Skip to main content

It's a journey...

This business can be hard, let me tell you. As a writer, we dream of getting published, query until our eyes bleed, revise, revise, revise. Everything feels like it should be perfect, but in actuality, the publishing journey is just that—a journey. You will still be waiting, you will still be stressing, you will still feel unsure.

When I signed my contract, I had around 500ish hits a month on this blog, 125 Twitter followers, and 0 adds on Goodreads.

Now, I have 3-5,000 hits a month on this blog, nearly 3,000 followers on Twitter, and just over 2,000 adds on Goodreads, all in less than 5 months. You could say GRAVITY has gotten attention.

But do you know what has stayed the same? The unease, the questions, etc. For a long time I felt lost, unable to control my future at all, then I realized something—something I think you should know.

We hold the power to our future, no one else, because we are the writers. And that’s the element through all of this you should focus on. The writing. Write the very best you can every time you sit down to write. Don’t worry about who just landed a top agent. Don’t worry about who just got a major deal. Don't worry about who your editor is focused on and why that isn't you. Instead of wasting time worrying, just write. And with each book, push yourself to write better, to develop better characters, and to come up with more compelling plot lines. If you do this, really do this, you will always stay in control. So choose: are you going to be a passenger on your journey or the driver?

Happy writing! =)


  1. That's the best advice: Not to compare your career to anyone else's because there are so many definitions of success. Everyone defines success by different standards. Do the best you can, take the path that fits you and what you want to achieve...and know that you're AWESOME!

  2. Love this post!!! And something I think we all need to bookmark and re-read, oh, at least once a month :)

  3. Congratulations on your upcoming release of GRAVITY--and thanks for the reminders! Write, write better, don't worry about others' successes, focus on your own journey...and don't give up :-) Great advice for all, no matter where we are on the road to publication. Thanks a bunch.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Pitch Wars 2017 Wishlist!

Hi! How are you? Excited? Nervous? Hating your MS? Loving your MS? Yep, I get it. Been there, have the wrinkles to prove it. But that's what retinoids are for, and besides--

Wait, let me back up and do this introduction thing properly. And, you know, by "properly" I mean Hart of Dixie style.

So, you're probably wondering who I am and why I think I'm a rockstar, when I'm just a brand new little newbie mentor. Well, here's the thing--I'm not really one of those "I think I'm a rockstar" kind of people, so we won't be going there. Sorry. BUT I can tell you who I am. Here goes.


USA TODAY bestselling author Melissa West is the author of more than fifteen novels, each set in the South and ready to steal a reader’s heart with Southern charm, sweet tea, and a whole mess of gossip. Her novels have received high praise and recognition from RT Book Reviews, Seventeen Magazine, Fresh Fiction, and Harlequin Junkie, among others…

Outlining -- a.k.a pulling your hair out

Outlining...yes, that organizational craziness that forces you to look like the poor cat above. Yep, that's what I'm talking about today. After reading a fellow blogger’s post regarding plotters vs. pansters, I began to research various outlining methods. The snowflake method is a very common approach that involves starting with a summary sentence (a.k.a pitch) then expanding out.
Some claim this hinders creativity, while supporters feel it keeps them on track. I've decided to use elements of the approach (click here). I like the pitch sentence to begin with. This took me quite awhile, but in developing my pitch sentence for Twisted Root I found that it helps to think in broad terms. A+B=C But the more interesting element of this model is the disaster moments in the story. You know, those moments where you become the evilest writer on the planet and your characters are tortured.
The Snowflake method suggests that you have 3 disasters (more with sub-plots) and an ending, ea…

Make your readers uncomfortable

I have this one scene in TWISTED ROOT that is…intense. It is so intense that I’ve had reactions all over the place from my CP’s and betas.

Let me start by saying I have a ton of people read my work. An 8 person crit group, 2 crit partners, and 2 that I would say are alpha readers—friends who read tons and have strong editing backgrounds.

So I receive crits all over the place, and this scene has created some interesting responses. One critter went crazy for it, loved it. Another referred to it as slightly icky. I loved that response. :) Another blushed when we discussed it in person. And all of the male critters I have thought it was awesome—go figure. Men have a much higher threshold for uncomfortable-ness, than most women. (JMHO!!!)

Now I’m not saying I don’t adore all my readers. I do. I couldn’t write without them. Each one makes my work stronger. But here’s the thing, I’m keeping the scene, as it is (for now). Wanna know why?

I think as a writer you should make your reader uncomfortab…