pen and inkI can hear the wheels in your head screeching. What trick is this? Who would want failure? To give you a better picture, Winston Churchill has been quoted as saying, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

In my Georgia Romance Writers Group, we have a program that honors rejection letters and at the end of the year, the writer with the most rejections receives a prize. What does this mean to writers? You are busy writing and submitting your stories/novels. You are continuing to do this in an attempt to get published. Courage? You’d better believe it. Embarrassed? Why? You are working hard, getting rejected, and you keep writing and submitting and  rejected until that special letter or phone call comes in…we want you to send the FULL manuscript…this little statement has made all the hard work worthwhile. Still, it is not a done deal. So, you keep writing and writing and submitting and submitting. As a writer, this is the blood that flows through our veins and keeps us going. Is this failure? It depends on how a person looks at the situation and themselves. This could happen to anyone, not just writers.

You apply for a position and feel confident about the interview. A week or two goes by and you hear nothing. So you wait a few more days before you make the call. You learn another person, more qualified, has been hired. Do you stop looking at the employment ads or do you keep sending in applications. The FAILURE would stop, but SUCCESS keeps reading the want-ads. However, instead of answering a bunch of employment advertisements, you list your qualifications, past employment history, make certain these are what the position involves, and be prepared. This is working from the success side.

As writers, we are in the same position. We are told it will be a rough ride to publication, and yet we find ourselves sending query letters to agents who do not represent our genre or maybe we hope they overlook this area. Wrong. One of the first things we learn…read the rules and qualifications of the agent and see if your work fits the categories.

As you proceed in your search, no matter what area, take a good look at your skills. Are you familiar with new technology? Do you need to brush up on your computer skills? How long has it been since you attended any conferences or meetings? Do you belong to any networking areas, a book club, or groups in your church or neighborhood? Do you volunteer for any events? These are avenues of successful people. Failure is sometimes being lazy and hoping you’ll get recognized. Success is taking your measurements and making certain you update these often.

Failure is not the end, but the beginning of a new way of thinking, being, and doing. Setbacks are sure to come along the roads you travel, but you can handle a detour. Sometimes they are as important as a straight road.

Happy Journeys.  Happy Detours.  Happy Writing.



The OtherlifeSometimes in our writings, we come across an area where we want to put our feet down–more like our pen or fingers. We think about something we need to cross and do not know how. This is when you let your characters act.

Your character wants or needs constant nurturing and the other character does not have all the answer in the time of need.Both characters are adults, but one is still not grown up. In other words, one character needs a hand held at all times. When these characters first met, this presented a new opening for one and a downer for the other. Left unaddressed, the fester builds and a battle ensues. Now, the outcome depends upon the genre of your novel. If you are in the mystery thriller, you can “delete” a character, but with a romantic suspense, this decision should be put off until you find an answer to their problems. In most situations, this happens without notice. It is when you, the writer, gets inside their heads. Show your characters ways not yet thought about, and then let them take the lead. This is a slow process, but you have a whole novel for characters to make changes, if they want to.

Empathy is another way to make the other character aware of the constant need of approval. Some characters will never get over the need for attention, and when this happens, the other character gets to a blas’e point.  Either there is enough energy between them to counter this or they separate.

Who is right? Who is wrong? No one. Each character must live within the area of the author’s mind and make peace with herself/himself or destruction becomes prevalent.

Have you ever had a character want to walk toward a dance with another and neither knows the song or the step? This is a chance to have your two young characters embark on an unusual journey. Dancing into love would make your readers sit up and take notice. They could relive their own romance, many years ago. This is not make-believe, but memories flooding to the surface reaching out to everyone. As a writer, you have great opportunities to make changes in the world of writing and reading.

Most important — listen and pay attention to your characters. Sure, they can come up with unbelievable options and unrealistic senses, but do not hold them back. Go with your characters and make certain they are heard in your writing.  Yeah, you may have to cut, take other routes, but you will give your character love, heart, and reasons for being in your novel. Give your characters free rein and they will always surprise you.

Be sure you send a kiss to every one of them before you sign, THE END.

Happy Writing.