When I first began to work on IF I BRING YOU ROSES, I was overwhelmed by the enormity of my ambition.  I recall how I stood in the middle of my office surrounded by all the books that I loved. How could I ever hope to achieve what Anton Chekhov, Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald had? I was a mere mortal.  I couldn’t think of how to start so I prayed—for guidance to research and learn all that I needed to know to tell my story and—for the talent to write it.  I should also have prayed for faith.  It would take ten years from that day in my office to have a published novel.  But, perhaps, faith is something that can only be attained by experiencing failure and refusing to be cowed by it.

            I could write about many instances when my writing wasn’t going well or when my novel was rejected in various forms by agents and editors, but instead, I would rather celebrate those failures.  They goaded me to work until I had a novel of which I am proud and to finally achieving my goal of becoming a published author. In those periods of failure, I sought comfort in these wise words:

           “Ever tried.  Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Samuel Beckett. 

          I followed Beckett’s advice and the nature of my rejection letters became more encouraging praising my writing and story. It helped ease the pain of rejection and I kept writing.  Over time, I learned to trust myself as a writer.  Sentences clanged in my ears when they needed to be rewritten. I began to get a feel for when a story or a chapter was or wasn’t working.  I could hear the voices of my characters more clearly and became adept at depicting individual inflections and cadences. Each accomplishment led to another.  I could imagine my character in a physical setting even if it was a place where I had never been or in a time when I wasn’t yet born. I developed the patience necessary to discover my story. I learned that I loved to write even if I didn’t have a guarantee that anyone else would read it. I would write from the heart and then I would let go.

             By the time I finally got an agent, I had become more assured that I had a story to tell. I can only hope that others thought so too. 

            She Writes Amigas, this is my last Countdown to Publication Post.  Next Wednesday, I will share my first week as a published author.  It has been my privilege to write a post each of these past eight weeks.  When I first committed to writing the Countdown posts, I worried about whether I had something to say to other writers.  I had only written fiction and I decided to approach each post as a personal essay.  I hoped that by writing about something important to me I might be able to find topics of interest to my readers. I never dreamed how many of you would write to offer encouragement or help.  Since I’m not part of a writers group, it has meant so much to me to be part of the She Writes community.  I am humbled by the generosity of you, my sister writers.  Thank you.

 

She Writes Amigas, has a writer at She Writes shown you particular generosity? 

 

Visit Marisel’s website at www.mariselvera.com

 

 Connect with Marisel Vera through her She Writes page:

 http://www.shewrites.com/profile/MariselVera

 

Views: 115

Tags: #fiction, #mariselcountdown, #publishing

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Comment by Helen W. Mallon on August 2, 2011 at 7:29am
I love the notion of celebrating failures. What a hard lesson, what an important one!  You encourage me in my own novel-writing venture.  (almost 10 years and counting...)  Without writer friends who gave everything from phone encouragement to intense editing notes on the mss. I couldn't be doing this.
Comment by Pamela Olson on July 30, 2011 at 2:21pm

"Over time, I learned to trust myself as a writer.  Sentences clanged in my ears when they needed to be rewritten."

 

I had the same experience.  Over the course of three years working on my book, the first year's drafts were, well, embarrassing.  But I kept at it, and after a while this sense developed -- when something was working, when it wasn't, when a sentence or even a whole scene just didn't fit.  Like a sense I never knew I had.  As you said, though, it takes a lot of patience and persistence to get to that place.

Comment by Yejide Kilanko on July 29, 2011 at 6:23pm
Congratulations Marisel :) I am sure you are going to do some partying on August 3rd! May this be the beginning of a fantastic author's life. I have enjoyed reading your blog posts and honour your generousity in sharing your journey with us. Gracias Amiga :)
Comment by Lisa Martinez on July 29, 2011 at 2:42pm
Thank you for that candid look into the heart of an author. I'm cert ain many will relate to your struggle and the need for faith in the ultimate outcome as much as I have. Very encouraging story. Wishing you much succes!
Comment by Joshunda Sanders on July 29, 2011 at 1:59pm
Wind at your back, Marisel! Your story continues to inspire. Thank you for your generosity in sharing it.

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