Seeking Out Professional Advice

I’ve challenged myself to take up writing again this year. It has been over 6 years that I took a break. I felt it was about time for me to finally follow my dreams. I decided to take the chance and I contacted one of my favorite authors. To my surprise, she replied back to my email rather quickly. This all happened about 2 weeks ago. I have spent the last 2 weeks really taking in everything she said and finding ways to implement the advice she gave into my very busy lifestyle.

I have become a slave to routine. It’s unfortunate really since that is something that I have always vowed to never happen. I grew up that way and never wanted that for my grown up life or for my kids. Breaking out of a habit is more difficult than it seems. I’m still working on it, but I am optimistic that with patience I can figure it all out. But, with this habit of routine, I have found that I have purposely not allowed myself much free time and, instead, have devoted every second of the day to tending to my children. Not a bad thing for sure, but, as many have said, self care is as important to raising children as actually spending time with the children. So, now is the time for self care.

I think the part of the email I received that has really stuck with me is that she pointed out that some great writers never get published and some bad writers do and that nothing is guaranteed. This has really stuck with me because, as I have pointed out previously, my greatest fear is to fail. I don’t want to be clumped in with the great writers that never see their work in a shelf. My dream of being published has been a dream of mine for such a long time that I am terrified to not make it come true. I took the last 2 weeks contemplating my next move and part wondering what is the point. Obviously nothing in life is guaranteed, I just sometimes would like something’s to be guaranteed. I’ve moved past this point. There’s still the fear and the worry, but unless I try I’ll never know.

Other memorable advice was to set aside time every day to write about a topic that I would be excited to return to each time. I’m working on finding how to change my routines to fit in my time for myself. This is a work in progress.

As I pointed out in a post, great writers read great writers. Reading is such a big influence on writers work. We tend to mimic our favorite pieces.

As we all know, part of the writing process is to get our work published. I am nowhere near this step and probably won’t be for a year or so. She has advised me to not go the self publishing route and to instead seek out an agent. I have not even begun to think about this step because I have to first have a perfect manuscript which is still in the process of being started.

I was so pleased to get a reply that I felt so overwhelmed by the information provided to me. I seek out advice and input from others as part of my writing research, so this advice has helped me tremendously. I am excited and terrified to take on this part of my journey. Having the encouragement and optimism is so great and has helped me get into the right mindset to finally be motivated to take the next step.

Thank you all for your input that you have provided. It has been most helpful.

Published by Ashleyhouck

I’m a stay at home mom to 3 wonderful angels and many fur babies.

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  1. It is from failure we learn. Change your perspective from fear of failure to seeing it as growth. There is always a lesson in failure. Albeit easier for me to say than do, this is what I have found that helps me get out of fear and into action. Also I am learning that being present is more valuable than multitasking which isn’t easy either. Lol. Gggrrr. Nothing worth anything is easy and without a little pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In an interview I conducted with poet Dave Lucas his writing advice is to “read omnivorously” and in my younger years, I read, sure, but not enough before I set out to write. I would never make that mistake again. During the time my boys were small, that’s all I had the time and energy to do (on top of child-rearing): read. Then, once your mind is practically bursting with a book idea and you’ve “read around” the genre, go for it! Looking forward to following your journey. Feel free to check out my post, which includes writing advice and also publishing ideas–once you get there. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I too read quite a bit because I’m a stay at home mom so when they nap I have a lot of time on my hands. I can’t wait to be to the point where I’m ready to finally write my novel. This is such an exciting journey. I look forward to sharing everything.

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  3. It’s true about great writers not getting published and bad ones that are. And of course we are talking about the traditional publishing route. That leads to several lines of thinking. One, if you are good let alone great author then how unfair and unfortunate is it not to have been published and what a waste to the reading public. Second, just because you cannot secure a publishing deal with a traditional publisher does not mean you are a bad writer; and the corollary is true; just because you can secure one doesn’t make you good or even great. Yes it is some sort of filter but it is a very arbitrary and subjective one. By her own advice your writer correspondent is saying that you should only go the traditional route even though, maybe despite the fact it is arbitrary and sometimes, maybe often wrong in its choices.
    And until the advent of the ebook and print on demand the publishing industry maintained that control and maintained the myth that, while some good and great writers slipped through the net there was no alternative way that they could have their work read.
    No longer. Self publishing allows crap through. There is no doubt that there is a deal if shite published independently. But there is also a mountain of good stuff that otherwise wouldn’t see the light of day. So, by all means try the trad route but don’t stick with it and miss out. Do make sure the book you write is the best it can be. Get it edited if you can afford it. Get a decent cover made – they are the two things you may not be able to do for yourself; but for the rest you can launch a perfectly good book on the world.
    Yes, I have published my work independently because I cannot be doing with all the editor/publisher delay malarkey; I also do not want some one telling me how to construct my story – sure I have lots to learn but I know my stories and just because a character or plot line doesn’t fit with an editors’ or publishers’ arbitrary views doesn’t mean I’m changing for them.
    I’d be happy to send you any of mine (no charge!) to have a look at and you can tell me – I’d welcome it – if you think they fail the quality test.
    I’m not trying to convert you to indie publishing; I just do not agree with your author friend that you should shut the door on a perfectly acceptable alternative route.
    Oh, and to bust another myth about trad publishing, unless you are in a tiny percentage, what the publisher will do for you is edit, format, produce a cover and publish; what they won’t do it spend a bundle on marketing. You’ll be hiking your wares around every outlet you can think of… just like we indies…
    This is my author page: select a book, drop me a note on mail ( with your address and I’ll send you your choice…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. I have not thought about the publishing end quite yet. You have some great points though. This leaves me with so much more to think about now. I am so happy you took the time to give me your input and advice. I welcome all that I can get. I would love to take you up on the offer on reading one of your books. I enjoy reading all kinds of work. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my post. I appreciate your input.

      Liked by 1 person

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