Monday, March 5, 2012

Guest Post by author of Freestyle of Love


I Know this Much is True

The author of several short stories and essays, Freestyle Love is my debut novel. And as I have done throughout the virtual book tour over the past fifteen days, I’m not going to talk about my book. Why? I want the reader to form their own judgment without being influenced by any “insight” I may or may not provide had I talked about the inspiration for the book, or how it evolved. While I hope that people like my novel, I’m not na├»ve to think that everyone will. That is life in the arts. Now that the work is out there for public consumption, I’m getting back down to work. That is my focus.

An acquaintance of mine recently put this question to me: What are some things that you've learned along the way that would help other authors who are trying to publish their first book? I’ve learned that art is subjective. Some editors or publishers will like what I write and others won’t. Sometimes I get a personalized rejection letter, sometimes I don’t. Writers — all artists in fact — have to learn (and this was the hard part for me) not to take rejection personally. Rejection is part and parcel of being a writer. I’ve kept, and learned from, the rejection letters that contained a personal note from an editor saying I was on the right track, or that while they liked the story, it just wasn’t a good fit for their magazine.

As a writer, I’ve learned the importance of persistence. Sometimes I’ve had to submit a piece of writing many, many, many times before it was accepted for publication. But I believed in the work, in the story, so I became even more determined to find the story or essay a home with each rejection letter I received. I don’t let rejection overwhelm me and neither should you. I let rejection be a muse. Let it be your muse.

With Freestyle Love published, promoting my book also reminds me of how important it is for all of us to husband our dreams. There are days when discouragement will rear its ugly head, and we may, for a time, lose faith, but we must never give up on our dreams. Be committed. As W.H. Murray said, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.”

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