Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I've heard it before and I've asked the same questions myself; How does one achieve writing success when there are obstacles such as the decline of the short story market, the bombardment of rejections because the supply exceeds the demand and the fierce competition from writers who seem to have secured their niche with certain magazines? How indeed!

In my writing world I have been fortunate to have experienced the odd years where I've surprised even myself with the amount of short stories I've had published, and then there have been the years where the amount of rejections I've received has to be some kind of world record. In those times I began doubting myself. This put me in a bad place. Writing gives me a sense of self, so giving up was not an option. I reassessed my situation. I knew a story acceptance would renew the faith I had in myself, and always a short story sale sparks something inside of me which motivates and inspires - the magic returns and more acceptances follow. I was determined and I persevered.

It had been many months since I'd seen one of my short stories published and now I'm happy to say within a fortnight I've had five sales. What changed? My attitude.

Achieving writing success is about working hard, commitment, believing in yourself and continuing to put the effort in despite all obstacles.

If you don't believe me here is what two successful writers have to say on the subject:

"I will gladly testify that craft is terribly important, that the often tiresome process of draft, redraft, and then draft again is necessary to produce good work, and that hard work is the only acceptable practice for those of us who have some talent but little or no genius." - Stephen King

"When I first went full-time, I worked about fifty to sixty hours a week. I assumed that when and if I became successful, I'd be able to relax a little. Now I work seventy hours most weeks, and as much as eighty hours when I'm especially captivated by a piece." - Dean Koontz

Keep writing....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


It can be difficult to find a publishing house that accepts unsolicited manuscripts. I can't count the number of times I've read 'we do not accept unsolicited manuscripts' or 'we will only read manuscripts which are sent via an agent'. Here are links to publishers who are willing to give both new and emerging authors a chance:

Allen and Unwin - The Friday Pitch

Pan Macmillan -  Manuscript Monday

Penguin Books - The Monthly Catch

Penguin Ireland

Harlequin Mills and Boon 

So if you've got a manuscript looking for a home check out the above guidelines - good luck!

Keep writing....

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I nearly fell of my chair today when I received an email accepting three short stories. It has been a while between sales for me, and I've never sold three stories in one hit before - the drought has been broken!
I feel rewarded, encouraged and motivated. Oh, what a feeling!

What have I learned from playing this waiting game? Be persistent, keep writing and be patient. Sometimes it does seem like I'm putting the effort in and not seeing a result, but in the end the fact remains the more stories I submit the more chance I have of making a sale OR perhaps it was Jeff Hargett weaving his magic when he left his comment on my post Writing Blues:

"I'm sending clouds of creativity over there to rain ideas down upon you. May their droplets of inspiration cling to you, their lightning electrify your prose and their breeze bring brilliance to the next sell you're about to write."

Thank you to all my writing friends who lift my spirits, who encourage and who inspire me.

Keep writing....

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


The Positively Productive Writer by Simon Whaley has become my new best friend. This book is divided into four parts:

Setting Achievable Writing Goals
Learn To Look On The Bright Side Of Life
Putting It Into Practise
A Positive Writer's Year - Strategies To Succeed

The best way I can sum up this encouraging book is by quoting the intro:

"This book is dedicated to all writers who sit down regularly to write. Some days we find it far easier to do this, than others. This book is for those other days."

The Positively Productive Writer guides, inspires and motivates. I give it the thumbs up!

Are there any books on writing that have inspired and motivated you?

Keep writing....