Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Sunday, 9 February 2014

Champagne Moments

by Jennifer Young

Image by BerndtF, public domain 
Less than a year ago, things weren’t looking good on the writing front. Wait; that’s an understatement. Things were looking pretty damn desperate.

I was struggling to write anything at all. Then I’d have a great idea and set to, yet somehow between my head and the page those sparkling phrases lost lustre and appeared in front of me in different shades of grey (but not, alas, fifty of them).

Years ago I took on board the eternal writers’ advice: never give up. I clung to it in my struggle. I sent things out. They came back. I sent them out again, over and over, until the game changed when I received a damning crit for a piece of work that I’m still deeply attached to. Heroine? A spoilt princess. Hero? Who’d want to read about him? Villainess, motivated by unjust hatred for our heroine? I can quite see where she’s coming from. Most damning of all, I was advised to go and find someone who actually knew about writing to read my work before putting it out to anyone else; I might learn something. How my writing buddies, Jenny and Dianne, must have laughed at that one!

After that I lost my motivation. I wrote…nothing. On the rare occasions when those sparking phrases popped into my head, they came with the ball and chain of that phrase; who’d want to read that? In short, I gave up.

My last piece of work was still out there, clinging on in cyberspace with two publishers. inevitably, the next thing that came in was a rejection. But it was a rave rejection. It told me all the things they liked about it. That didn’t hurt quite so much but I still knew that I was never going to put anything else out, ever again. Then, in late July, came the email. They liked it. They wanted to publish it. I went away on holiday to think about it and I came back believing. (And, incidentally, with a host of fresh ideas.) I decided to accept.

A couple of weeks after that I was on my way to meet friends for lunch. Outside the venue I stopped for a second to check my emails - and there it was, the final confirmation that my novel was to be published. In four months I’d gone from nowhere to somewhere. Six months further on, the book’s out and there’s no stopping me writing.

Fittingly, the friends I was meeting were all writers and we were meeting not just for lunch but to drink champagne. Believe, that’s my advice. Oh, and find some writer friends. And, most importantly of all, drink champagne with them on the day your dream comes true.


Thank You For The Music is published by Tirgearr Publishing.

11 comments:

  1. Was honoured to be there, Jennifer. Good luck with the sales. Anne Stenhouse

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Anne. The advice from my reader was good, though - surround yourself with writers if you want to write!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, Jennifer it's important to have faith in your work. And champagne? Fine at any time by me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, it's okay with me too, Myra!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thrilled to be in on the ground floor when you got your good news, Jennifer, and look forward to reading Thank You For The Music asap.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are living proof that you should never give up, Jennifer! So pleased you've found a publisher and that it's given you new ideas and confidence.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Delighted for you, Jennifer, that you hard work and determination paid off. Good luck with your sales of Thank You for the Music.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a fantastic post! You have summed it all up so perfectly....so many of us have been there, done that, got the Tshirt, as the saying has it. And we know how delighted you now feel. Mega congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Brilliant Jennifer. As I've said elsewhere, I'm looking forward to reading this. Even more so now I know some of the story of your struggle! Keep on keeping on, that's all we can do.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a lovely post, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing your writer's journey and the champagne moment. Hope there are more to come.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Savour the moment, Jennifer! and let the ideas flow!

    ReplyDelete