Monday, June 21, 2010

DO YOU LOVE YOUR BOOK?--by Celia Yeary

Do you love your book? I wrote ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS very quickly, in about three months. I knew the characters, I knew the plot, and I sat down and just wrote. And wrote, and wrote. When I thought it ready for someone to read, I entered the first chapter in a contest. Although I did not place, I did receive nice compliments…except for a few negative comments. “The opening needs to be deleted. Have Cynthia and Ricardo meet in the first paragraph.” “Under no circumstances have Cynthia musing to herself.” “POV is all over the place. Clean that up, and you might, just might, mind you, have something to work with.”Suddenly, I wondered if my story was as good as I thought. In reality, I became insignificant as a writer, and I wondered if I was good enough to continue. I was afraid to ask anyone read it, as I had all my other rambling stories. But…I loved my story. I could see it in book form.
I loved my book, whether anyone else did or not.

YOUR ATTITUDE
Did your mother ever say to you, “You’d better change your attitude, young lady!”
Ohhh, mine did, especially during my teen years.
Usually, I obeyed relatively well, and life generally ran smoothly in the Davis household.
Sometimes, when she asked me to do something difficult, I might reply with a dramatic whine, “I caaan’t!” Her answer? “Can’t never did anything.”
A good attitude shows our positive side. As an author or writer, “attitude is everything.”

YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD YOUR BOOK
Do you love your book? Do you believe in it, even if an editor or publisher doesn’t? Does a rejection letter seem personal, as if the words on the page describe you? “Sorry, not good enough.” (Interpretation: Sorry, you’re not good enough.) “We like your book, but we don’t love it.” (Interpretation: We don’t love you.) “Your manuscript might be good, if you re-write the entire 300 pages. Make your hero the villain, kill off your heroine, because she’s not worth the paper she’s written on, and while you’re at it, think up a new plot.” Ugh, you say, this goes in the trash.
However, if you write a story that contains three key elements—urgency, intensity, and drama—soon you will sell your book to an editor.

YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD YOURSELF
I grew up as the middle sister. Daddy wanted us three girls to look pretty every day. He’d tell Mother to curl our hair, buy new dresses (she made all of them), and tell us to “act pretty.” Since he told us every day we were pretty, I believed it, and although I was shy, I still thought well of myself. I had confidence even as a child.
Confidence is Job Number One for success in the writing business. It means you are a good writer, and you feel competent. You take pride in each accomplishment. If you keep this attitude about yourself, soon you’re willing to take scary risks to reach beyond who you are now. Confidence is acting that way, even when you are not.
Keep telling yourself, “I’m good, and my book is, too.”

Celia Yeary
Romance…and a little bit o' Texas
TEXAS BLUE-eBook and Print
SHOWDOWN IN SOUTHFORK—eBook
ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS-eBook and Print




26 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for posting this, Celia. These words are what every new author need to remember and what all of us need to hear occasionally.
    My attitude and my confidence took a good solid hit this week, but I think with the help of friends and followers, I'm getting it adjusted.

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  2. Attitude is everything...as is self-confidence. You couldn't have worded it better. Great job! I need an 'attitude' adjustment, and this might be just what I needed. Thank you!

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  3. Right on, Celia! It is agonizing to betray our characters and plot to satisfy some editor who is trying to justify her job. I've done it but I'm slowly gaining the confidence to stand up for what feels right to me. And you know, the more we practice stiffening our backbones, the easier it becomes. Thanks for this reminder to love ourselves and love our creations. Linda

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  4. Attitude, attitude, attitude. That about sums it up. Great post, Celia.

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  5. Thanks for this reminder to love ourselves and love our creations.
    Contextual Ad Network India

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  6. Great post. I think a writer has to love their own work, or how can we expect anyone else to? If I didn't love my book, I couldn't write it. And sometimes I just have to give myself permission to write for ME and not think about the rest. It'll come. That can be very freeing! :)

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  7. I adore my books, all three of them, but especially Thin Ice, which is my special baby. Someone once asked me if I was surprised when Thin Ice won the Golden Leaf Award and I know it sounds conceited, but my answer was, "Why would I have entered it if I didn't think it would win?"

    To me, that just doesn't make sense. To enter something in a contest when I don't believe in that entry 100% seems like a waste of time and money.

    Then again, maybe I just didn't understand her question.

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  8. Had to laugh over that last one, Celia, "Make the hero the villain, kill the heroine, rewrite 300 pages..." Yep, I can hear that!

    And oh, how many times I heard, "You better change your attitude, young lady!" (I even passed that on to MY daughter!)

    We certainly should love our creations. They are our offspring, a part of us. Sometimes all that others might see is a piece of coal, but we know they're really diamonds. :)

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  9. Celia, you are so good and you made me think. Why do we focus on one negative comment instead of all the positive ones we receive? I do love my books, each of them except the first one--but that's a long story. Thanks for the reminder.

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  10. Hi Celia and Rebecca,

    I'm at attitude pusher, also. Ask my kids who are often told to change their attitude.

    Yes, attitude matters! Write on, Celia!

    Oh, and I love all of my books, also, flaws and all. ;-) Laughing at Liana!

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  11. Thanks for these words of wisdom, Celia. They are a great pick-me-up for those who fall into the trap of feeling personally rejected.

    www.lorettacrogersbooks.com

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  12. A very good article and yes I love my books. I have 1 published, 1 about to be released as an E book, and about 6 WIPs. I'm trying to write a book in different genres to see if I can do it. The published 1 (I won't mention any titles)is a SF and it pretty much wrote it's self. The 1 about to be released is an erotic vampire love story and for the most part was easy to write. I have a SF Comedy about aliens & ice cream, a murder suspense, a straight romance, a western, a drama, and an a fictional autobiography.
    Yes rejection letters can be bad, but my wife didn't support my writting and one time even threatened th divorce me if I didn't give up writing. We're still together and I'm stil writing. She is slowly changing her mind/attitude about my writing.
    G W Pickle

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  13. Celia, You're right on track. When I created a cast of older women tired of menopause blues and being ignored for their gray hair, I knew they could not only cheer up, they could fall in love, solve murders, and get noticed big time. When agents told me to park in another field, I took a deep breath and kept writing--and went back to smaller publisher who is happily publishing a 6- novel mystery series about these six frolicking women. After Book One, reviews have been dandy, and Book Two comes out in August. I believed, like you did. Thanks for the boost--you never know when you might need it!
    Ellie
    MENOPAUSE MURDERS:Hostage, out now.

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  14. Wonderful post. I've learned over the years to look objectively at comments made about my books. Editors I take more seriously, but foe all of them I force myself to step back and try to see things from their perspective--does the comment have merit, would changing this make the book better? Sometimes I try the suggestions out, see is I like them. If a particular comment stings, I put it away until my hurt feelings go away and I can take an objective look again.

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  15. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one getting insecure when I get "suggestions"! Thanks Celia, this was really a great help!
    Patti

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  16. I like my books, but I often wonder if anyone else will. Thanks for the post on confidence and attitude.

    Loreen Augeri

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  17. Exactly what I needed to read, Celia! I do love my stories but don't always believe as much as I should that others, too, can fall in love w/the way I see a situation being worked out. Thanks so much for such a helpful post! Best of luck with all your endeavors--with your 'attitude' I'm sure you'll shine!

    Joanna Aislinn
    NO MATTER WHY
    The Wild Rose Press
    www.joannaaislinn.com
    www.joannaaislinn.wordpress.com

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  18. Great post Celia. And good advice. I think you have to love your own book. Because if you don't love it and don't believe in it, then why should anyone else? I also envy your speed writing! It took me nine months to write Out of the Darkness!

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  19. Good evening everyone--I have had a killer day, but I do apologize for not answering each comment. Please know that I read each one very carefully,and I heard a recurring theme--"that we're all insecure to some degree, and sometimes that insecurity keeps us glued to the proverbial floor."
    I wonder if all authors, even the biggest Best Sellers have doubts as we do, in some degree at least. I would expect them to be sure of themselves, but maybe underneath, they're all quivering a little like you and I do. Thank you so much for dropping by Rebecca's blogsite. She is a fantastic author and a great marketing guru and promotor and publisher. I wish I had a fraction of her talent and knowledge.
    And thank you, Rebecca, for inviting me. You know I am a blogging machine! Celia

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  20. Great post, Celia. The answer is, I do love my books. Each one is special because of where I was when I wrote it. Rejections are hard, but also a big part of life. You're so right. Keep the faith and believe in yourself because attitude changes everything.

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  21. Lovely piece as usual, Celia. I love my writing as well. The characters do grow on you and sometimes take a life of their own. Good attitude counts for everything.

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  22. Great Post!!
    I love my book!
    I really do, and you are so right about the whole thing. Thanks for saying it so well...

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  23. Make my hero the villian? Kill off my heroine? I'd tell that publisher she's barkin' up the wrong tree.

    You hit the nail on the head when you said writer's need to show confidence even when we're not. Act like we know what we are doing and if we like our stories the way they are written, find a publisher who does too.

    Wonderful advice!

    One "seasoned" author had an editor who chopped, cut and changed the facts in her story, even added a prologue.

    The author gets sick every time she looks at that book. And come to find out her editor was a 15 year-old girl.

    Pl-leas-s-se!

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  24. I do love my books, Celia. I may at some point, not love it, but in the end, we're soulmates.

    Attitude is everything. It's up to us to make sure snide comments don't burrow in and fester. For sensitive beings like writers, that's not always easy.

    Change your attitude - I've never used it on my kids. Instead, I offered up suggestions which in the long run made them better able to deal with things. I had this pact with myself that I wasn't going to be one of those parents who went on the 'do I as say' bit and never explain anything.

    I was, am a middle child -- shy, backward and if I'd had to wear dresses and act like lady outside of school, oh my -- heaven help the ears of anyone who dared to come near the house. You can't wear a dress when you're climbing trees and crawling on the ground.

    Terrific post, Celia.

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  25. MICHELLE--right now I am using one of your pens--the purple ones I won! I love them. I think you sent three and I still have one more.
    Every writer should take a course titled "Rejections 101." Celia

    EVIE--I know--I begin to think of my characters as people I actually know! And I love them all. Celia

    MARY--thank YOU for resding it and confirming my belief. It seems all authors love their books, even when they act like difficult children. Celia

    LAUREAN--well, actually I made that up!... but it was to illustrate mY point of being ask to do so much to my book and then the editor "might be willing to take another look." It feels like that sometimes, doesn't it? Like you're being asked to kill something in your book. Celia

    BEKKI--I'm a middle sister, so I know some of which you speak. I was shy, too, but still, I held my own. Even now, people see me as quiet, reticent, possibly shy. But I can talk to a group, I can teach Bible lessons, and then those people were shocked when they learned I wrote romance novels! But they bought my books!
    You have a great attitude about raising your children. I'm sure they appreciate that now. Thanks for you thoughts--Celia

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  26. Celia, very inspirational. That's how I feel about the book I'm writing right now, Victorian Scoundrel. I'm really liking it. :) Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

    Smiles
    Steph

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