Monday, May 19, 2014 | By: Angela Brown

Hey Angela, There's Something You Should Know

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Angela Brown
Author of the Shadow Jumpers series
@ALBrownwrites (Twitter)
I write this today hoping that it will be read, enjoyed and maybe learned from (Hey Pk or Carrie, you're welcome to make this a part of the ebook if you'd like).

Hey early-twenties-Angela,
There's something you should know. Actually, I recognize that pained expression; your brows knitted, eyes narrowed and nostrils flaring. I know what's in your hands. It's WHEN PEBBLES FALL, the manuscript you sent in to that contest thinking for sure they were going to be wowed by your writing prowess. Instead, you have enough red ink slashed through the pages to donate a few pints to the local blood bank. It wasn't a terrible story, just poorly executed given the circumstances.

Those circumstances will need time to change.

I know, I know. Patience is not your strong suit. Well, that is exactly what you will build very slowly over time.

By the way, it's okay that you delete WHEN PEBBLES FALL from the universe. Honestly, it served it's purpose as a therapeutic channel to deal with your emotions, especially those still needling at you because of your mother's death. But I digress.

For a time, you will distance yourself from writing, focusing on reading as entertainment and education. You learn to break a scene down to see what you like as a reader. And it isn't too long after that you find yourself grabbing a pen and notepad to start another story. I wish I could tell you things go right this time, but after you self-publish this manuscript, Secret Lilies, through Authorhouse, things in your life take another manic turn. Only this time, your writerly circumstances will make a change for the better and really buoy your passion for writing.

You'll have a rock star critique group of people who've published for years and have loads of experience. You also learn to take criticism of your work tons better than you did when you got WHEN PEBBLES FALL back and cried until your eyes threatened to pop out of your head. *note - whether in person or online, crit groups are truly beneficial*

Then, well, I guess that's why third time's the charm. You're going to participate in an A to Z blogging challenge that will lead you to writing a story you didn't intend. Sounds crazy, huh? I know, it kind of does, but it's not. You're going to love these characters and have your own thoughts and ideas on how you'd like to see Neverlove be brought to the world. Traditional publishing with an agent and a publishing house aren't removed from your mind, but self-publishing meets your desire to control the publishing process.

By the way, you suck wind at the whole "buy my book" schtick. You get better with patience...not so much with the marketing lol!

Okay, let me stop laughing at you - erm - me - uh - us and get back to the one thing that is truly important: Stay persistent, Angela, and stay true to your heart. No, you will not be the next JK Rowling. Trust me, the sooner you accept that the better, especially when that's the one name people will associate with you because of your similarities as divorced struggling single parents. That's where the similarities end. She has her own style and you have your own. Stick to being you, always, and never forget the reason for writing and publishing in the first place. Not for fame, fortune or best selling status, but for the passion.

33 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

Well said. If only we could all talk to our 20-something selves. :)

Angela Brown said...

Yeah, so many things we learn with time and patience.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I like this part. It's something I need to tell myself right now: "Never forget the reason for writing and publishing in the first place. Not for fame, fortune or best selling status, but for the passion."

Angela Brown said...

That's the one thing that keeps me writing shiny new ideas on post it notes, staring into space daydreaming and smiling when I break ground on a new manuscript.

SA Larsenッ said...

I really like how you mention that those times (your current newbie circumstance) will change. So, so true and it needs to be said.

Angela Brown said...

Yes, so necessary to remember that with time, circumstances can improve.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank goodness for that crazy A to Z Challenge, huh? Now you are a writing machine.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Alex. It's interesting to think of what one challenge, what one persistent word of encouragement can reap.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Excellent advice. And you never know when big things might happen...twenty years from now you may be telling yourself...remember not to trust that first accountant who mishandled all your millions from that overnight block buster. It could happen any time.

cleemckenzie said...

You've stuck it out, Angela, and that's what real writers do. One challenge after another!

Angela Brown said...

Now that is actually a problem I wouldn't mind dealing with :-)

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Lee. I'm chugging head. Vroom!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Nice, Angela. This is a great thing to do and I'm seeing so much great advice.

shelly said...

Stick with being yourself is really good advice.

Hugs and chocolate!

mshatch said...

Patience and persistence - those are good things to remind ourselves of no matter where we are on the path.

Kyra Lennon said...

I really think the "stick to being you" part of this is super important! Never try to be anyone but you! :D

Clarissa Draper said...

Love your letter to yourself. Great advice.

Emma Adams said...

Really enjoying reading these posts! Great advice about writing for the passion.

Catherine Stine said...

Angela, thanks for giving me a good afternoon chuckle as I pictured you with that angsty expression on your younger face, while you held your first manuscript. And thanks for being part of my social media circle of friends. Love your fiction!

Beth Hull said...

Inspiring letter! As much as I love our friend JK Rowling, I'm glad we all have our own styles. The world's a richer place for it.

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic letter to your self! I wish I could have told my younger self to be more patient too.

Lynda R Young said...

Stay persistent, and stay true to your heart. I love this advice.
Great letter!

Lady Jai said...

I LOVE THIS!!!
"Stay persistent, and stay true to your heart."

Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
Be Positive in Life and Writing
Caring for My Veteran

J.L. Campbell said...

Giving up is not an option if you're passionate about what you do and persistence pays so many dividends.

klahanie said...

Hey Angela,

Well stated and always good to note a note to yourself. The option is one option that states quite clearly your passion for the written word. No, just be yourself and I know there's never a need to compare. I'm glad you would not be the next JK Rowling. I'm glad you are Angela.

Gary :)

Dean K Miller said...

I love the title "When Pebbles Fall" but I guess we'll never see that, huh?
Marketing is a tough one to grasp, work, not get frustrated with, for sure. And yes, always stay true to your heart!

Crystal Collier said...

Nice. Well you definitely persisted, and seriously? You wrote that book because of the A to Z Challenge? Now that is epic.

Gina Stoneheart said...

Nicely put, Angela. So many great things here. I love when our stories come to us when we least expect it. That's the true meaning of being a writer. And never give up, no matter what by being true to your heart. I hate when I see some of my peers not following through with their passion. When I give my author visits, I encourage the children to find their own voices... the more unique their stories are, the better!

Nick Wilford said...

I have never compared you to JK Rowling. I never think about JK Rowling (sorry, not a fan!) I love that such a brilliant universe was born during A-Z. You didn't see that coming!

Christine Danek said...

"Stick to being you." So true. I don't have patience either but this whole experience is making me learn too. Best of luck to you and congrats on all your success! Great letter!

Botanist said...

Critique groups rock! And sticking to being you rather than trying to be someone else is probably the hardest lesson of all.

Carrie Butler said...

Yes! True to your heart. We need a Disney song for this occasion! :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6pAiwbFQ4s

Thank you for participating, Angela!

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