By Margaret Daley
I have been writing and selling for over thirty years. During my journey I have gone through many types of situations that a person may encounter as a writer–a line dying, editor changes, rejections, sold a book that never came out, a long dry spell. So when an interviewer asked me what tip would I give a person who wants to be a writer, I said determination and perseverance are so important in this industry. Those two qualities are equally vital as talent.
If you want to write, you have to want to write. It needs to be a part of who you are. Writing isn’t for the faint at heart. It’s a tough business. The first time you get a rejection you figure that out. One rejection is bad. Many are awful. That is part of our job–getting rejections. But that is where determination to succeed and perseverance to keep going is important.
But the test for me came when I hit an eight-year dry spell after selling twenty books. The line I was writing for died when the publishing house was sold. They returned a book that had been completed and gave me the rights back to it. To this day, I have never sold that book anywhere else. My budding career came to a grinding halt. I tried to walk away from writing, but I couldn’t. It is in my blood–part of me. Now looking back, I’m thankful I didn’t walk away. I finally sold a book then another one. Since that dry spell, I have sold sixty-four books, and if I had given up, they wouldn’t have been written nor read by others. So if you want to be a writer, you have to stick with it through the good and bad times.
Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. She also has won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, Holt Medallion and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Love Inspired lines, romantic suspense for Abingdon Press and historical romance for Summerside Press. She has sold eighty-four books to date. You can find Margaret on her blog, Facebook or Twitter.
Thanks for sharing your inspiring story, Margaret. Determination and perseverance are vital if one is going to live the writer’s life. I’m so glad you didn’t give up. The Lord has used you to bless many people, both readers and writers alike.
Thank you for your encouraging words.
I hate rejection, as most of us do, but it is good to know everyone has their share in this business.
Determination and persevertance are two words I will be puttin on my bullitin board today.
Wonderful, and sobering, advice. Unpubbed — or pre-pubbed — writers like to think we’ve got it made once we sell a book. This post reminded me what a dicey, chancy business it is even after we’re published. Which points us back to Jesus — if we’re not writing for him anything, whether an eight-year dry spell or not getting published in the first place, will derail us.
Pre-pubbed in New Hampshire