Showing posts with label believe in yourself. Show all posts
Showing posts with label believe in yourself. Show all posts

Monday, March 28, 2022

Writers: Believe in Yourself

"If at first you don't succeed
try, try again."
                                    William Edward Hickson
                        British poet, 1857

By Linda Wilson  @LinWilsonauthor

My first picture book, A Packrat’s Holiday: Thistletoe’s Gift, won first place in children’s fiction in the 2022 New Mexico Press Women’s Communications Contest. The book will now go on to compete in the national contest sponsored by the National Federation of Press Women. Also, last year A Packrat’s Holiday was a finalist in the Southwest Writers contest.

It is indeed an honor for this story to be recognized. Why? Because when I first started working on it about five years ago, the early drafts didn’t tickle my critique group’s fancy. Wisely, as we writers learn to do, I tucked the story away for better day. 

Believe in Your Inspiration

Thistletoe became a character for me after my family went on a white-water rafting trip on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. My husband, two daughters and I slept under the stars at night, never bothered by insects due to the arid conditions. But we did have nightly visitors known to us only by their tiny footprints left in the sand by our sleeping bags in the mornings. Our guide told us our visitors were packrats scampering around in search of morsels of food and shiny objects to take back to their dens.

Before that trip, I hadn’t become acquainted with these adorable yet often pesky critters. When I learned about their habits— packrat nests look messy on the outside. But inside, nests are kept neat and tidy. Packrats love to collect anything that catches their fancy, left by picnickers, hikers, and campers. They especially like shiny objects, like pop tops and foil. Packrats are likely to drop an item and leave it for another more exciting find before they make it back to their den.

Off my imagination went.

Believe in Your Project

While rummaging around for a story idea much later, I came across the story. Take heart: I had learned a lot by this time. I recognized its flaws right away, and though the basic story idea didn’t change, I rewrote it using what I had learned. Again, I sent the story through many rounds of critiques, including a critique by a professional editor, a practice I highly recommend.

One of the joys of being a self-published author is getting to choose an illustrator. Karen Cioffi, founder of our blog, Writers on the Move, graciously sent me a list she keeps of illustrators who have been recommended to her. Nancy Batra is on that list, and the rest is history. 

Believe You Will Succeed

Do you love your story? That’s key. Like going to a party where the hostess is having fun then the guests will have fun, if you love your book, your readers will, too. Armed with this knowledge, knowing how much I loved this story, especially how it is enhanced by Nancy’s illustrations, I entered it into contests. VoilĂ ! I got the results I wanted.

Bottom Line: Go After What You Want

At one time winning contests seemed out of reach for me. A pipedream. Distinctions other authors receive. Perhaps experience helps writers realize that if they don’t try—if they don’t finish that book—if they don’t join SCBWI--the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators, a critique group, go to conferences, put themselves out there on social media—that dream may seem impossible to achieve. Take it from me: if you try and keep on trying, you will succeed. I’m living proof.

Here is my constant reminder to keep trying, a needlepoint a friend sewed for me that I had framed and that I keep on my office wall above my desk: 

Aim at a high mark

and you’ll hit it.

No not the first time,

nor the second,

and maybe not the third.

But keep on aiming

and keep on shooting

for only practice

will make you perfect.

Finally, you’ll hit

the bull’s eye of success.

                                                 Annie Oakley

For more information about Karen Cioffi, please visit:

Linda's next picture book,
Waddles the Duck:
Hey, Wait for Me!

will be out soon!
Illustrated by
Nancy Batra

Linda Wilson writes stories for young children. Visit Linda at Sign up for Linda’s quarterly giveaways. Choose your prize! 

Find Linda’s books at

Connect with Linda: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

Monday, April 27, 2015

More Help For New Writers - Handling Rejection

We all have routines, patterns, and habits.  As a new writer, you will be challenged to make some changes in order to be successful.  

It won’t be easy. It will go against the grain at times and may even hurt.  

But just like pruning will make a healthier plant and produce more flowers, allowing ourselves to be pruned will make us better and productive writers.

Whatever your challenges are, you have to work through them. If you avoid them, they won't go away and you will slow down to a crawl until you give up entirely.

During the last 4 years of committing myself to a freelance writing career, I discovered 3 areas I needed change in order to continue pursuing a successful writing career.

This month I'll talk about rejection. To have our work rejected can be shattering. 

My first submissions were contests. I won Honorable Mention in a Christian Writing Contest and placed 34th in Writers’ Digest. What a great way to begin a writing career!

With a whole lot of confidence under my belt, I submitted an article to a publication. It was nicely rejected and it hit me hard. It went something like this: "We wanted it to work. But after much review ... "


So we're told not to give up. But how? If you want to learn and grow, get ready to be honest with yourself.

Identify why it hurts

Depending on your niche, writing can be personal. Your story, although implicit, may have made you vulnerable.

Maybe you think you are better than you are. Perhaps you skimmed through the writers' guidelines and missed the word count or submitted a day late. Or maybe your cover letter was poor. The internet makes it easy to find ways to improve.

You're not writing what your passionate about. Sometimes it takes someone else asking you specific questions to narrow down what you're good at writing.

Keep going. 

The worst thing you can do is give up. Keep writing. Someone, somewhere wants what you write. Resubmit your work somewhere else. Write new articles and stories. Eventually, you will be a successful writer. Remember, your chances are greater when you keep submitting.
Because I didn't let the rejection stop me, it doesn't affect me now. I've learned just because one person (or even two or three) are not interested in what I write, there is someone who is very interested.

If you really need to be convinced, visit Literary Rejections and you will be

Believe in yourself. I know. You started out believing in yourself and after the rejection, you weren't so sure.
When you work through the rejection, you learn some things about yourself. If you're passionate about what you write, you will be compelled to write.

Next month, I'll look at patience – essential for success!

After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's Never Too Late! Beginning a Writing Career Later in Life

Julia Child wrote her first cookbook at age 50.

Selling 50 million copies around the world, Richard Adams published Watership Down in his early 50's.

Laura Ingalls Wilder was 65 when she published her first "Little House" books.

After raising her family, Harriet Doerr finished her education, and at age 73, wrote Stones for Ibarra, reminiscent of her life in a Mexican mining town.

It's not time to wind down. It's time to get going! It's all about perspective. If you want to write, you will. You just need to know you can be successful, no matter your age.

Points to inspire:

  • Experience. You've accumulated a life time of it. You have something to offer whether it is a self-help book, novel, or magazine articles. Struggles and obstacles combined with creativity can have amazing results. Charles Dickens' experiences working in a factory as a youth is portrayed throughout his writing.
       Do you love to travel? Write about it! Gardening? Write about it! Cooking? 
       Write about it!
  • Education. Don't have it? Don't worry. It's not a necessity to have a college degree in order to be a successful author. Mark Twain, H. G. Wells, and Jack London did not have a college degree. Neither did Maya Angelou, Ray Bradbury, or Agatha Christie. Today, we are fortunate to have the internet. There are free and affordable online courses available to acquire writing skills and learn more about your niche. 
  • Timing. Linda Welch had a character in her mind for years. It wasn't until she arrived in the mountains of Utah, years after leaving her homeland of England and acclimating to life in America, did her character find a story.
Photo credit: DavidTurnbull / Foter / CC BY

  • Perspective. Do you believe in yourself? Will you follow your dreams?

Anita Bruzzese, a writer who specializes in taking control of your career says:
Most notable among the people I interviewed was their “can-do” attitude; they were willing to stretch outside their comfort zone, excited to explore new options and weren’t afraid to admit what they didn’t know. 
Don't hit a dead end because you think it's too late. Even if you don't have the support or encouragement from friends or family, go for it anyway. 

What are you waiting for? Get started today.


 After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts

Character Sheets - Building a Character

  Contributed by Karen Cioffi, Children's Ghostwriter Connecting with a reader entails a couple of things, one of which is to have a ful...