What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?
When I started out writing as a teenager, before I knew anything about the writing craft, having only the knowledge of following my gut instinct for story-telling, I sent the beginning chapters of a few of my completed WIP's to several editors at the big-time publishing houses (Harlequin, Dorchester, etc). To my dismay, I received rejection letters from each of these, although each with comments and recommendations on how to improve my writing. Encouraged, I continued to write as well as study the craft as those editor's comments suggested.
I assumed, as a beginner, this was how the process worked. I didn't learn until a year or two later how lucky I was to receive those positive editor's comments.
One day, I spoke with two published romance authors who were both signing their books at the Waldenbooks where I worked. I eagerly chatted with them in between customers, telling them how much I admired their books and admitting that I was trying to get my work published, too. They asked how it was going. I told them about the encouraging rejections. They were both astonished that I had received anything other than a standard rejection letter. According to them, most editor's didn't have the time to bother with making comments or suggestions of any kind and just sent a form letter in response. Out of all the rejections I collected, I still have never received a plain form letter. Every editor has written something positive about my writing. I could clearly see the surprise on these author's faces as I told them this.
I knew at that moment, I would never give up writing or my efforts to get published. The look on their faces told me more than their words that I was on to something here. I had a long way to go, learning about writing and story-telling, but if those big-time NY editors were encouraging me to continue writing and working on improving my craft, then that's what I would do.
Now, several years later, I'm a published romance author, too!
With every completed manuscript and every published book, I strive to keep learning how to write a better story. And whenever I have doubts (which I still have many!) about whether I should continue writing, then I think back to that conversation with those two authors and think about how fortunate I really am.
How about you? What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing? Share in the comments section below! Also, be sure to check out the other blogs in the Insecure Writer's Support Group!