Sunday, April 1, 2012

KEEPING THE FAITH, my 500th post!

Last month I had the honour of being the featured author of Wendy Laharnar CALAMITY'S CORNER, an ezine dedicated to sharing books, films places and leisure pursuits.


AUTHOR OF THE MONTH 
MARCH
JOYLENE NOWELL BUTLER

Her books are riveting. She’ll take you on a non-stop rollercoaster ride of suspense and intrigue.
__________________________
Joylene Nowell Butler draws on her Métis Heritage when spinning compelling novels about fascinating, yet seemingly grass- roots Canadians.

Her mother sparked Joylene’s love of writing when she gave her a diary at age 8. It wasn’t long until Joylene realized that writing made her feel alive.


Joylene’s Books:

Dead Witness – 
Amazon http://tiny.cc/vbza1
Kindle http://tiny.cc/czewl

Broken But Not Dead
Amazon http://tiny.cc/4p2lc

Visit Joylene at her website
http://joylenenowellbutler.com






KEEPING THE FAITH
by Joylene Nowell Butler




No one writes novels so they can torture themselves by collecting rejections. That would be silly. We write because it gives us great joy and because it’s who we are. It’s the one thing we love to do even though we agonize over every word.


While a few authors are lucky enough to receive a contract the first time out, the rest of us spend years learning our craft and dodging bullets from critiques. When the time is right, when we’re sure we can’t make our stories any better, we query agents and publishers because that’s step three in the process. If we’ve been around long enough, we’ve heard the rumours. We know the business is changing. We know publishers are finicky and searching for the next JK Rowling, Stephanie Meyer or Stieg Larsson. But we persist because we could no sooner stop writing than we could give up breathing.

Or so we think.

What does happen exactly? Is it after opening rejection letter number twenty suddenly all that determination and confidence shatters? There’s a reckoning, and instantly you’re inconsolably and irrevocably certain you can’t do this any longer. No more queries. No more failure. No more writing.

Quit writing stories? If this question makes you panicky, then already you’re keeping the faith. If you are feeling like you should quit, don’t worry, the feeling will pass.

I tried once. Then one day I was making the bed and it occurred to me that the characters running around inside my head weren’t leaving until I wrote their story. I threw the pillowcases and duvet to the floor, made a beeline for my computer, and began work on my fifth manuscript Broken but not Dead. That was roughly twelve years after I started writing. Twelve more years passed before my first novel Dead Witness was published.

You meet authors online everyday who have similar stories to tell. You probably know gifted, prolific writers who have yet to be published. And if you’re not published yourself, you begin to wonder, if this talented writer can’t find a publisher, what are my chances?

How do you maintain your conviction after collecting a drawer full of rejections? How do you fill that empty void inside? How do you rid yourself of the negative inner voice yelling, I’m a failure.

How do I keep the faith?

When interviewers ask me that, I jokingly reply that I was too stubborn to quit. But the truth is, I couldn’t. Even when I had doubts, and I had plenty, I enjoyed writing too much. Even when it felt like I had quit, I was actually writing inside my head.

If you want to improve, if you can’t get your hands on enough books on the craft of writing, if you’re game for tough critiques that may send you on a pity-party for two days, then you have what it takes.

But, let me guess. You were hoping I had the secret formula? Actually, I do. Write it down where you can see it every day: You write because it’s a gift.

We’re luckier than most artists. We have samples of excellent writing at our fingertips. We can dissect books we admire and see for ourselves how they work. We’re privy to generous teachers who are willing to teach us everything they know. We’re not under a deadline. We can write, edit, revise, and rewrite to our heart’s content.

As writers, we belong to an elite group. We understand the driving force behind every writer. We’ve all experienced the crushing blow of rejection. We’re special because we can learn to create vivid, disturbing, enchanting stories about characters that feel real and that the reader will care about.

It takes work. It takes commitment. It takes days, weeks, years of sweat, heartache and gut wrenching determination. Don’t give up. That would be too easy. Know that if you don’t understand the origin of this desire to write, it’s okay. Just say, Thank you and keep writing.

Believe in yourself.

Believe in your ability, and learn everything you can about your craft. It may take awhile, but your dream will come true. Keep the faith. You have nothing to lose.







If you're interested in subscribing to Wendy's ezine, send her an email request at wlahar at bigpond doc com. Calamity's Corner is also chalk full of writing tips, news, marketing links, and pet of the month.

42 comments :

  1. Great post and congratulations on it being #500, just another indication of your "keep the faith" attitude and endurance.

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  2. Great post and you're absolutely write. We can no more quit writing than we can quit breathing

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  3. Inspiring message, Joylene. And so true for those of us who are authors. Sometimes success comes early, but not for most of us. I think the key is that you picked the pen back up when your inner writer kicked in. There is no failure other than the one who gives up and withers away.
    Great message for this season of renewal.
    PD

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  4. Keith, thanks! I remember how tough it was when I started. I'm thrilled that I stuck with it. Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday.

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  5. Roseanne, thank you. That's what is so wonderful about being a writer among a community of writers. It's a close knit family, that's for sure.

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  6. Congratulations on reaching post #500 Joylene.
    I'm not a writer but I do find your attitude inspirational, and applicable to many facets of life.
    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

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  7. Thank you, Martha. I appreciate that. Have a fabulous Sunday, eh!

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  8. Hi Pat. Thanks for your kind words. My post was exactly that, a message of hope. Have a great Sunday.

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  9. Dear Paul. That's so nice of you to mention because that is exactly what I've always tried to do. For selfish reasons too. Because even when I'm low, if I stop to encourage someone, just one writer/person, it rubs off on my own attitude. Thanks for noting. Happy Sunday.

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  10. Joylene - what a shot in the arm! I am hoping I have that determination. I have a few short stories that have been picked up but those nasty rejections are so...uhm....so...well they just suck! I know I need thicker skin and I'm working on it!
    AND 500 posts - awesome!

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  11. Penny, I'm so glad to hear that. I have always wanted to give back what was so generously given to me when I was struggling. A shot in the arm for you from me has just made my day!

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  12. WOW!!! 500 posts! That's amazing! Congrats for all your success. I hope I'm half as successful as you are!

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  13. Thank you, kindly, Nancy. Thanks for your continuing support. Have a great Sunday!

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  14. Hi Joylene! CONGRATS on 500 posts! That is way cool. Have an awesome week. : )

    Susanne
    PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER

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  15. Congratulations on this 500th post, Joylene! Maybe it says something about our staying power when we reach these kind of milestones???

    I've written one thing or another since I was a child, although didn't start on my first novel until 2000. I haven't collected many rejections because I haven't queried much. At the rate I'm going I may never get a novel published. I seem to prefer the actual writing to any other aspect of the industry. I'll always be a writer though. As you say, it's who we are. There's this compulsion to keep putting words down on paper (or wherever) and I can't imagine not doing it.

    Your story is an inspiration to anyone who dreams of publication. You've proved that patience coupled with determination can make it happen. Oh yes... that and a lot of talent! :)

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  16. Just what I needed today, Joylene. Thank you. :) Congratulations on 500!

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  17. Hi Joylene,
    May I take this opportunity to congratulate you on this milestone or now that we've gone metric, 'kilometrestone', 500th posting :)
    I believe you have kept the faith because you are determined, you are resilient and you really do believe in yourself. In turn, your determination, your resilience and your belief, is a shining light to others. Not only in writing, but so many aspects of our lives.
    Thank you Joylene. You are an inspiration and testimony to the most profound in human spirit.
    With respect and happy writing, your way, Gary

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  18. Thank you, Susanne. And thank you for all the wonderful books you've introduced me to. Happy Sunday.

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  19. Oh, Carol, you are such a wonderful person and a great inspiration. I hope you do publish a novel one day, simply so I can show it to all my friends and family. "I knew her when..."

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  20. I'm glad it helped in any way, Carrie. Inspiration has held me up on so many occasions. Have a wonderful day.

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  21. You always make me blush, Gary. My husband thinks it's just me hot-flushing. LOL. But honestly, you say the nicest things. Hugs for you and Penny, the Jack Russell and modest internet star. And happy A-Z blogging too.

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  22. Congratulations on your 500th post, Joylene. I'm absolutely thrilled it happened to be this one in particular! :) What an achievement and further proff of your steadfast determination to succeed. Your book will be among those I recommend in the December issue of Calamity's Corner, too. I wish you every success.

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  23. If I do eventually get published you'll be able to say more than that, Joylene. You'll be able to say "She's published because of me! I'm the one whose encouragement kept her going." You're a dear.

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  24. Dear Joylene,
    Wow! This is awesome. Congratulations!

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  25. Wendy, what you're doing is pretty exciting for us authors. It's because of your generosity that we're succeeding. I appreciate you and your hard work. Happy Writing!

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  26. It will happy, Carol. And I'll be glad to say I was involved in a tiny little way. It's a wonderful story centered in a beautiful area. Can't wait.

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  27. LOL. Too early in the morning to type. Carol, you know I meant happen, huh? Yes. LOL.

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  28. Thank you so much, Joan. Happy Writing!

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  29. Joy,
    I love this post....quit writing? That's like saying (as a writer) I'll quit breathing. I, like you, "tried once" too. It only lasted about twenty minutes. My mind was already racing. If I'm not writing, I'm reading. And I love it.....love you too!
    Hugs
    Katt

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  30. Katt, I adore you! And if I could I'd hug you everyday. But you have to move to Canada first. Somewhere cold. Then you'd really appreciate my hugs. Have a wonderful day.

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  31. Congratulations, Joylene, on your 500th post and on your selection as author of the month. You are a truly gifted writer and will, I'm sure, have many more awards. I can't imagine you not writing. It's in your soul, stories that must come out. (I've had a problem accessing your blog -- and a couple of others -- think it was because of Blogger's format change. Things disappeared on my sidebar, then reappeared. Think all's well now. Hugs, Kittie.)

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  32. Congrats, Joylene! 500 posts--this blog could be a book in and of itself. :) I always love hearing about your writing career. It gives me so much hope. As you know, I'm a big fan. I can't imagine what would've happened if you had quit writing! Big hugs!!

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  33. Kittie, thank you for your kind words. I discovered when I was a child that nice people attracted nice people. I've been very fortunate. I had terrific parents and wonderful siblings. I was very loved. I'm still a work in progress, but I've learned to stop and think. Writing helps me do that. If left to my own devices, I can be mouthy, but thank goodness for the internet. It lets me take a moment to carefully consider my words. You can't take them back. I learned that the hard way.

    Thanks for taking me on your Louisiana travels.

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  34. Thank you, Adriana. I'm a big fan of yours too. I'm in awe of the blogs you've shared. I think we met through other blog friends; I'm not sure who now. That's what is so wonderful about blogging. If I'd known that, I would have started sooner. But things have a way of coming together in their own time. Happy writing.

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  35. Congrats on post 500, and boy was it great! You really summed everything up so wonderfully. What an inspiration you are, Joylene. No one ever said the writer's life was easy. It's certainly not for wimps as my editor once said. But i guess if we can't imagine doing anything else with our time then we're right where we need to be. :)

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  36. Congratulations on your 500th post, Joylene! Congrats, also, on being author of the month! You deserve it - you work hard and are an inspiration to other writers. You were one of my early blog followers, and I am so grateful for your support and friendship.

    Writing and breathing, yes, I'm with you. :)

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  37. Thanks, Laura. I still can't believe it's 500 already. You know, it's always been an inspiration to me that every other writer I meet understands exactly where I'm coming from. That has made all the difference.

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  38. Thanks, Karen. I feel a huge relief at being part of the blogging community. Writing is such a solitary act, but blogging makes up for it. Happy Easter.

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  39. Wonderful post!
    And...yes...we just have to keep going. You've always been an inspiration to me. The dedication you put into your work, the professionalism with which you handle yourself in this business.

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  40. Thanks, Vastine. I also like hanging out with like-minded bloggers, such as yourself. Yes, imagine, I spend time with inspiring and rejuvenating bloggers, and it ends up rubbing off on me!

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  41. I am quite jealous if your fun weekend, although not so much of your burned temple. I've never gotten into shooting handguns being more of a rifle girl myself...but that does look like a blast
    bullet stickers

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