It’s such an honor

I have friends who are wonderful writers, and they trust their books to me to critique. It’s such an honor. It means they trust me with something they already know is really good. My friend Julia Donner sends me her Regency romances, and I can’t wait until she finishes one, because then I get to read it. She recently put an older Regency on Bookbub and got lots of hits. A ROGUE FOR MISS PRIM tickled my funny bone through the entire book. She got rave reviews for it when she put it on sale this time.

I read a few other authors in my writers’ group, but not that many. It takes time to critique a book. And occasionally, people don’t appreciate what you have to say. One author I critiqued had a beautifully and powerful written story, but her formatting was all wrong. When I mentioned that, she didn’t change it, just sent it to agents anyway. Agents can be picky these days. They didn’t appreciate it that she hadn’t properly formatted the book, and she got lots of rejections. And then, she gave up. Instead of fixing the problems, she walked away from the book. And I felt horrible. But everyone has different breaking points, and she’d reached hers.

I’m not sure what kept me writing when I got one rejection after another. Maybe I’m too stubborn or optimistic than is good for me. It’s hard to hang in there when there’s only a slim chance of success. But the truth is, I love to write. So I probably keep doing it because it makes me happy. Some people do it to deliver a message or to make money or both. I had no such illusions. I knew it would be a miracle if I ever found much success.

My writers’ group is pretty idealistic. Our members say things like “Don’t change what you write just to sell. Stay true to your dreams.” I believe those things, but I also wrote six romances because my agent asked me to. Why not? To me, writing is writing. There are things I’d NEVER write, because I’d be awful at it or because I’d be ashamed of it. But if it’s something I might pull off? Why not try? I found out I really enjoyed writing romance. It’s not like my novels sold well. They didn’t. But boy, did I learn a lot! I really believe romances is what taught me to concentrate on relationships more in my stories. A big, solid plus.

Everyone measures success in different ways. Some people only look at dollar signs. Some people look at how many good reviews they garner. Some ask if you have an agent or a publisher. Whatever you use to measure your worth, I hope you FEEL successful. I hope your writing makes you happy. Some days, I love mine. Some days, I wonder what’s wrong with me. But I love to write. I hope you still love it, too. So good, bad, or ugly, happy writing! And wishing you much luck!

8 thoughts on “It’s such an honor

  1. Great article, Judi. That feeling of “I can do this” is so important on the days that you feel like you can’t or worse, don’t want to. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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