Fight for What You Love
"Never Give up, Never Surrender!"
That's a quote from one of my favorite movies, Galaxy Quest. (I'm a Star Trek fan from way back, so I find Galaxy Quest to be hysterical.)
But it's sound advice for any writer. This is a crazy business we're in. The road is not just long and winding, but it goes up and down like a roller coaster.
Everybody pays their dues at some point. And just because you're selling today doesn't mean you'll be selling tomorrow.
I sold pretty quickly. The second manuscript I wrote, the first submission I made to Superromance, sold. People hate you for stuff like that.
People hate you for that kind of stuff, too.
But, we all find our speedbumps. Our walls. Our stop signs. We all do fall on our face at some point.
I had some issues selling my fourth book, but after I sold my fourth book, I hit that wall. We had some editor changes at the line. And I could not sell another book to save my life.
Talk about disheartening. Discouraging. Talk about completely losing faith in my own abilities as a writer. We writers all struggle with doubt demons, but getting into a situation like that – or like not managing to sell your first book, for that matter – will bring those demons out in force.
I reached a point where I told people that I'd had way more faith in myself before I'd sold my first book than I did then. I actually wrestle with the doubt demons to this day.
This business is so subjective. That's what I want you to understand. That's what *I* need to remember and understand. What one person (reader, agent, editor) hates, another loves. Proof of this point is my new book that's coming out this month, A Kid to the Rescue.
You see, this book was rejected back when I was in my "can't sell to save my life" ditch. This very same book. After it was rejected, we had another change of staff at my line. Friends asked me if I was going to submit something to the new senior. Well...I was in a ditch. I thought I had given up writing for good, to tell you the truth. (Waving the white flag of surrender!
And in the end, she bought it. Same author, same EXACT proposal, for the same exact line, that had been previously rejected.
It seems fitting that the hero's motto in this new book is "Fight for what you love," and that's the lesson the heroine had to learn. And so did I. In this business, you have to fight for what you love. That doesn't mean being obnoxious when you get a rejection. You have to be professional at all times. But it does mean never giving up. It means going on even when you think the battle is lost. Giving up because we're afraid we're going to get hurt again is the easy way out.
Never give up. Never surrender. Fight the good fight. Or as another of my characters, the heroine from my Golden Heart ms was fond of saying, "Lace up your boots tighter and carry on." If you fall on your face, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back in it.
Believe in yourself. In your talent. In your ability to tell a story.
Because the next one, the next (agent, editor, story) could be "The One."
Have you ever hit that wall? How do you keep going? Do you have any stories about the subjectivity of the business? Share them! How about questions? I used to be an elementary teacher, so I love questions.
Susan Gable has sold five books to Harlequin's Superromance line. Her books have been Rita and Golden Heart Finalists, she's been a Waldenbooks Bestseller, been twice nominated for Romantic Time's Best Superromance of the Year, and she's won numerous other awards, including the National Readers' Choice Award. Her next book, A Kid to the Rescue, got 4.5 Stars and a Top Pick from RT. It hits shelves on Feb. 10th, and is the story of a heroine who assumes custody of her nephew after the little boy witnesses his father murder his mother. The hero, a comic book artist who's also an art therapist, brings hope and laughter to their lives, along with love. And he teaches both aunt and child to fight for what they love. Visit Susan's website: http://www.susangable.com/