Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How I Found the Write Path Blogfest

From Carrie Butler at So, You're a Writer:

"Hey, guys! To celebrate my third blogiversary (coming up in May), I want to do something different—something to pay it forward—but I need your help. It involves a blogfest, new writers, and pretend time travel.

I want to compile a free e-book for writers who are just starting on their road to publication, using advice from the most brilliant, up-and-coming voices in the industry: you guys!
Please write a letter/note to yourself when you first started writing toward publication."

Dear 2010 Heather,

You should have taken up scrap booking.


You started this blog in May of 2010 right after you sent your first manuscript off to an agent.

You needed an outlet, a place to talk, vent and rant about your publishing journey.

You named the blog, The Waiting is the Hardest Part and you said, and I quote, "If I had known how hard it was going to be to get a story out of my head, on to the paper and out to the world, I may have taken up scrap booking instead."

I suppose there's still time.

Okay, maybe I'm being too hard on you, but you've had a rough few years. This is a pretty tough business to try and break into and you really only did it on a whim.

You never dreamed of being published.

The problem is, you do get published. Not that first manuscript, that one sucked, but a second story. The beginning of a series.

For a brief shining moment, you are freakin' awesome.

But, the moment crashes and burns and you find yourself back to square one.

You can blame yourself from now until the cows come home, but you didn't make the small publisher close its doors and refuse to answer emails and not send out royalty checks.

But, this is where you're going to have to dig deep. You're going to have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and start kicking some major butt.

Because, now that you've had a taste of that fame, you want more. You want more five-star reviews. You want more emails with praise and compliments.

You want more people asking for autographs and about your next book. You want more fans. You want more people asking for you to speak at their book discussion group.

And, that's not going to come easy. It's never going to get any easier. Nothing worth having comes easy. It's always going to be hard.

You made it this far.

Don't give up. Don't give in.

Keep writing. Keep improving.

Keep moving forward.
2014 Heather

p.s. When the Gnome shows up don't question it. Just go with it.

p.p.s. Buy The Emotion Thesaurus. You can't write without it.

Heather M. Gardner, author of The Maguire's Corner series
"I give permission for my entry to be included in the e-book compilation without royalties and/or separate compensation."


  1. That is a great letter. You gave yourself some real honest advice. Don't worry, you are still awesome and you will remain so, published or not.

  2. Don't question the gnome! Funny.
    Only on a whim. That sounds so familiar...

  3. Murees - Thank you. I appreciate that.

    Alex - Yeah. It does. We're not in Kansas anymore.

  4. Love the PS about the Gnome - too funny!

    Great entry, Heather. Wishing you much success. :)

    P.S. I'm posting twice today - once to announce the winners of my giveaway, and a second time with some tips on autographs and book signings.

  5. Awesome letter! You're right that nothing worth having comes easy - especially in publishing!

  6. Can I second everything you wrote here? This is great - so honest and real without being harsh or despairing, and THAT is hard, too. So yes, do not give up!!!

  7. Yes, Keep Writing! Keep moving forward! Great letter!!!

  8. Melissa - Thank you! I'll come by to see you today!

    Emma - Only other authors get that.

    Liz - Thank you. I appreciate that.

    Tyrean - Thanks. Thanks for coming by today.


  9. Great letter, Heather! You are the third person I've read so far mentioning "The Emotion Thesaurus." I have to pick this one up!
    And you are absolutely right about "keep writing." Sometimes, I have to wake up a few hours earlier, even on the weekends, to breath life into the words on my pages. If I didn't, the pages would be blank and the cursor would be blinking endlessly while waiting for me to write SOMETHING, ANYTHING! So yes, keep writing!

  10. I've heard this story a lot lately--publishers closing and writers having to start over. It's so inspiring. I'm curious about the gnome, though!

  11. This is a really awesome letter! Keep writing!

  12. it's fantastic to see how honest you are with yourself and it's always important to write even when we don't feel it. great letter!!

  13. Heather, I'm sorry your small publisher closed and did that to you. That's rough! Good luck moving forward.

  14. Great letter! And I laughed at your post-script. Hehehe!

  15. I am so glad you didn't catch the scrapbooking bug. I will keep my eye open for the gnome.
    Elizabeth Hein - Scribbling in the Storage Room

  16. Publishing is a difficult business. I'm sure your book will find a better home, Heather. Great advice.

  17. Hahaha, those silly little gnomes...

    You packed a pretty powerful punch into your short sentences:

    Don't give up. Don't give in.

    Keep writing. Keep improving.

    Keep moving forward.

    Excellent advice!

  18. Gina – Thanks so much for coming by! Get that book and the 2 others that go with it!

    Stephanie – Careful, the gnome might get curious about you, too! Thanks for stopping in.

    Gina – Thank you! I appreciate that.

    Tammy – I agree. Thank you!

    Theresa – Thank you. I’m sure things will turn around.

    Christine – The gnome. He’s just everywhere!

    Elizabeth – Well, thank you so much! The gnome took over the month of April.

    D. – Thank you. I appreciate you coming by.

    Loni – Thank you. I think we all need it sometimes!

    Thank you everyone!

  19. Every time I read the title to your blog that song starts echoing through my head. -Barbara
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  20. Wow, it's hard enough to get a foot on the publishing ladder in the first place, I can't imagine having to start again from square 1. Good for you to keep going through all that.

  21. It's always hard, but worth the time and effort in this journey. I had a problem with a publisher closing its doors this year, but I'm going to keep at it. Great letter.

  22. Barbara - Exactly! That's why I used it. :)

    Botanist - Thank you. Trying my best.

    Medeia - Thank you. Yes, we can only keep trying.


  23. Hi Heather .. tough to start that process again .. still at least the first book was written .. keep at it .. perseverance seems to be the order of the day .. and frankly I'm not sure about Gnome's trip either .. that looks to be an interesting ride along perseverance lane!

    Cheers and the Emotion Thesaurus is an amazing book ... Hilary

  24. "When the gnome shows up, just go with it."

    Is it just me, or would that make a great t-shirt?! ;) Thank you so much for participating!

  25. TheCyborgMom - Thank you!

    Hilary - Perseverance is what its all about. Exactly. Thank you.

    Carrie - I do think that would be a great shirt!
    Thank you for the opportunity. What a great blogfest idea.



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