Wednesday, October 29, 2014

7 Things I’m Glad No One Told Me about the Writing Life (Or I Would Have Quit)

with guest Melanie Dickerson.
 
How awesome to be in Seekerville to celebrate the 7th birthday of this blog, which is so helpful and informative and friendly and just plain THE BEST. But when Tina invited me to write a post, I warned her that I was on a tight deadline, I’d been doing some really tough editing, which always makes me emotional, and not in a good way, and in the mood I was in, my post could be classified as “dark humor.” But she said she was game anyway. So, here it is. Read at your own risk. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

7 Things I’m Glad No One Told Me about the Writing Life (Or I Would Have Quit)

1. Some days the words just will not flow, no matter how much you want them to.

When I first started writing, I thought that after a certain period of time, I would really know what I was doing. I would have perfected my techniques, and I would be able to churn books out like Barbara Cartland or Nora Roberts. But alas, as I write my 10th book, I don’t think I’ll ever be a Nora Roberts. I still have days when the words don’t flow. I still, quite often, feel like I have no clue what I’m doing.

2. I would get 1- and 2-star reviews that would make me feel icky inside for days.

This was in the days after my first two books were out. Since then, I’ve pretty much gotten over that icky feeling. Now I usually either don’t read them, or I shrug and say, “Oh well. Can’t please everyone.” But it took me a couple of years at least to get over it.
 


3. I would have 3 different agents in 5 years.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that, so don’t ask me.

4. Once you get that first contract, or that second or third or fourth, you aren’t guaranteed you’ll ever get another one.

I’ve had a contract canceled because the publisher decided to stop publishing fiction, and I’ve spent time wondering if my career was over and if anyone would ever buy another book from me again. It’s a tough business. There are no guarantees.

5. How much money I would make.



 I recently saw an Amazon review on one of my books with the heading “You make too much money.” So I absolutely couldn’t resist reading the rest of the review to find out if they really know how much money I make. Nope. Turns out, this reviewer is under the mistaken notion that I make a lot of money. Me. Little me, with my four books released in four years. All I can say is, Ms. Reviewer, you are grossly misinformed. Or should I say, uninformed?

6. That I would still have to clean the toilets and cook the meals and clean the house (and heaven knows there’s not much cleaning going on).

I used to think that if I could just make enough money by writing to hire a housekeeper to come in one day a week, I would be happy with that. Well, I still don’t have a housekeeper, but that subject is too depressing, so don’t ask me about that either.

 


7. Most of my early writer friends would quit writing and I’d have to make new writer friends.

They’re still my friends, but they’re no longer writing. They’re pursuing other important things, and that’s great, but it was very sad when we stopped communicating as much. I guess the bottom line is, Writing is a permanent sickness for some, and others get over it pretty quickly.

And the #8 Bonus is my favorite: It’s not really about me at all.

I used to think I was doing this writing gig for myself, to make money, to do what I loved, to get that housekeeper I desperately needed, for personal fulfillment. After I got published, I realized I was totally wrong. It’s not about me at all.
It’s about the girl who just wrote to me and said, “I am a Christian and struggling with my faith but these books have inspired me to be a better person and to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Thanks to you I have witnessed to 3 people at my school. I really appreciate the difference you have made in my life.”

It’s about the mother who wrote to me and said, “Your books have been such a Godsend for [my daughter], as it is difficult to find books that are morally pure for a 13 year old.”

It’s about Debbie, who said, “Your books have offered me a wonderful escape from a very painful chronic illness.”

It’s about the teen girl who said, “I love how I was able to find a Christian book series I could read and that would give me strength through my first year of high school. I believe that I needed Jesus more than ever this year, and I believe He helped me find these books to keep me going and to pursue my goals.”

It’s about another teen who said, “I love to read your books because they help to push myself to not be ashamed of my faith in Jesus Christ.”

It’s about the girl with the Muslim-sounding name who wrote and said, “I'm a huge fan of your books! Not only are they packed with adventure, but they convey wonderful messages of love, goodness, piety and faith in God Almighty that even non-Christians such as myself can relate to.”

So even though there have been a lot of tough things about being a writer, and even though I might have quit if I’d known just how tough it would be, I’m glad I didn’t know. Because I’m glad I didn’t quit.

And now I’d like to hear your biggest gripe about the writing life. Go ahead, vent. Get it off your chest. And then tell me the reasons why it’s worth it to you. And if you leave a comment, you’ll be in the drawing to win one of 3 copies of my newest book,
The Princess Spy.

The Princess Spy

Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha—one of the few who speaks his language—understands the wild story.


Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin’s message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself “Lord Colin” is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment. Margaretha knows she could never be a spy—not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she’s sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook’s wicked plot
.

 And exciting news today in Seekerville!



Leading up to the release of The Princess Spy, my publisher is putting all my previous books on sale for $1.99. So if you are missing any of the books, now is a great time to get them! Also, you can pre-order The Princess Spy for $5.99. Thanks! 



Melanie with Mary Connealy
Melanie Dickerson is a two-time Christy Award finalist, a Carol Award winner, and the author of five Medieval fairy tale retellings, from Sleeping Beauty to The Frog Prince. When she’s not experiencing the emotional extremes of being a published author – from the euphoria of a plot breakthrough to the despair of believing her current manuscript is the worst book she’s ever written – she is spending time with her two daughters, two female guinea pigs, and the lone male in the house, her husband.




Photo via Crestock.com
More fun today with Melanie! Seekerville is hosting fairy tale day TODAY! Change your profile picture to your favorite fairy tale. Think Disney, Mother Goose, or the Brothers Grimm. Or make up your own. All fairy tale profile picture guests will have their name put into the princesses crown for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.  Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.



177 comments:

Courtney Phillips said...

Melanie, thank you for this honest post. I know often I'm afraid to let people know about the difficult writing stuff because I don't want them to doubt me. It's a blessing to hear this from a successful writer.

My biggest complaint right now--since you did give us permission to vent--is the waiting time for publisher responses. I know they must be crazy busy but have mercy on my nerves. ;) My agent has assured me this is normal, but I'm still anxious. Of course, I know God will knit everything together in His timing.
Oh, and the past week or so, I've been in a bit of a writing rut. I was discouraged, wavering between forcing myself to write and shutting down my laptop for good. Then today I somehow managed to write 2300 words in my WIP. That's more than double my daily goal. I think God sprinkles grace over us when we persevere.

I'm praying we all have the strength to follow the Lord no matter how difficult the journey becomes.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Testing, testing. Is my tiara in place?

Jana Vanderslice said...

SEEKERVILLE LADIES!! You are Amazing! Thank you more than words can say!
Never doubt for a single moment that you make a difference in this world!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well, lookie who is back! Hiya, Jana. Great to 'see' you!

DebH said...

Popping in at almost 1 am because the dog wants out *grumble* You'd think she'd let me sleep since it's my birthday today but noooooooo...

Thanks Melanie, for your post. Not pubbed yet, but I'm glad for Seekerville posts that help keep things reality based. I'm hoping my Brave themed avatar shows up. I changed the hair color to match my hair color. Brave is what I need to be.

Oh, there's the dog scratching at the door...will return at a more normal hour later to fully absorb the post and then take advantage of those book discounts to round out my Melanie collection (yay)

DebH said...

oh blast... forgot to ask for my name to be dropped into the princess crown. (even though I hated playing princess as a little girl... I preferred the adventures the boys in the neighborhood were always imagining)

Heidi Robbins said...

This is so fun! I had a hard time deciding but went with Little Red Riding Hood. It's the first fairy tale I remember from childhood. I'm glad you think all the frustrations of writing are worth it Melanie! Your fans certainly think so :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

hahaha, DEBH, love your profile pix.

Happy Birthday!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Love it, Heidi!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

DebH, that went without saying. You are in!

Melissa Jagears said...

Hmm, I'm not sure I should admit to the exact writing thing I hate at the moment online.....but it has to do with deadlines.

And I'm Belle, because well, she marries a guy with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (like the current hero I'm writing) and I'm always for the gruff hero turned all melty by the heroine.

Mary Preston said...

A wonderful post thank you.

Yes, I'm a big fan of Belle too.

Cindy W. said...

What a great post today Melanie. I love your books and I am well beyond my teen years.

I had to choose Beauty and the Beast. It has been my favorite fairy tale since before Disney did their wonderful thing with the story. I collect B & B items and have them all over the house.

I would love to have my name thrown into the drawing. I would love your newest book.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

The Artist Librarian said...

I love #8 --Melanie Dickerson's books are wonderful. I was very happy to see our local library just added several of her titles to their YA collection.

Can't wait to read Margaretha's story! The Frog Prince was one of the stories that surprised me in my English Literature class on Fairy Tales last semester. Originally, there wasn't a kiss that broke the spell! http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/frogking/notes.html#EIGHT

Lots of Belle fans! I have to get around to watching the film again. It was a tough choice, but in the end I had to go with one of my favorite Disney fairy tale adaptations. Rapunzel's also my favorite Disney princess! Arts, crafts, reading, sewing, knitting ... my kind of girl for sure! =P

Tina Radcliffe said...

Psychologically speaking, this is quite interesting. I can't wait to see what Connealy and Herne show up as.

I'm betting Beast from Beauty and the Beast for one of them. Won't tell which.

Jessica Nelson said...

This is a really good post. I miss some writer friends too...it just happens, I guess.
And the money thing. LOL Yeah, it's def. not what people think but at least I had an idea going in! LOL
Thanks for the honesty!!

Jackie said...

When I have more time I'll try to change my profile picture to a princess.

Melanie, thanks for sharing. Your book covers are beautiful! What great feedback you shared with us in #8. You're definitely where God wants you following his plan. Way to go!

I have a job that pays, and I'm writing because I feel God's calling me to write, but I had to laugh about your dream of a maid. If I ever get published, I've been hoping to pay somebody to clean my house once in a while. Thanks for clearing that up for me. Ha!

Kara Isaac said...

I'm on my phone and can't work out how to change my avatar but I'd be Sleeping Beauty. With a preschooler and an infant, the whole sleeping for a hundred years thing is looking mighty fine :)

I've always struggled with patience so the waiting time has been a biggie for me. But I'm slowly getting better at trusting that God's timing is always better than mine :)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hey, Seekerville! Look how early I am! I am usually up at this time, but don't usually have my computer on, but a day in Seekerville is special. :-)

I was pretty nervous about this post, actually. I'm not usually quite this self-revealing. And I was afraid people would be mad at me for being negative, and then "bragging" about my reader emails, although that was not my intent at all. But Courtney is making me feel un-nervous, but I will open another comment box now . . .

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thank you so much, COURTNEY!!! For saying this is a blessing to hear! I didn't want to discourage anyone this morning with my slight negativity (I think I was BORN negative and have to work at being positive!) and I'm so glad it didn't discourage you!

The truth is, sometimes the writing life is discouraging, but that's because the things that are most worthwhile are most difficult. There's an enemy out there and he wants us to be discouraged from doing the things that are going to make a difference in people's lives.

So thanks, Courtney, for mentioning the writer's most important word: Persevere! You get a gold star! And WAY TO GO on writing 2300 words!!! Two gold stars!

You have the stuff to make it to become a successful writer: You are realistic, determined to persevere, you set daily word count goals, and you are PRAYING!!! So proud of you Courtney! You go, girl!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Tina, are you Ariel, the Little Mermaid? Love it! :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Jana, hi! Thanks for coming to Seekerville today! I agree, it is an amazing bunch of ladies who are making a difference in this world! ;-)

karenk said...

a wonderful posting Melanie...thanks for sharing :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Melanie Dickerson said...

Deb H, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hope your birthday is awesome, even if the dog did want out at 1 a.m. :-) Now that it's REALLY morning, go celebrate, girl!

I love your Brave avatar! You is brave, you is kind, you is important. ;-) ;-) Seriously, stay brave and the Lord will reward you! He IS a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. You gotta believe. :-)

I liked playing with my older brother, Deb, and we had lots of adventures. I had a motorcycle from the time I was 9 years old. Loved it! We built forts and tree houses and had pretend wars. Fun! I wasn't a real princess-y girl either, even though I was always a total romantic at heart.

Have an awesome birthday!!!!!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Heidi! Loving the Red Riding Hood! :-) (This is so fun! The fairy tale avatars was Tina's idea, so thanks, Tina!!!)

And thanks for your kind words, Heidi! You're in the drawings!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Melissa, I love "the gruff hero turned all melty by the heroine" too!!! My favorite! And Beauty and the Beast is my fave too! Although I'm not a huge, huge fan of the beast in the Disney movie. I love Belle, though. :-)

Melissa, there is no shame in hating deadlines! Haha! You can share with us. ;-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Mary Preston! You're in the drawings. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks so much, Cindy W! How fun that you collect B & the B items! I would love to see a picture of your collection! :-)
You're in the drawings!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Welcome, Artist Librarian!!! I love librarians! I just went and spoke to about 100 church librarians earlier this month, and they were the best audience ever! So sweet.

Rapunzel is awesome, isn't she? I JUST finished the rough first draft of my Rapunzel story last week! So much fun to write about Rapunzel and her sweet hero, Sir Gerek. You didn't know Rapunzel's hero was a knight? Well, that story comes out around next November and you can read the REAL story of Rapunzel. Haha! It's real, in my imagination. ;-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Haha, Tina! You are bad! :-) I'm betting Ruthy.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Jessica, yeah, I'm glad I could clear up the misunderstandings this morning! Ha! You actually may not get rich, but everyone will think you are! Yeah. But you already know that. ;-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Jackie, my hat is off to you for having a day job and being faithful to write too! I honestly don't know if I could do that. I applaud you! And don't give up on getting the maid! I had extenuating circumstances that I won't mention, but you might actually get yours! And I might too, someday! :-) There's always hope, right?

Rose said...

Melanie,

First, I love your twist on seven things. It's a much needed post for all writers and something we all face if we continue in this business.

Best wishes on your new release! Thank you for sharing your reader letters. I know they are near and dear to heart!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Kara said: With a preschooler and an infant, the whole sleeping for a hundred years thing is looking mighty fine :)

HA!!!!!!! Thanks for making me laugh out loud, Kara! I feel you, girl! When my kids were babies, I felt the same way! And Sleeping Beauty was my favorite Disney movie, and my first retelling, so it has a special place in my heart.

Oh, the waiting is KILLER! Waiting on God's timing ... I think He is the real cause of agents and editors taking forty forevers to get back to us, because He wants to train us to trust Him and to trust his timing! Thanks, Kara, for reminding me about the waiting. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Gave the guinea pigs their green bell pepper treat, ate some chocolate and drank some hot tea, but gotta go make sure the kiddos get to school. I'll be back shortly!

Tracey Hagwood said...

Hi Melanie,
The "quit" list of 7 provides quite a dose of well-needed reality. Your goal of a housekeeper has me smiling, I would have that on my goal list too.

Bonus #8 is the key though, whether we write, or have some other calling in life, it's not about us, it's about turning others towards HIM. Great reminder!

The cover of The Princess Spy is stunning, I love it.

The picture of you and Mary is stunning as well, beautiful ladies!

Please put me in the drawing for your newest book, I'm headed over to amazon now to check out a couple of the others I don't have yet.

Kelly Bridgewater said...

My biggest gripe about the writing life is feeling that I can't write well enough. I sometimes sit and cry as the prose on the page reads like something my fourth grader would have written. (I have a MA in writing). Why can't my fingers flow the beautiful words that I know it can. I feel defeated and declare I quit, but God always pops another idea in my head and I return to writing. Can't seem to leave it alone no matter how I try.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thank you, Rose! Yes, those letters make it all so worthwhile! I know I am so very, very blessed to be a writer. God has been really good to me. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Tracey! You are so right! No matter what we do, it's all about HIM and turning hearts toward Him. We are all missionaries, if we choose to accept the mission. :-) You are in the drawing!

Cara Lynn James said...

Great post, Melanie! You might be very busy but you haven't lost your sense of humor. I'm so glad you come to Seekerville today.

Your book cover is beautiful!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Aw, Kelly, you gotta kick that internal editor to the curb! It's okay to write like a 4th grader (and no way do I really believe you do, but even if you did, it's okay) because it's the revisions that make the prose shine. And not every sentence has to be beautifully eloquent, with alliteration and million dollar words. It's all about the STORY. I don't personally consider myself a very good writer, but I think I'm a good storyteller. James Patterson said something like that, and it is how I feel about my writing. I don't angst over not being beautifully eloquent, I just write the story my readers are gonna like, the story I love. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Ha! Thanks, Cara Lynn! :-) I'm glad you get my sense of humor! And it's great to be here! :-)

Marianne Barkman said...

I'm so VERT. VERY glad that you came, that you didn't quit. And yes, TINA your tiara is on straight!

Courtney Phillips said...

Thanks Melanie! I'm Belle today, by the way. So please stick my name in the giveaways. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

I'm a generic princess. I get to name myself. Princess Wannabe. They call me Bea for short.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I see the entire Belle fan club is here.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Melanie! Except for #3 (re: agents), I can relate to ALL these things. LOL! And #5 (money) makes me laugh--just recently I had a long time friend say that since I have 8 books published and just signed a 6-book contract, shouldn't this be a sign to quit the day job? Unfortunately, NOT. :)

I love the warm & fuzzy responses you shared from readers and parents about your books. That TRULY makes it all worthwhile!

Elaine Manders said...

Hi Melanie,

Good post, a little depressing, but as you say, worth it all. I miss old writing buds. This one friend and I would spend half the day on the phone (before internet) living in our imaginary worlds. Then she had a baby and embraced motherhood big time.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Melanie, By the time I figured out how to change my profile picture it would be tomorrow so you're stuck with the same ole me. And that is probably my biggest gripe is having to figure out all this writing promotion stuff.

Just learned last night at Desert Rose RWA meeting what a QR is. sigh. Great stuff but now something else for this old brain to learn. LOL

Thanks for sharing and being here in Seekerville with us. Have fun today. Looks like you have a great start. I'm so impressed with all the fairy tale profiles. smile (And no I'm refusing to be jealous of all of you who know how to do that)

Wilani Wahl said...

thank you for this post. Someone has to tell it like it is. It is not as easy as what some think. Yet, if it is what we are called to do then we can overcome the obstacles in our way. thank you for hanging in there.

Please include me in the drawing for your new book.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Okay. I give, Sandra. What is a QR?

Cindy Regnier said...

Thanks Melanie - I love honesty like your post. Writing is hard work and it's full of discouragement. Without those like you and the Seekers providing encouragement daily, I might have quit long ago.
And Rapunzel is my favorite princess!

Sherri Shackelford said...

Wonderful post!

Although..

I'm still dreaming of hiring a housekeeper! Don't ruin the dream :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thank you, Marianne. Walking in these heels is a killer. Hope I don't have to kiss any frogs. Must go check the princess rule book.

Jane Heitman Healy said...

This is a great post! So honest, yet encouraging.

Janet Dean said...

Melanie, great post! I suspect most writers experience doubts and disappointments, even question themselves, certain their latest story is dribble. Writing books is hard. Rarely pays the bills. Isn't always appreciated. And just when we think we understand publishing, the industry changes. But, reader letters like the lovely examples you shared today give us a reason to hang in. And I'm glad you did!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

I love the adorable fairy tale profile pictures! Underneath I feel certain I was meant to be a princess. But alas, no castle, no handmaidens, no crown, but also no scary spells or frogs to kiss. Princess or not, I found and married a prince of a guy!

Janet

Myra Johnson said...

Wow, Melanie, you nailed many of the scariest things I never knew (or chose to ignore) before writing took over my life!

One thing I definitely never banked on was how social media would take over the world and eat up more and more of the time I used to spend writing. It's definitely a love/hate relationship!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Aw, thanks, Marianne! You are sweet!

Courtney, you are in!

Tina, you are a lovely princess! :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Glynna! Wow, we have a lot in common, huh? :-) Yes, it is sad that you have to keep your day job, Glynna. :-( It would be nice if we could all write full time and not have to worry about money, but I have to say, the money does get better every year, so I truly cannot complain! I am so blessed to have signed two great contracts with Thomas Nelson, and CONGRATS to YOU, Glynna, on a 6-book contract! How awesome is that!!!?

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Elaine! I'm sorry I reminded you of your writing friend who quit. :-( It can be a little depressing, but we have to dwell on the good things like a monk meditating on the meaning of life, and flit over the bad things like a butterfly moving from flower to flower! :-) Haha. That was terrible, but . . . all I can come up with at the moment. LOL!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Oh, Sandra, I can commiserate with you! It is a pain to get my non-techy brain to wrap around all the new technology. I am still trying to figure out how to upload photos from my camera, and I don't even want to think about getting a "smart" phone. Smart phones are for smart people, and I don't feel that smart. Haha!

And I THINK I know what a QR is. Is it that little square with the black lines and squiggles that people point their smart phones at and it goes to a website? If not, don't laugh too hard at me!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Wilani, hi! Yes, that's me, telling it like it is! And you are so right! If we are called to do something, God will give us the power to overcome the obstacles. What a great point!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Writing is a permanent sickness for some, and others get over it

LOL very well put, Melanie. Welcome to Seekerville. I wonder if I know how to change my profile picture....and if it's legal.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Cindy, yes, I am really honest. Haha! Now I feel like I need to do a counter-post on all the great things about the writing life, like how you get to stay home in your pajamas most days and make up stories and control people. Hey, this is the only job where you get to invent people and control them! And it is a wonderful feeling to see your books all over the internet and get positive feedback from readers. It's a dream come true, no doubt about it. I am very blessed!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Sherri, getting a housekeeper is absolutely a possibility for you! Do not give up the dream!!! And neither will I! :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thank you, Jane! I'm glad it encouraged you! :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Janet, you named so many of the frustrations with being a writer! But there are also reasons to hang in there, thank goodness. And YAY for marrying your own prince! That is awesome. :-) It's encouraging to me to know that there are some great guys out there, and they're not all fictional! :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Myra, you said it, girl. There are some scary things, and it can be frustrating when marketing and social media seems to eat up too much time. But it can also be quite fun, like days spent in Seekerville! :-)
BTW, I love your pixie haircut! So cute!!!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Mary, thanks for laughing at my joke! :-) I wondered if anyone else would laugh at my dark humor! Yay, Mary! Thanks!!! :-)

DebH said...

Okay, I'm more awake now. the post is still awesome and I just realized my birthday age ends in a 7 (how cool is that?). ANOTHER cool tie in to Seekerville and its greatness.

I know the fairy tale avatars are popping up today. Question: is Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon considered a fairy tale character? If so, I'd like to change my avatar to him cuz he's adorable and my current fave character in animation-land.

p.s. I didn't choose Belle even though I like her lots because I figured she'd be a popular choice and I kinda sorta like being different from EVERYONE... (here's where my mom would roll her eyes because all I complained about when I was little was about being different. huh - go figure... her lesson that unique is good musta sunk in sometime when I wasn't looking. how is it the older I get, the SMARTER my mom is?)

Mary Connealy said...

Now let's see if this worked

Mary Connealy said...

HEY RUTHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have a picture of my SISTER for you to use!!!

DebH said...

hi Melanie
thanks for the birthday wishes. i'm treating myself to the on special books or yours I don't have yet as a present to me (yay!)

Mary C you are cracking me up! coffee spew alert for your comment to Ruthy...

kaybee said...

The worst part is the not knowing what you did or didn't do wrong, as in "Doesn't suit our needs at this time." I can deal with almost anything if I know what I'm dealing with. I appreciated my feedback from Sue Brower when she said historicals aren't selling well right now. And specific contest feedback, and specific crit partner feedback. If I know what isn't working, I can make it work. It's the vagueness that sends me round the bend. I was actually pleased to get, not a negative review but one with points I need to work on, from the Phoenix Rattler contest, because it gave me something to aim at. I want to get better, and vague doesn't cut it.
Thanks Melanie.
KB

kaybee said...

COURTNEY, He does give us grace. I have a self-imposed goal to finish a draft of my WIP by Friday (so I can do ANOTHER WIP for NANO, sigh), and He has given me the strength, the time and the time management. He is able.
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

I am not changing my profile picture. I'm still trying to get the Rice Krispies Christmas Tree changed to my regular mug shot.
KB

kaybee said...

MELANIE, the benefit of Seekerville is that published writers tell the unpubbed exactly what to expect (agents quitting, publishers dropping fiction, the dreaded writers block). And we go on anyway because we Didn't Have To Discover All This For Ourselves. Yay.
KB

Melanie Dickerson said...

I just realized I missed Karen k's post! Thanks for coming by! You're in the drawing!

Mary Connealy said...

kaybee...I think the Rice Krispies Christmas Tree is sort of a fairy princess.

LET'S ALL USE OUR IMAGINATIONS AND MAKE IT SO!!!!!!!!

(Star Trek Next Generation Joke)

Mary Connealy said...

Complaint?

Well, honestly my biggest complaint is, it's been a hectic month...now maybe it's up to a hectic six weeks and I CAN'T WRITE AS MUCH AS I WANT TO!

Stop forcing me to deal with the real world and go back into the pretend world!

Mary Connealy said...

It's so nice there.

Mary Connealy said...

The ONE STAR REVIEWS were a shock, I'll admit.

One of the first reviews of Petticoat Ranch, my first book used the word DISGUSTING so many times that the editorial side of me wanted to suggest synonyms.

!!!!!

Rachael Koppendrayer said...

For every two words written, one is deleted (or so it seems). Push to meet the word count and cut out half of it again tomorrow because it's unnecessary? Or write half of what I should but have less fluff eliminate?

My favorite fairy tale is also Beauty and the Beast - Disney or otherwise, there's just something about that story. We'll see if I get around to changing my pic!

Melanie Dickerson said...

DebH, a.k.a. The Birthday Girl, I LOVE Toothless! And since he's from a Medieval-ish story and is a cartoon, then I think he qualifies as a fairy tale character! My daughters love those How to Train Your Dragon movies!

I think my daughters are embracing the it's-good-to-be-unique message, which I am so proud of, so I'm glad you are embracing it too! God never intended us to be clones. He made us all unique for special purposes, which I love. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Mary, you are lucky you are in Nebraska and Ruthy is in New York! Hahaha!!!!!!!!

DebH, so glad you are taking advantage of the SALE! Oh, how I love sales. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Kaybee, that is the beauty of contests that give you feedback! You get to see what works and what doesn't, what you need to work on, how to fix your mistakes, etc. That is gold! But I agree. It is really frustrating when they don't tell you what you did wrong or how to get a yes instead of a no. It's a tough business.

And I loved Seekerville for that very reason before I was published! These ladies give such great advice, opportunities, and writing tips. Such an awesome place for writers, from newbies to published.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Mary, it does get frustrating when real life intrudes and we aren't able to write. I need my imaginary world to cope with the real one, I guess! Haha! But things will calm down, eventually. I pray it is sooner rather than later.

Mary, occasionally an emotionally unbalanced person will read our book and review it. It's just a fact of life, since we don't lock up all the unbalanced people anymore. (Hey, was that comment politically incorrect, maybe? Borderline?)

Jan Drexler said...

I'm sure you heard my head nodding all the way through your post! I agree with every point, especially the one about keeping the house clean.

(Hence my Snow White profile pic!)

But your bonus point #8 - that's really why we keep doing what we do, isn't it?

I love your stories - don't ever give up writing :)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Rachael, I will commiserate with you, girl! I have been doing line edits on The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest, and oh my goodness, the unbelievable amount of stuff my line editor is pointing out as "repetitious" and unnecessary. I never realized I was so wordy! And that I repeated myself ad nauseum! Oh my! A little depressing. Haha! I am cringing at how many words are going to end up being cut.

But I guess the bottom line is, it's okay to repeat stuff in the first draft. Just make sure you cut the repetitious stuff--or have a great line editor to cut it!--during revisions!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Aw, thank you, Jan! You're so sweet! :-)

I love that Snow pic! I wish I enjoyed cleaning as much as she seemed to!!! That is something I can't relate to at all. LOL! Thanks for making me not feel alone in my messy dislike of cleaning. :-)

Janet Dean said...

What's missing today are some prince profiles! Ah, Vince and Walt, don't let these fairy tale characters scare you off!

Janet

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Great post, Melanie. I'm with you... our readers is what it's really about. :)

My biggest gripe is feeling like the manuscript you're writing is the worst you've ever written and nobody's gonna read it and if they do, they're gonna hate it, etc. etc. If we writers could just get out of our own way, life would be much simpler, no?

And I'm Princess Anna because... I'm Anna. ;)

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Darn it, I changed my photo in the wrong place... How about now?

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Ha, success!

Julie Lessman said...

MEL!!!! What a FUN, FUN post today, although I can't for the life of me think what fairy-tale character I'd be, so I'm just gonna go with ELSA from Frozen and "let it go!"

I actually realllly appreciate this post today because there are SO many things I wish people had warned me about in the writing world, so this is a very healthy look into the reality of some of the things that can get us down and what to be on-guard against.

Probably one of my biggest gripes (and most painful) is how brutal some Christians can be when they don't like what you write. Like you, I've had to toughen up to those nasty reviews that are truly written only to vent at the expense of the author. But, as always with God, He makes good come out of everything when we follow His precepts. That said, there are currently A TON of people who have racked up umpteen prayers from me just based on their 1-star reviews!! ;) Because God is a God Who likes to recycle hurt and hate into blessing and peace.

The second thing I wish someone had told me is how much time and angst promotion would cause AND not to give it so much attention in the beginning because it steals your peace AND your trust in God regarding your career.

I was just reading in my devotional this morning that negative things in our life are training for transformation when God is involved, so with Him, there's always an upside to every downside.

Cannot WAIT to dive into your latest, my friend -- looks AWESOME with a fabulous cover as usual. My artist hubby says you have some of the best covers in the biz, and I agree. :)

Hugs!!
Julie

Tina Pinson said...

Melanie,

Let me just say all the above apply. But I 'm glad you slipped in #8, it spoke to who I am as a writer and a woman. I know that's deep huh. But I really have been, for lack of a better word, struggling with a few 'why do I keep... ( fill in the blank) why do I write? To touch lives, even my own. Why do pray or study, or even clean house? (I cleaned my desk and now I'm lost).

Because you're right, it's not about me when my book touches a heart. It's not about me when I pray for protection and blessing and growth for others and no one knows or realizes the outcome like me.

No one realizes how I wield my words and prayers with a desire to change the world.


Anyway, thank you for your post.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Janet, I agree. Where are our Seeker princes, Walt and Vince?

Melanie Dickerson said...

Oh, Anna, I totally understand! Every single book I write, at some point in the process, at least until someone tells me they love it, I am convinced it is the worst book I've ever written and no one is going to like it and I'm going to lose all my readers . . . etc. But we have to push past that and realize, it's normal and it's our human side coming out, and just keep moving forward. :-) And I like you Anna pic! Very nice. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Julie, my twin who "gets" me! :-)

Oh, those painful jabs from Christians who don't "get" our writing and our purpose and our heart! We can't let them get us down, either. But it is good to be forewarned that this will happen. It is pretty much inevitable, if we are doing our job, I think. And you can't please all the people all the time...

And the angst of promotion, thinking we can control our sales. Nope. Can't do it. I've accepted that and embraced it. Haha! But thankfully, my sales numbers are good enough to get more contracts, so, I thank God for that! It is a gift! I can't control the sales numbers, no matter how hard I might try with this or that promotion. It's a reality. So true, Miss Julie!!!

And thank you, Julie! You are so sweet! And so is your hubby! I can't take any credit at all for my covers. I love them. They do an awesome job, but I have nothing to do with them! Haha!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Yes, Tina, we do it for the readers. Thank you for praying for your readers, for writing for them. But it's what makes it worthwhile, isn't it? It's not about us, which is actually kind of freeing and makes it more of a joy. It's not all about me.

CatMom said...

Thanks for sharing this list today, Melanie - - and CONGRATULATIONS on your writing success! Your book covers are all awesome, imho. :)

Wasn't able to change my photo, but one year when I was teaching school, we had "Character Day" and I was Mother Goose. Perhaps these days "Mother Cat" might be more appropriate, LOL.

Thanks again for sharing!
Hugs, Patti Jo

CatMom said...

p.s. Welcome back to JANA VANDERSLICE!! :)
You've had our prayers.

Pam Hillman said...

Melanie, I can solve all your problems. What you need is a male guinea pig.

And that's all I'm saying about that...

Connie Queen said...

I'm so inept at these blogger things I have to post so I can change my profile pic.

Connie Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Connie Queen said...

Okay, hopefully that'll work.

I'm not published,but I think working under a strict deadline would be stressful. Occasionally when everything is piling up and then add a deadline would make me want to take a long vacation and forget everything.

Vince said...

Sorry!

It seems I gave a bad review to a witch and now I have to find a kissable princess.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Patti Jo/CatMom, thanks! I may try to change my picture too, but I'm just not sure who I should be ... Mother Goose would be fun to dress up as, I think!
Got your name in the drawing!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Pam Hillman, are you kidding me? That would NOT solve my problems. That would CREATE LOTS of problems! No, we have already discussed this, and there will not be any males, animal or otherwise, introduced to the family. Well, not until my daughters start dating, I guess. Sigh. But we don't want to think about that either.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Oh, Connie! You picked one of my very favorite princesses! Princess Buttercup!!! ;-)

Deadlines can be stressful, but they're also very motivating! And I like that motivation factor. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Vince! I love the frog prince! I hope you find the right princess to kiss before the spell becomes permanent! ;-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Ha! Now I am Snow White! ;-)

Amy C said...

Belle is my all time favorite princess! I LOVE that Disney movie! :)

Jamie Adams said...

Great points, Melanie! It would be nice if the words would flow everyday. When they don't I've found editing helps me get back into the story.

Jamie Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyndee H said...

Hi Melanie,
I haven't published fiction, yet, but I have three non-fiction books out and I've received negative comments for things out of my control. For instance, one reader blasted me for not having maps, when that series never includes maps. Another critique came from a highly respected IL state publication and rather than comment on my research and writing, the assistant editor ragged on me for the title - which we all know isn't typically a writer's choice! Oh well! Although disappointed and frustrated, I survived. Thanks for your post!

Jamie Adams said...

Testing... I changed my profile pic before posting.

Sherida Stewart said...

Continuing from the WOW moments of yesterday, your Number 8, with those heartfelt comments, is a WOW!!!!!!! To help readers, young or old, feel a deeper connection to our Lord is an amazing gift. Thanks for your strength and the encouragement of your post, Melanie! Congratulations on your new release! Definitely good you didn't quit!

Love the fairytale day, but it would take me forever and after to figure out how to change my picture! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite, which appears to be a popular choice......such a romantic tale.

Jana, glad you are back in Seekerville!

Connie Queen said...

Melanie, we love the Princess Bride at our house.
My favorite Disney princess is Belle. Actually that's just because the Beast is her hero...Is that wrong?

Donna said...

Melanie, I loved the honesty of your post. I laughed at how many times you said, "don't ask me." #8 was very inspiring!

I will never admit how long I tried to change my profile picture. : / Never!!

Debby Giusti said...

Like Donna, I worry if I DID change my profile pic, I'd never get the real me back again...ever!

Who mentioned technology? That's one of my main frustrations. I'm such a Low Tech Mama in a High Tech World.

Then Windows 8 came along. And touch screen monitors. Need I say more? Have you heard me scream?

Why is it so difficult to create a Header and add page numbers in Windows 8? Bet there are ten steps to complete the process. GRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enough about that!

Just finished a short story for an anthology and love the "high" of a completed work that...well, works. At least I hope it does.

After posting this comment, I need to return to my WIP, which is at that muddled middle stage. So not fun!

Melanie, dear, thanks for sharing the "darker" side of this business. Looks like we all struggle, which should bring comfort.

Jeanne T said...

Melanie, my favorite part of your post was hearing how God used your book to touch lives. I'm so glad you shared that as number eight! :)

I think one of the hardest aspects of the writing journey is figuring out how to market, build a platform, write a stellar novel, edit it, begin the next one, promote a book and, oh, live real life with real people I love dearly. I haven't gotten to that point yet, in my journey, but I'm not excited about keeping all those balls in the air when my turn comes. :)

Thanks for sharing a realistic perspective of the writing journey!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Oh, my look at all those princesses. What do we feed them??

Cake of course. I am bringing out the black forest cake now!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

lololol on the floor laughing, Vince!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Anna Hurtt. Your fairy tale picture actually looks like you.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Tina Pinson. LOOOONG time no see.

Sandy Smith said...

Melanie, what great comments you have received on your books. Please enter me into the drawing. Your book looks good.

Sandy Smith said...

Can someone tell me how to put up a profile picture? I don't even have one to change. I went to "edit profile" and entered a web address or an image and then clicked save changes, but I still don't have anything. There is no picture box beside my posts even.

Thank you.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I'm late to the Melly party. Blame little kids, blame work, blame.... someone else, certainly not me, LOL!

Mel, I laughed at most of these, because I've watched you go through some of this stuff... and you're such a sensitive, sweet soul.

(FYI: No one accuses me of being a sensitive sweet soul and I'm really okay with that, LOL!)

The reviews.... the agents... the contracts...

:)

I'm loving that your books are $1.99 for my KINDLE!!! I've got hard copies, but I don't have them on Kindle...

Thank you so much for celebrating with us and for chatting it up about your experiences. I honestly though, every single day, thank God for giving me this chance to live my dream.

I wake up EXCITED. :) I know it's dorky. (grinning....) And I don't care!

Janet Kerr said...

I figure my picture looks like a 'fairy tale' mug shot.(It was taken for a passport)
Fun post!
Jan

Becke said...

This was painfully funny. Painful because it was accurate. Funny because laughing is better than whining.

Bad thing about the life? How about the turnaround on our work?

Worse, the submission that never received a response, not even a "this stinks but thanks for thinking of us!"

Thank goodness for the wonderful friends I've made on the journey that are far more valuable than the meager rewards of the work.
b

Melanie Dickerson said...

Amy C, I love the beginning of Beauty and the Beast when Belle is reading the book and not paying any attention to where she is going, while the people in the village are saying how strange she is. Haha! That was me in high school! :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Jamie, yes, rereading what I've already written sometimes helps me too.
And I love your Cinderella pic! So cute! :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Lyndee, ugh! Don't you hate it when that happens? That just seems so ignorant to me, when someone gives a book a bad rating because the package it came in was damaged. Come on! Return it and ask for a replacement. Or if you have a gripe about something trivial, like the title, don't let that be the only thing you comment on. But that's par for the course. ;-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Sherida, thanks! I am excited about my new book coming out next week! :-) God is good, and yes, the emails from readers are definitely a Wow! It seems they always come at just the right moment, when I'm feeling discouraged. They make me smile and cry, but in a good way.
And I'm always happy to encourage someone, so I'm glad it did!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Haha, Connie! No, that's not wrong. There is something intensely romantic about the Beauty and the Beast story. I guess that's why I love it so much.
And we quote Princess Bride all the time at my house!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Oh, Donna! Thanks for saying I made you laugh! I try, but I don't always succeed. :-) And don't worry about not being able to change your picture! I won't admit how many times I've ended up in tears trying to download pictures from my camera to my computer! So we're even. ;-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Oh, Debby, I feel your pain on the technology! Ugh, so difficult for me to learn new things! And I haven't even tried Windows 8 yet. But I'm planning to get a new laptop this Christmas, since mine is so old and is starting to get slow. I dread the learning curve!

It is fun to complete a story and feel like we did well! I love that too! :-)

The Artist Librarian said...

@Melanie - Well, I'm a Librarian-in-training, but thanks! Ooh, can't wait for next year then for Rapunzel! The early versions of the fairy tale are, quite interesting. Looking forward to seeing your adaptation!

@DebH - I was so tempted to change my profile to Astrid. The "How to Train Your Dragon" is my absolute favorite animated film series! I'm currently working on sewing my own stuffed animal Toothless. ^_^

@Vince - Good choice for your profile picture!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Well, Jeanne T, it really is all worth it, trust me. As for marketing and building a platform, that's not my main focus, or I would go crazy! I give myself grace on those things and concentrate mostly on writing. :-) I think a lot of unpublished writers end up focusing way too much on marketing when they really should just write more and better books! But that's another blog post. :-)

And the way you write and have time for your family is, you write when you're not taking care of your family. That may sound oversimplified, but it's the only way I know how to do it.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Tina, I LOVE black forest cake! Cherries and chocolate, my two favorite things!!!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Sandy! You're entered!
The way to add a picture ... you might have to add one from your computer. I think if you download a picture from the internet, you can click on your name in these comments, then click your profile and somewhere it should say something about adding a picture, like when you click the little outline of a person. Then you can click "add image from computer" or something like that, and add a picture from your files by clicking it twice.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hey, Ruthy! Better late than never! ;-) Ha, you know I love you! Even if you're not a sweet, sensitive sould, you still have a good heart. LOL!

Ruthy, you are my opposite, but I also thank God that I get to live my dream. No, really, I do!!! I love the writing life, even if I do feel the need to complain about it every so often. I know I am blessed and highly favored! And so thankful.

Valri said...

Melanie, I have NO idea how to change my profile pic - hence the reason I don't even have my REAL pic in the first place! I'm so technically challenged! If I could do it, I would be Princess Sophia for my granddaughter because that's who she's into at the moment! I don't know much about her except that she's purple :) I love Ariel, myself! Loved your post though! Thanks!!!!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Haha, Janet! Your comment makes me think of that animated movie, Hoodwinked, about Little Red Riding Hood, kind of a twisted version of the fairy tale, where the grandmother is a criminal and gets arrested, or something like that. I've never sat and watched it, only seen bits and pieces while my kids were watching it. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Becke, yes, I feel your pain, but you are right. Laughing IS better than whining! Just ask Ruthy! Haha!

Yes, I am really thankful for the wonderful friends I have made, who have commiserated with me and encouraged me. What would we do without them? We'd probably quit. ;-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Artist Librarian! I am just finishing line edits for The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest, so it's nearly done, and I am REALLY SUPER EXCITED for everybody to read it! It's a Swan Lake/Robin Hood story. :-) Rapunzel still needs more work, but I'm excited about it too. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

And, wow! sewing your own Tootless stuffed animal! That is totally cool! I really want to see that photo when you're done!!!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Valri! And I feel your pain! I think if you click on your name in your comment right here, you might be able to figure it out. It will let you choose a picture file from your computer. And if there are any children around, just ask them. They will know how to do it, or how to figure it out! It works for me!

Sandy Smith said...

Thanks, Melanie. I figured out that I had to save my image in my pictures and download it from there. I have chosen Elsa from Frozen as I love that movie.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Yay, Sandy! You did it! :-)

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Sandy, I read earlier but couldn't post until now. What really hit home for me is the flow of folks in and out of the writing world. Just like you, I look back and see a lot of folks I started with not so long ago have gone on to other things.

I'd put up a picture of my princess who turned four today but she is a bit shy!

Thanks for persevering!

Peace, Julie

Audra Harders said...

Mellie!!!! I'm late, but I'm here!! Wow, I see it's been quite the day in Seekerville today. Of course, Melanie Dickerson is in residence!!!!!

What a great topic to post. I'm all with you on the housekeeper thing. Once a week? I'd be happy with a good bathroom scrubbing by someone else ONCE A MONTH!!

I think my biggest gripe is your number 1 gripe, no matter how many books I've written, I still feel like a novice when I sit down to start a new story. You'd think it would get easier, but nooooooo, I still face the same fears each time...is this a stupid plot, are my characters going to stay 2-dimensional forever, how many threads have I dropped...each and everytime I go through the same litany.

BUT, I always get through it, too. There's always a HEA, right? Even through the writing/creating stages : )

Good to see you my friend! And mega congrats on the new book!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

OH MY GOSH. I just read Mary Connealy's comment:"One of the first reviews of Petticoat Ranch, my first book used the word DISGUSTING so many times that the editorial side of me wanted to suggest synonyms."

On the floor laughing. What a visual. This can't be good for my princess dress.


Audra Harders said...

Happy Birthday, DebH!!! Hope you had a most lovely day!!

Audra Harders said...

Oooop, I forgot to change my avatar. Hmmm, okay. Just take a peek at Cindy W. Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite!!

Audra Harders said...

AND, that should have been OoooopS, not ooooop!!

Victoria said...

I'll be Cinderella today :)

Melanie, I loved reading your post :) Even though some of these things aren't funny when they happen, it's nice of you to put them into a form that makes us smile!

I think I sympathize most with your first point. Sometimes I want to write so badly, but it is so hard to just get. one. sentence. down. on. the. page. Don't you hate those times when you write one word, save the file, and get off? Or write nothing, save the file (for no reason), and close it?

I am at a big changing point in my life, and I don't know if writing/getting published is in my future or not. But this is still my favorite writing blog. It's one of the most real ones out there!

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Melanie, so great to see you here!!! Loved your post! Can't believe you worried about it! I hope you have those wonderful comments from readers posted beside you computer :)

Elizabeth Van Tassel said...

Thank you for this blog. The challenging parts for me are being more isolated since I write and edit in a solitary environment, but am a people person. Creating my speaking platform is helping, but I do need the quiet to create. Then, to be honest, needing reading glasses full time is new and a bit discouraging. But then, perhaps it's a sign of inner brilliance waiting to burst forth. I hope so, because my favorite princess would indeed be Elsa. I've had to let these two things go in order to create.

Which brings me to a wonderful quote from Barbara Nicolosi-Harrington, famous in the movie/TV world, who recently spoke to the San Diego CWG Conference. She said, I'm paraphrasing, in order to create some thing of beauty, it takes something out of you and you are diminished. Creating beauty is so important in a world that desperately needs hope and is hungry for this quality. There is indeed a trade off, but I believe it's worthwhile.

Every time I've tried to take a break, or life had interjected a crisis that might call for quitting, the characters from my story come back to visit me, even in my dreams.

S. R. Karfelt said...

Oh, yay, we're getting real! I love that. I actually was told how hard it was up front, and I gave up a lucrative career that pays actual bank to do this. So if you don't want to hear what an obvious whack has to say, just drive on by...

The hardest part for me is the multi-tasking. Not the writing the book, or the rewriting the book, not when the editor hacks it up and I incorporate the changes, not even the pain that goes into all the getting-it-published-misery. Nope, for me the hardest part is trying to market (giveaways, blogs, the latest and greatest info, conferences), and socialize, and be online all over the universe WHILE writing the next book (and trying to get reviews) and faking having a real life with my long-suffering family (and keeping up with the paperwork).
All this multi-tasking insanity has given my office the appearance of the unibomber shack as I run from task to task, and we won't even go into what the rest of the house usually looks like.

That said, I wouldn't change it--not for any job--not even to be a trophy wife (which I totally could have been, pretend).

Terri said...

Melanie, I'm late to the party, but thanks for the honest post. I really enjoyed it. And are you ever right about contracts and so much more.

It's wonderful how your books have touched live.

Missy Tippens said...

How fun!! And I missed Princess day! I'm sorry to show up so late, Melanie. Thanks for the great post! I don't think you were too dark at all. Just honest. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

What a lovely thing to say, Victoria. Thank you. And thank you to Melly for bring a dose of real today.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Stephanie Karfelt. You are too true and too funny.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Elizabeth! Lovely to see you here today my new friend.

Bianca S said...

Hey Melanie!
Thank you so much for your helpful insight! By the way, thank you again for replying to an email (biancashirl@yahoo.com) I sent you during July. Just to update, I've taken your advice and recently entered a story to a writing contest. When I read your email, I truly felt reassured and I believe what you told me is from God! I"M SO EXCITED for your new novel The Princess Spy. Especially since it's release date is 3 days after MY BIRTHDAY(I'm hoping my mom would give it to me as a gift)!!!

Proverbs 27:9
Verse Concepts
Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man's counsel is sweet to his friend.

Anyways, I truly enjoyed reading The Fairest Beauty! At P.E. class (sophomore year), I would hide The book under my arm while doing the daily run. Lol! Anyways, I hope I win a copy of your book. I'll be praying!

Bianca S said...

By the way Melanie, my favorite Disney princess - just recently released- would have to be Rapunzel from Tangled(with 50 FEET of HAIR how could she take a shower??). Have you watched Tangled? However my all-time favorite princess is Princess Aurora/Briar Rose (from Disney's Sleeping Beauty) because she sings beautifully! Oh, and I almost forgot The Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov from 20th Century Fox's Anastasia. What's your favorite princesses???

Edwina said...

Melanie,
Loved your post!
My biggest challenge (nice way of saying complaint) us balancing work, life and writing.
Everytime I "get on a roll" with writing, life interrupts. Not
minor irritations, but major disasters. But I will not give up.
Please enter me in the drawing - you know I love your books!

Dee LeRoye said...

You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a princess. Melanie, your post is a blessing.

Robin Mason said...

Melanie, I was already a fan but now I think we're sisters! The part about cleaning [and that's all I'm going to say about that so don't ask..... ] The part about reviews - I've got a 2 and a 3 [hey together they make a 5, right???] but I've also got an amazing 5 star!!! It's just good to know I'm in good company with the woes and wiggles of being an author!! thanks for a great post!!

Deanna Stevens said...

those 7 things could be discouraging, glad you stayed with it:) please toss my name into the hat ! ! thanks

Melanie Dickerson said...

Aw, Bianca, you are so sweet! Thanks for the encouraging words!

Thanks to everybody who came by last night while I was not here! I lost some edits last night and was trying to redo them. :-( That could have made the list too! All those times I forgot to save something and lost it!!! Argh. But it's always better the second time you do it. LOL!!!

Chill N said...

Thanks for the honesty -- and humor -- in this post, Melanie. Best wishes for The Princess Spy!

Nancy C

Jennifer J. Chow said...

Everything you said is so true, Melanie! Thanks for bringing the truth to light!

bonton said...

Thanks for your insightful post, Melanie- I appreciate your honesty!!

Thank you for obeying the Lord's leading and continuing to write, even through those discouraging times - there are many who need to read the messages He gives you.

The messages from your readers were very touching - and it really is what ANYTHING we do is all about, reaching others for Him. I have a 13 year old granddaughter who is a witness to her friends and I would love to have a copy of "The Princess Spy" to give her for encouragement!!

bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com