Romantic advice

I don't read romances and I don't write them, but it seems like the romance-writing scene has a lot of generous and friendly people. There's a lot of good advice out there. I don't know why this genre happens to be like that, but it certainly helps a lot of other types of writers.

I came across some encouraging advice from romance writer Gloria Dale Skinner at romantictimes.com, who says, "There are thousands of writers out there writing wonderful books that aren't getting published. Why? It finally comes down to how badly you want to be a published writer. How great is your desire? How well do you take criticism and change? If your desire is not eating away at you day and night with burning intensity so hot you feel like you're on fire, then you have less of a chance to be published than someone who is on fire."

She plugged away for years without any success. Then:

One day, a friend of mine told me that I should set a goal to sell a book within a year and if I didn't reach that goal, I should give it up and go on to do something else. Otherwise, she said, I'd continue to waste my time.

I thought about that for a long time. I'd written three complete books and two proposals. They were good books...special books. But the rejections were piling up. My friends and family members were always asking if I'd sold my book and when I had to tell them "no," I started doubting myself.

Maybe my best book wasn't good enough to be published. So I thought about other things I might like to do, since I had already been a housewife and mother for 15 years.

I had no desire to be a real estate agent, businesswoman, teacher, etc. And I didn't want to join a women's club and play bridge or tennis or golf. What I wanted to do was be a writer and I wanted to write romance. I discovered something else, too. My desire to be a published writer had no limits. I didn't care how long it took, I wasn't going to give up.

A few days later, I told this story to another published friend and she said, "Gloria, God doesn't give you the desire without the talent to back it up."

Now I had the inspiration. I already had the desire, the talent and the skills I'd learned at workshops. No matter how long it took me, no matter how many rejections I received or how many more workshops I had to attend, I was determined.

She sums it up by saying, "Is your desire great enough to withstand the rejections, self-doubts and the time it takes to get published? If so, sit back and relax. You're going to make it."

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