Hi , Leelans!
You may have seen that Warden has begun to post some insight in her struggles as a writer on her Facebook page, called: Friday is for writers.
Here she writes about the self doubt she had about her work being good enough , when she was looking for a publisher for Dark Lover.
“Friday is for Writers
A thought for you writers out there. My mentor, Sue Grafton, gave me many, many pieces of great advice. One of the best was ALWAYS BET ON YOURSELF. When I was writing DARK LOVER, back in 2004, I was terrified that I was going to fail. I even bumped Zsadist’s LOVER AWAKENED forward from the 10th book in the series to the 3rd because I had a three book contract, and I knew that at least I would get to write him. If he was the last book I ever published, I knew I could live with that. What I could not live with was never putting him onto the page.
Writing is tough. I’m not a terribly emotional person, and I’ve never been interested in spending time wallowing in my weaknesses. But I remember being in tears as I mailed the sample chapters and the outline for DARK LOVER and the BDB world out to my then agent. I just wanted a shot at writing the books, not for the money, but because I just wanted to be in the world. There was a lot of pressure on me at that moment. I’d been let go from my first publisher, I had left my job in healthcare, I had moved away from New England where I had been born and bred. I literally had nothing to lose, and I think that’s the reason I was able to throw out all convention and write Wrath and Beth in as honest a way I could.
Back when I was first getting started in the business, the goal was to be published in single title, as opposed to being in a line (think Special Edition, Desire, Presents, etc.) I had been in single title with my first four books right out of the gate, but they hadn’t sold well enough which was why I’d been let go. I did get that contract for Wrath’s book and two others in the BDB world, but I was concerned about having a career, and I really thought the Brothers were going to be too out there for the market. So I contracted for some Silhouettes. I can remember this other writer looking down her nose at me, telling people behind my back that I was going backwards and was just going to flame out. On my end, I was just so grateful for the work. I loved writing my Silhouettes (because I was reader of them,) I had a great editor, and I’m still proud of those books- oh, and I didn’t write them any differently than I did my longer ones.
I guess my point is this. Betting on yourself is terrifying. Or at least I’ve found it so. There is this buck stops here about it. You fail or succeed on your own merits; there’s nothing to hide behind. And because of all of that bright light on you, sometimes it is easier just to avoid taking the chance and that can come in a lot of different forms. Sometimes, we sit and ponder great ideas, or over talk them so that they lose their power. Or we let ourselves get distracted by things that do not benefit us or our writing. Sometimes we preempt the decision to proceed entirely, telling ourselves we’re going to fail (as I did with DARK LOVER) before we even try.
That’s some St. Elmo’s sh*t right there. Don’t believe it. Don’t get distracted by it. Don’t self-determine an outcome before you even start.
Believe, believe, believe. Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.
From one writer to another, I’m sending hugs and urge you to follow Sue’s advice, too. What do you have to lose? Magic can happen in the real world.
Love, J.R. “
As a writer myself , I find these snippets of her struggles , and how she deals with them , a huge inspiration!
Until next time , Leelans