Cry

  1. I’m glad the episode touched you. I’m sorry you came to it late, though. Most folks need to hear these stories as early as possible. And then again, later, when they’re about to stop persevering. And then probably again, and again. We need to remember that this isn’t really easy for ANYBODY.

    • Thanks Howard, it didn’t come that late for me. I mean, it came just about when I needed it. I really already know this….since going through the ranks of my sport the way I did for years and years..it’s just a nice slap in the face (a nice one, really) to get my head set straight again. 😉

  2. I had a similar reaction to that episode. So far I’ve only written one unpublished novel and a few unpublished short stories since I got back on the writing wagon again, and that episode really helped me put things into perspective. Yeah I’m not there yet, but I will be, and I’m sure you’ll make it too if you keep trying.

    Good Luck!

  3. I totally agree! That was an awesome episode. Makes me say suck it up buttercup when I find myself whining about how hard this writing gig is. What amazing determination! Thanks Sandra.

  4. Yeah…I’d like to just finish a novel so I can start getting rejections on it. I’m kind of inured to short fiction rejections by this point. They just tickle a little now.

    Glad you found inspiration, m’dear. And thanks for the reminder.

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