Success and Writing.

It took two full years to write my first book, another year to dive into querying and another year to write three more novels just to query all over again. 

That has been roughly about four years, but when did I know I wanted to write and create a story? Since I was in third grade.

There have been hardships, tears, laughs and incredible joy in this path, and I have learned so much. I wanted to share some kind advice, but take it with a grain of salt, because at the end of the day, you, as a writer, know where you want to take your journey.

Rejection is a redirection.

I am not shy about how many rejections I have received while querying. Rejection in publishing is inevitable from the start. But one true thing that I believe to the core is that rejection is a redirection. 

We have talked about the importance of having the right agent to champion your work, but one thing that I don’t think we have talked about is redirection for your story or another story. What do I mean by that? I received so many rejections for my witchy novel, and I swear I wanted that book to be my debut. I felt the rejections more harshly than any other book, I kept thinking, I did everything right. I hired an editor, I had my beta-readers, I re-checked and tripled checked my query and at the end of the day I couldn’t understand why the agents didn’t want it.

And in that pain, I redirected my writing into contemporary. I wrote a new adult sapphic romance novel, and it was hard and it took me longer than expected, but when I sent it to my beta-readers, the results shocked me. 

Two of them cried, one loved it and the other one asked me for recs similar to my book. 

I was flabbergasted. 

I didn’t have those reactions for any of my other books, ever. 

The more I analyzed it, I realized that my writing style fit that genre and the pain I had dealt with, I evoked it into my writing. I hadn’t done that before. I was focusing on creating a story that I forgot to put a little piece of me in my previous novels.

With all of this what do I mean? Rejection is redirection.

Not just on querying, but in writing too.

It can also mean a redirection into the publishing path you started with.

Burn-out and persistence.

I didn’t realize I could burn-out when it came to writing until very recently. When I started this journey, I came in full force and tried my best to write, read, query, and repeat. And guess what? I burned-out.

I thought, hey, every single author I listened to kept saying Do not give up, keep going. Persistence is key.

It wasn’t until NaNoWriMo started that I was trying to finish my current novel when one day I was staring at my document and blinked several times before understanding that I couldn’t do it. I had barely written a hundred words, there was no way I could finish 50,000. 

So, I stopped. I had burned-out,and if I wanted to keep loving this craft, I needed to reset and come back when I was ready and stopped pressuring myself and comparing myself to other writers.

What I have done now is focus in other areas of my life that I had definitely neglected such as exercise, eating healthier*, and just watching a movie now and then. 

So my advice is to check with yourself at the end of every week and listen to your body and mind. Sometimes the very thing we love can become something that is unhealthy for us, because we forget to take care of ourselves.

Define success.

What is success for you?

Why are you pursuing traditional publishing?

What are the pros and cons?

Those questions have been in a constant loop the past three months. I can honestly say I wanted traditional publishing because of the marketing help, the editors and seeing my books in hardcover in Barnes and Noble. Those were my answers for why I was pursuing traditional publishing and because indie publishing scared me. So many hats the writer has to wear in order to be successful.

But my definition of success remains the same. I want to connect with people and I want the reader to lose themselves in my words. 

And guess what? I am already successful. My beta-readers made that possible. Of course, I want to reach more people, but at the same time, I don’t want to forget to celebrate that one way or another, I am successful.

My advice for this is to define what success means for you, because in retrospect I truly believe every writer is successful the moment they decide they are going to put themselves out there and write.

Self-awareness and define your boundaries.

This advice comes hand in hand with Social Media and the definition of success. I recently read some tweets about people stopping writing because it had become harmful for their mental health, and another tweet among the lines of querying and publishing will only get harder in years to come and many writers that query even if they get an agent, their book might die in submission.

The tweets were hard to swallow.

But that was when I reminded myself of what success means to me, and I started to re-define my boundaries. 

Social Media is in our everyday life and I can choose what to listen and read and how often. I had to acknowledge that I was diving into the rabbit hole of what was trending, on who was getting deals and agents and again I put a stop. 

Self-awareness was key in recognizing what is good for you and what is not. The same goes with writing. If something is not working, try something different and define your boundaries.

I hope you found this post helpful and just remember, your story is important because you’re the only one who can write it.

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” Ralph Emerson.

I just change the word life with writing :).


Alexandra Garcia is a Romance author. She currently lives in Texas with her 2 pups: Jett and Maggie. She is currently editing one of her many WIP (Work in Progress) and just like all her novels she is a constant work in progress.

6 thoughts on “Success and Writing.

  1. Ooh Alex you said so many things I’ve been thinking and expressed them so well 🙂 We writers do tend to neglect many parts of our lives while seeking publication. Mine has been my social life, and while it’s hard to pull back when I’m not getting the responses I hope for from agents, I’ve decided to do so and enjoy my December period in a way I’ve neglected to throughout the year. I’m also focusing on eating healthier. Great post 🌹

    Like

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