IN WRITING, ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

In Writing, Attitude IS Everything.

I expect to publish my first work of fiction very soon. It didn’t happen overnight and I had a lot of help. But I believe that attitude played a big role as well. I have to say thanks to the members of the writing groups I belong to. They have a lot to do with where I’m at with my writing.

I took part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2010. Thankfully, I was allowed to work on my story at work during down time (thanks Boss). Manually of course, in a hardcover notebook, transcribing everything to my computer at night. “Double the work” was my only complaint but someone said to me:

“… this need to transcribe may not be a bad thing. Sometimes this second writing allows you to take a step back and revisit the structural issues before they become too emotionally imbedded.  In any case, I congratulate you on this push and forward momentum, particularly in the face of your outside pressures.”

Thanks Davis. You made a good point and certainly got my attention.

I pressed on instead of complaining and for 30 days, I wrote, on the spur of the moment whatever idea came to mind without ever looking back. On March 30, I finished with 50,363 words. Of course, it wasn’t edited, but full of grammatical errors, and the whole 9 yards.

Once the story was finished, I set it aside, ready to start another. I’d never given much thought to publishing. I simply wrote because I loved it. So the manuscript ended up in a drawer until, a month later, I heard about a publishing contest. That too got my attention. I recruited the help of 2 proofreader-friends and after many corrections and re-writes too numerous to count (I still have the copy with corrections in red pen… thanks Pat and Cheryl), I finally sent it in, 2 days before the deadline. Then, the waiting began. And while I waited, I began working on another story.

In September, they announced the winners. I wasn’t one of them. But hey, that’s okay. Because even though my book didn’t get published, I strongly felt I came out a winner.

–          First, because it was a great experience;

–          Second, I had so much fun writing it;

–          Third, I met awesome authors, aspired and published, in person and online. And I became part of different writing groups, some online and one at the community college in town.

Now that the story was done (and back in the drawer), it kept “calling back” to me. I loved that story, and I wanted to do something with it. Sure it needed work, but I was willing to put effort into it, and I wondered what would happen.

I re-edited the story, again. Then I asked one of the online writing groups if anyone was willing to proofread this last version I had edited for the umpteenth time. Someone offered to read and critique it. Thanks Stella.

Another suggested self-publishing. I had no idea how that worked but since was willing to look into it. Thanks Norah.

I was also given the name of someone to design the cover for me. She is, as Norah would put it, a gem. Tuesday night, I got the first ‘sketch’ for my book cover. And what a feeling that was. Thanks Delle.

To everyone in the WJLTW (private group) and WIN groups as well as everyone who has helped in any way: thanks for being there; for your encouragement and everything you’ve done.

Now, all I have left to do is wait for the critique, do the final editing, and format the manuscript according to the guidelines.

Publishing is a lot of hard work, but one must have the right attitude. And with that attitude, it’s possible. Hard maybe, but still possible.

Delle said to me: This book will be the first building block. Each book you add leads back to it, as it will lead to others. I’m building on that foundation one brick (book) at a time.

Remember Attitude IS Everything.

Renée-Ann

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18 thoughts on “IN WRITING, ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

  1. Well done. I had a small book self published a while ago. Even though it was only 70 pages it seemed to take for ever. Not the initial writing – that came easily – but the constant proof reading and editing. I am currently working on a rewrite.
    I love that you have a writing group to support you. Keep up the good work.

  2. Congratulations on the pending book. As someone who is currently transcribing part-time, I can agree with your friend in that transcribing your own writing really helps you internalize and re-process what you’ve written. Glad you found the purposefulness in that. I also think it’s beautiful the way you came out of that contest with such a positive perspective. I hope it continues to push you forward in your future endeavors. God bless! [Inspiring Women Bloggers]

    • Thanks S’ambrosia. Since writing this post, I have published my novel, wrote a second (with the editor right now) and start a third. I don’t want to think “what if” I hadn’t persevered. I’m just very thankful that God put in my path writers who helped me a great deal.

      I wish you, and all the others in the Inspiring Women Bloggers group, in your journeys and endeavours as well.

      Blessings! Renee-Ann <

  3. I want to first say congratulations on your writing your novel. Woohoo! It is a wonderful experience. As a published author you are so right it is about the attitude. I wish the best on your writing journey.

    • Thank you Tamyara

      it’s been a ‘different’ kind of journey. It was fun at first, but when I hit roadblocks, I remembered what one of our Pastor used to say:

      “If you can’t climb over it, just walk around it.” And that’s what I did.

      Blessings! Renee-Ann <

    • Thanks Kitt

      This was my first novel and I’m about to start the rewrites on the second. I’m loving the journey I’m on.

      Funny I would choose this post about Attitude because at work today, someone said I was so relaxed, she wanted to switch places with me. I told her it’s all about attitude. I get up in the morning and tell myself I’m going to have a good day, and I’m not going to let anyone ruin it for me. And 9 times out of 10, I do. Things do happen and sometimes, try as hard as you can, you can’t be positive 24/7/365, but even then, looking at the positive when negative happens certainly helps.

      Blessings! Renee-Ann <

    • So true, Elise. Someone recently told me: “A writer’s life is a solitary one.”
      I must say this doesn’t apply to me because I’ve had so many people join and support me in my ‘writer-life’, I’ve never felt alone.

      Blessings! Renee-Ann <

  4. I’m so glad you persevered. Writing is a series of problems. My first book was limericks, so there were strict meter and rhyme constraints. I began to see them as bunches of little knots that I just had to keep picking at until they unwound. I found that approach helped my writing overall.
    And it is wonderful you have so much support. Writing workshops are a great place to find that and grow.

    • Yes, Laura, workshops and conferences are a must for writers, aspired and published. That’s where we learn and grow with the learned and those who, like myself, are still learning the tools of the trade. The thing is, with today’s constantly evolving technology, we must keep up with the times and learn what’s new!

      Thanks for commenting. Blessings! Renee-Ann <

  5. Great post. I love the way you acknowledge all the people who helped you get to where you are today. It creates a great rhythm in the piece and it is so true: we all ‘stand on the shoulders’ of those who have gone before, and reach out a helping hand to those who follow. Congratulations on your success! xox, Reba

    • Thanks for your kind words, Reba. I always believed in giving credit where it is due. I know I didn’t do this alone and can’t pretend I did. I also believe in paying it forward.

      Blessings! <

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