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Collingwood Football Club

 

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West Wing

 

 

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Liz Fielding

 

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Melissa James

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You love writing more than life itself?

Then be enthusiastic!

 

(First published in Hearts Talk magazine)

 

 

Ask yourself this: why do you write?

 

Because English was your favourite subject at school?  Because you enjoy reading?  Because you once said you were writing a book and you have to finish the damn thing just so all your friends and rellies can stop asking, ďSo how is your book coming alongĒ?

 

Or is it perhaps because you love to write?  Turning on your laptop gives you a buzz?  The blinking cursor on a fresh new Word file thrills you to bits?  If so, then, harness those feelings.  Draw on that pleasure.  Make use of that joy.  Be a writer and be enthusiastic about it!

 

surrounding yourself with enthusiastic people

or, smile and the world smiles with you

 

Are your friends, families and workmates your cheerleaders when it comes to your writing?  Are they ambivalent?  Or are they just plain apathetic towards your efforts to write a book.   No matter which category they fall into - be enthusiastic.

ďOh, so you write are writing a book,Ē they say.

 

ďYou betcha!Ē you say.  ďI love it!  Itís such a thrill guiding the story rushing through my head down onto the page.Ē

 

Then when you sell you say, ďYou betcha!  I make people smile for a living.  Donít I just have the best job in the whole world?Ē

Where can they go from there without seeming a complete grouch?  Not only will your enthusiasm rub off on others, but this positive reinforcement will make you feel fabulous as well.

 

And what if somebody has something nice to say?  If a reader loves your book, your website, or your heroís motherís maiden name and tells you so Ė be enthusiastic!

 

This is not a job where praise often comes directly after effort.  Most of the time our books are not read until months after they have been grappled onto the page.  So when praise comes your way, be grateful, be charming, and be thrilled.  You moved somebody.  You made them cry.  You put a smile on their face.  For whatever reason, in whatever way, your creation reached out and touched somebody.  Lap it up.  Soak it up.  Revel in it.  Allow yourself to enjoy it!

 

rejection

or, donít worry, be happy

 

You entered a competition, and didnít make it past the first round?  Donít fret.  That does not necessarily mean that your book will not catch an editorís eye.  My first book sold the same week that it did not make it past the first round of a competition.  So I am living proof that it can and does happen.  Donít be afraid to send that same book to a publisher, an agent, another competition.  If you love your book, donít give up on it.

 

You sent away a partial, and didnít receive a request for the full manuscript?  Donít fret.  Be proud of your enthusiasm.  Kudos to you!  You have been brave enough and ready enough to put yourself on the writing map.  So go there again.  Get your next partial ready and send it off across the ocean.  You have to be in it to win it right?

 

And don't forget, there's been no better time to think about self-publishing!  Start looking at book marketing efforts such as cover design and publishing now. Visit www.lulu.com to read about their services.

 

working with professionals

or, if youíre happy and you know it, clap your hands

 

We are always told, be professional, donít use humour as it may not gel with the person you are targeting.  OK.  But I would argue, donít be afraid to let some enthusiasm shine through.

 

I have never shied away from being enthusiastic in any correspondence, whether with publishers, with the media, or with other industry peers.  Here is a snippet from the query letter I sent with the partial for my first book THE WEDDING WISH:

 

Please feel free to destroy my manuscript after it has been assessed, as I have no need for it to be returned.  My good old laptop is happy to store the original so long it gets to choose the music I play in its CD player for the duration.  I believe that is a fair deal!

 

Even with this splash of irreverence, I had a request for a full, so it proves that a little fun wonít hurt.  Remember, if you are aiming for the UK office, the editors there are likely looking at dreary grey skies through their cubicle windows.  So why not send them some Aussie sunshine with every piece of correspondence?

 

working with editors and agents

or, youíre never fully dressed without a smile

 

If an agent you are targeting has different style requirements than everyone else, donít sigh and says ďIím not changing my font size just for their benefit!Ē  Why the heck not?

 

If an editor has suggested structural changes - a new ending, a different career for the heroine, less hero POV - donít stamp your feet and say ďbut I love my book just the way it is.Ē  Be enthusiastic about the positives.  Jeepers, you may be close to selling your book!  Revisions are suggested to make the book you adore the best book that it can be.  So give it a go!

 

If an editor asks if you have anything else in the pipeline, donít mumble and grumble that you have nothing yet worth looking at (even if it may be true!).  Pick a character you adore or a plot device that is keeping you up night and wax lyrical about that.  No matter how preliminary the idea, if you are enthusiastic about it, there is a great chance that your editor will pick up on that and encourage you to run with it.

 

So, the moral of this story is, let your enthusiasm shine through.  We are in the business of moving people with our words.  Stick to that maxim in your life as well as in your work and you can only continue finding great joy in being a writer.

 

 


 

All articles copyright © Ally Blake, not to be reproduced without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

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