Sunday, July 7, 2013

Guest Writer Lori Spielman: To Give Up or To Persevere, That is The Question

Hi everyone, hope you all had an awesome and safe holiday weekend! Today we have writer Lori Spielman discussing one of my favorite topics: Perseverence. Lori went to the same high school I did (go Comets!!!). Thanks Lori for taking the time to visit us. 

Never Give Up is a common piece of advice doled out to aspiring writers. We’re urged to keep sending those query letters. We’re offered teasers like, “You never know when the next letter will bring representation, or better yet, a book sale.”

I Beg To Differ: One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned during this long and arduous journey to publication is that sometimes we must give up.

Before you throw eggs at me, let me explain.

I’m not implying we give up writing, but rather the opposite. I watch my friend, so stymied by her belief in the book she’s been pitching for five years, that she refuses to begin a new project. Her loyalty to her first book has left her paralyzed. It’s like someone who can’t get over a relationship, certain that the person who broke her heart is The One.

I’ll be the first to tell you, letting go of a project is heartbreaking. We’ve poured our soul into a piece that others aren’t responding to. It’s okay to feel sad, and even a bit resentful. But like any loss, at some point it’s time to move on.

But how do we gauge when it’s time? I have no hard and fast answer, but my advice is to consider letting go of a project when you can answer YES to each of these questions:

1. You’ve hired a professional to help with your query letter, sent out +/-100 queries to agents who represent your genre, and haven’t received a single request for pages.
2. A professional editor and/or writing instructor has given you feedback that implies your project needs work, but you’re not willing to change it.
3. You no longer love the project.

Take my advice or not. I only know that if I hadn’t given up on the YA novel I’d written thirteen years ago, I’d still be collecting rejection letters. Same goes for the screenplay I wrote, as well as the other adult novel I’d written.

For writers, acceptance and pragmatism are just as essential as perseverance and tenacity. So if you decide it’s time to accept, do so gracefully. Then kick your perseverance into high gear. You’re going to need it when you go to sell your future project.

THE LIFE LIST Barnes and Noble, Irvine CA
The Life List Synopsis: Brett Bohlinger seems to have it all: a plum job, a spacious loft, an irresistibly handsome boyfriend. All in all, a charmed life. That is, until her beloved mother passes away, leaving behind a will with one big stipulation: In order to receive her inheritance, Brett must first complete the life list of goals she’d written when she was a na├»ve girl of fourteen. 

Grief-stricken, Brett can barely make sense of her mother’s decision—her childhood dreams don’t resemble her ambitions at age thirty-four in the slightest. Some seem impossible. How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other goals (Be an awesome teacher!) would require her to reinvent her entire future. As Brett reluctantly embarks on a perplexing journey in search of her adolescent dreams, one thing becomes clear. Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places.

“Irresistible! Everything I love and look for in women’s fiction . . . a clever, funny, moving page-turner.”—Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Escape 

“A remarkable debut . . . The Life List has great heart, and even greater soul.”New York Times bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen

And Check This Out: THE LIFE LIST, has been selected as a Random House Reader’s Circle book. In addition to the UK, foreign rights have sold in Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Germany, France, China, Brazil, Israel, Poland, Serbia, Turkey, Hungary, Slovakia, The Czech Republic, Russia, and Bulgaria.

And the good news continues…Fox 2000 has purchased the film option! 

Finally: A Life List is Lori's first release. And we in the world of Blogdom are great at helping new writers promote their new releases. So please take a moment and share this post by clicking the Tweet widget at the bottom of this post. Or stop by my TWITTER PAGE and Retweet one of my Tweets for Lori's book. 

Have questions for Lori? Want to host her on your blog? Throw eggs at her? You can contact Lori at: lori@lorinelsonspielman.com. And CLICK HERE to visit Lori at her Website. 

As always, thanks for stopping by and have a great week! 

Finally: CLICK HERE for Conversation Between Lori Nelson Spielman and nationally best selling author Meg Waite Clayton. 

Author of the Week: Lori Spielman, of course. Just click the icon of her new release A Life List at the top of my right side bar.

32 comments:

  1. I am so glad you finally made it. Must feel absolutely wonderful.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jo. It does feel wonderful...and a bit terrifying! Your comment is much appreciate.

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  2. You're absolutely right in all your points. It's hard to give up on a project, but some just have to be taken as learning experiences. Congrats on your book! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Lexa. You're absolutely right...we become stronger writers with each attempt. Good luck to you!

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  3. Hi Steve and Lori - love this post .. it's so down to earth and sensible - as you say it's ridiculous to go on pursuing something that patently isn't going to happen .. life is life ... move on.

    The premise sounds fascinating and with film rights - amazing and so well worth the wait ...

    Cheers to you both .. Hilary

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    1. Thank you so much, Hilary! I appreciate the comments. Wishing you all the best.

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  4. Film options - that is really cool!
    Sometimes you can return to those projects you had to put aside, perhaps at a time when you are better prepared to fix them.

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    1. Exactly, Alex. Great point. I keep a file of all my abandoned projects, hoping maybe someday I can resurrect my favorites. Appreciate your comments.

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  5. Yes, never give up writing but you may need to give up on obsessing on a particular project.

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  6. Jo, its great to see the finished product in the store!

    Lexa, I have a Junk Yard where I keep all non published stuff as I may need a part here and there in the future.

    Hilary, as always thanks for stopping with words of encouragement.

    Alex, I thought you would appreciate the film optioms.

    Teresa, its that obsessing that should be a red flag to any writer.

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  7. One of my favorite quotes by Daniel Pink reminds me that perseverance almost always trumps talent. Got to keep believing and pursuing our dream. All the best to you and thanks for the encouragement.

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    1. So glad you recognize it as encouragement, Julie. I don't want to discourage anyone from writing, just the opposite. We can't let a past project get in the way of a future bestseller! Wishing you the best and keep persevering!

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  8. Hi Stephen, hi Lori!! Oh you are so right about letting go - especially if you've fallen out of love with your story!! It's best to move on and start afresh!!!

    All the best with Life's List!! I just know Brett's mum will prove to be a wise and wonderful woman as it looks like she's shaken up her daughter's life of complacency for the better! Take care
    x

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    1. Thank you so much, Kitty! I'm glad you agree. I always said, "If it's a chore to write or query it, it'll be a chore for a reader to read it."

      And thanks for the good wishes with The Life List. Brett's mom was my favorite character!

      All best to you!

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  9. Thanks Lori for stopping by and saying hello! All too often guests forget or neglect to do so. Good luck with everything!

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    1. My pleasure, Steve. You have THE NICEST followers!

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  10. They say stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If it's just not working with that one story, time to put it aside and do something different.

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    1. Exactly, L Diane. I've also heard this as the definition of insanity. So true...but so difficult to let go of something so personal. Thanks for chiming in here.

      All best to you.

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  11. That's sound advice. After writing more, you can always go back it you want too but stagnating is not good.

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  12. Southpaw, your advice is spot on. Just taking a break can give a new, fresh perspective. Glad you commented. Wishing you the best.

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  13. This book sounds great. Congrats to Laurie. I tweeted.

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  14. Congrats to Lori. Her book sounds amazing.

    I've moved on from manuscripts that didn't work out. I move onto another project.

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    1. Thanks, Medeia. Glad you've moved on when you needed to--can be so difficult. Good luck with the writing!

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  15. Wohoo! Congrats Lori! Sounds like an interesting story! I"ve learned to set manuscripts aside and move on. Sometimes I go back to the story and find that over time, I've developed insights that'll actually fix the story problems.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. That's the best, Nutshell. Regardless of what we think, we do become better writers with time and practice. Thanks so much for the congrats! All best to you!

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  16. Interesting post. Thanks for the great tips, Lori.

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    1. Thanks so much, Susanne! Good luck with the writing!

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  17. I'm glad I read this. Sounds as if Lori's book is a fabulous read.

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  18. Lori I loved your book! Congrats and cheers to perseverance!

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