Thursday, June 6, 2013

Encouraging Words from Ronnie L. Smith of Writer's Relief #TBSU

We have another outstanding guest today with some very practical Encouraging Words! I'm pleased to introduce Ronnie L. Smith of Writer's Relief

WR helped me submit my poems a few years ago. With their help, poems were accepted by over twenty national and international magazines, and before I had even finished Equivocal Blessings, my latest book of poems, a highly-respected editor asked to publish it! Thank you, Writer's Relief!

Here are Ronnie's helpful thoughts...

Four Ways To Revitalize Your Passion For Writing When You’re Feeling Down 

As writers, we sometimes feel like we’re fighting a losing battle. With the number of submissions most editors and literary agents receive, your work has to stand out from the crowd and then pass further rounds of rigorous screening.  

But if you can stick out the writing, revising, and submitting, you’re actually way ahead of the curve. Many writers give up too soon because they feel defeated by the first few rejection letters, and they never reach their goal of publication. We hope you’ll use the following tips to keep yourself motivated and inspired to stick with a submission strategy long enough to receive an acceptance.  

1) Remember Why You Started Writing 

What are your goals and dreams? What was it that you set out to do when you first started writing? Did you want to change the world or just know that someone read and appreciated your work? Do you even remember?  

Make a list of the reasons you started writing in the first place. Hard work usually feels more rewarding if you keep your goal in mind. The more you think about why you’re spending hours submitting your writing to literary markets, the more you’ll enjoy the submissions and—yes—even the rejection letters. (Rejection letters mean someone is reading and considering your work for publication, which is more than many writers accomplish!) 

2Find Hope In Your Favorite Authors 

Pick up one of your old favorites and consider what the author had to go through to get his or her work out there. It’s a sure thing that the writer had similar issues—bouts of writer’s block, negative feedback from editors or literary agents, family and friends who weren’t as supportive as the author needed, etc. Yet here you are with this literary classic in your hands, his/her story that has sold millions of copies. 

Authors—even famous ones—rarely get published on the first try. Many of us now know the story of Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, who was rejected by 27 publishers until a personal friend finally published his book. Sylvia Plath was told that she didn’t have genuine talent. The literary world is chock-full of these kinds of storiesVery rarely do writers find success without a generous share of disappointment and frustration, but that doesn’t mean you’re not due for an acceptance soon.   

3) Research The Publishing Industry 

How familiar are you with the statistics of your trade?  

We often remind our clients that, on average, it takes about 100 submissions to receive a single acceptance. Knowing that, you might be doing better than you thought! Figure out how many appropriately targeted submissions you’ve sent out, and if it’s not yet 100—or even if it’s more—keep going. Every rejection brings you one step closer to an acceptance. 

4) Write Anything. 

Got writer’s block? Write without thinking and don’t stop. Even if it seems you’re getting nonsense and drivel at first, eventually the words will start coming on their own. Before too long, you’ll have one of two things: a starting point for something new or, in the very least, the satisfaction of knowing you conquered the white space. You may not be looking at the most impressive piece of writing you’ve ever done, but you certainly won’t be staring at defeat. And remember: You can always revise later on. 

All writers experience disappointment and feelings of failure at some point or anotherWhile writing can sometimes feel daunting and the rejection letters heartbreaking, keep at it and you never know when your work will strike a chord with that one editor who can’t wait to publish your writing. Keep in mind that making regular submissions helps take the sting out of each rejection. If you’re interested in improving your submission strategy, we have multiple submission services for all budgets and publishing needs. 

Thank you so much for your down-to-earth words of wisdom, Ronnie! I especially like the advice that working on something new dampens the pain of rejection of the previous baby. As writers, we get to practice the Buddhist virtue of detachment every day!

Keep submitting, everyone! And if you want some help, I can personally vouch for the integrity and effectiveness of Writer's Relief!

Where are you in the submission process, Dear Blog Reader Who's Also a Writer? How do you motivate yourself to keep going? What favorite authors inspire you? Why did you start writing? Let's have a lively discussion in the comments!

Check out these related posts:

In the Grand Tradition of The Blog Scratchers' Union #TBSU, here are the blogs of our previous Encouraging Words guests!


  1. Hi Carole,
    What a fantastic post! I found it really encouraging and inspirational!
    All writers get ups and downs, rejections and 'not so nice' reviews but remembering why you started writing in the first place is so important. Also, when you do get that precious acceptance or a fabulous review, it makes it all worth it!
    Thanks! Molly x

    1. Hi Molly,

      Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you like the post. It all ties together, doesn't it? Remembering why you started writing, finding and honoring your unique voice, not being overly swayed by the market. Everything that goes into becoming an author with lasting appeal.

      I can't wait for Desire in Deadwood to come out, your first published novel! Woohoo! It's going to be a great summer!