Then she finally had to come clean, so to speak - I could go off on a whole riff about doing the laundry, but perhaps that is better saved for another time.
The woman in my original essay - I called her Glenda Gibberish - was telling her best friend about her writing.
"I've been writing all my life, but I never told anyone."
"I didn't want anyone to laugh at me."
"How have you kept it a secret from your husband?"
"I wrote a whole book on squares of toilet tissue and stuck them inside the empty roll."
"Really? And how has that worked out?"
"Fine, until my husband decided the hamster needed a new chew toy. I lost a whole chapter."
"Yeah, ouch. He choked on a particularly graphic sex scene."
"No. The hamster."
"Well, don't worry. Your secret is safe with me."
"Actually. I wish you would tell a few people. My book comes out next month."
Rejection slips are hardly validating.
For a long time my own insecurity was like some huge monster I battled constantly. I was doing freelance journalism, so the rejection slips were frequent and it took me a while to stop wailing at the mailbox every time an article was returned. Along the way I learned some things.
- Tenacity counts as much as talent
- Writers with thick skins succeed
- Look at the positives, not the negatives
- Be professional - always
- Failure can be a good thing
- Validate yourself, don't wait for it to come from outside
- Quitting is not an option
I remind myself of that last one a lot. Not that I am ready to quit that often, but there are times. If you are an author reading this, I'm sure you understand. This is a wacky, wacky, unpredictable business, and not for those who cannot look at a rejection slip and say, "I don't care."
Boxes For Beds, that is her first indie release. Her Seasons Mystery Series debuted with Open Season in 2010, followed by Stalking Season late in 2012. Open Season is now an e-book, and Stalking Season is available in hardcover.
Boxes for Beds will be free for Kindle starting this coming Saturday, October 12 through October 16, so that is a good opportunity to sample Maryann's work. Remember, you don't have to have a Kindle reader. There are Apps for other electronic devices for reading Kindle titles.
You can find out more about Maryann Miller's books at her Website and Blog and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.