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What would you do if someone told you your story line didn’t work? None of the elements worked? It in fact, the plot sucked? Would you give up on writing the story, because after all, time is precious and you have so little now and you can’t afford to waste it? Would you give up?

This actually happened to me. I was told by someone in my early writing days that my idea would never sale. I was told this by someone whom I admired. The words hurt and I never forgot them even though I did forgive the person for being so harsh. I also let the story go for a number of years until I met another author at a conference who I hadn’t spoken to in a while. She was signing her books and doing very well. (Back-story: Muliti-pubbed author also had critique the first three chapters of that same book years ago. We we’re both pre-pubbed at the time) After our initial greeting and hugs, the first thing out of her mouth was, “Did you ever finish that book?” When I hung my head and said, “No.”, she asked, “Why not? I loved that story. I still remember the scene….”

I can’t tell you the feeling of JOY which welled up in me as I listened to her enthusiasm for my story. I hugged Multi-pubbed author again. YEARS later, she still remembered my story. That is the goal of every writer, at least of those I know. God, I love her.

From the moment I spoke to her, I started working on that book. The ideas flowed. The characters once again came to life, and I was HAPPY.
The moral of this blog is to tell you, don’t ever let any ONE person stop you from writing the book of your heart. Passions for books are so subjective. There are books on the NY Times list that I wonder how they got there. I’ve tossed books aside because they weren’t my time or the money I spent on them, and they are those I’ve read released from small publishers that have touched my heart and will remain on my keeper shelf.

Now, I’ll let you know. I finished my story. Its first pages went on to final in the Golden Acorn contest. It won the NJ Single title PUT YOUR HEART IN A BOOK contest, it was a 2009 Golden Heart Finalist and Evil’s Witness sold. ;>) GRIN.

EVIL'S WITNESS releases June 18, 2010. Please visit my website to view trailer and for more info. www.autumnjordon.com

46 comments

  1. Courtney // May 6, 2010 at 9:24 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  2. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 9:49 AM  

    Come on, Courtney. You can do it. YOu can post that comment.

    Ladies, Courntey is an avid reader who follows me and a friend. She's a little shy. LOL.

  3. Stacey Joy Netzel // May 6, 2010 at 9:54 AM  

    Inspiring story, Autumn! And it fits right in with my blog post at Happy Endings yesterday. How Far Do You Wanna Go? I'm so happy for you that you ran into that other author and she boosted you up. Now you know never to let it happen again and to go for what you want!

    Beautiful cover--I'm heading over to check out the trailer now!

  4. Mona Risk // May 6, 2010 at 10:03 AM  

    What an inspiring story Autumn. I put my first story on the shelf but I took a lot of scenes out of it and used them in different books. I consider it to be my learning experience. No one told me it sucked but I believed it did. Now I was told my second story sucked and my heroine was a slut. That hurt. I revised, and rewrote for two years. The new heroine came out much better. I don't resent the judge who told me that. I think she helped me improve.

  5. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 10:09 AM  

    Thanks, Stacy. Happy Endings? I'll need to check you out too. Hope you enjoy the trailer. I made it. WINK.

  6. Beth Trissel // May 6, 2010 at 10:13 AM  

    I love this post, Autumn, and very much identify having undergone similar challenges in my writing journey. I'm so glad you were inspired to finish that book and its done so well! What a message so many need to hear.

  7. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 10:16 AM  

    Wow, Mona. No. I can't believe that. You know, I really think some people need to think before talking. You're a strong woman. Many would've put down the pen hearing those harsh words. She could've of said your heroine is not likeable for these reasons and have you thought about handling her this way... At least as a young writer you'd have some direction.

    I don't believe in knocking anyone down like that.

  8. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 10:22 AM  

    Thanks, Beth. Becoming a published author is a hard long road for 98% of us. Yes, there are the charmed few. Why make it harder for someone who is really trying? Why crush their dreams?

    So to all those stopping by today and reading this post, don't give up. I might never make the NY Times list, but I've already made one reader happy and thus made my dream come true.

    Shrug off those who only discourage.

  9. Cate Masters // May 6, 2010 at 10:27 AM  

    Great post, Autumn. Kudos to you for not giving up! I had a bad experience at a writer's conference with a well-known editor who made me feel terrible about my story. I *think* he was trying to tell me to pump up the opening chapters, but his terrible manner made me want to slink from the room and burn my manuscript. But I didn't give up, thankfully, and just signed my 17th contract in under two years.
    So glad you found encouragement from another writer! We all need to stick together.

  10. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 10:39 AM  

    Another AWESOME story. Kudos to you, Cate, for not throwing the towel in. Congrats on signing that contract. LOVE IT!

  11. Stacey Joy Netzel // May 6, 2010 at 10:50 AM  

    I definitely did enjoy the trailer. Great job! I make my own, too. :)

  12. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 10:54 AM  

    Thanks, Stacy. What's your website addie?

  13. Monique DeVere // May 6, 2010 at 11:06 AM  

    Hiya, Autumn,

    Great post. Cool trailer! Thanks for sharing your experience, it's very inspiring.

    Hugs,
    Monique

  14. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 11:12 AM  

    Oh, Monique, thank you for checking the trailer and for taking the time to stop by today.

  15. Stacey Joy Netzel // May 6, 2010 at 11:14 AM  

    I'm at www.staceyjoynetzel.com

    Happy Endings is at: http://jeannieruesch.com/wordpress/?p=2970

    Though your story and the others in the comments here are more inspirational. :)

  16. Courtney // May 6, 2010 at 11:18 AM  

    I think that a person should follow their heart. It does only take one comment to wreck a great plan. As an avid reader, I give kudo's to you authors. I don't have that talent to write, but I do have the talent to picture in my head what your ideas are. I have bought so many books that I personally can't get into. But there are the special ones you keep around and enjoy over and over again that you lend out and that person can't get into it. (As a matter of fact, I'm really running out of space!) As you told me once before, a book is like a child, you watch it grow and then can't wait till it gets out in the world. Don't let one person take away that feeling.

  17. liana laverentz // May 6, 2010 at 11:30 AM  

    I have a similar story. Won't go into it now, but the book was Jake's Return. I set it aside for a long time before I sent it in to The Wild Rose press, just the way it was. Kudos to you for picking that book up again, and I wish you many happy sales!

    Liana Laverentz
    www.lianalaverentz.com

  18. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 11:30 AM  

    Stacey, Nice website. I love the titles of your books.

    And thank you for the compliment. I love my Fuzzies.

  19. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 11:33 AM  

    Yeah! Courtney came back. (((HUGS))

    I said that? WOW! It's true. We do fear our babies wouldn't be loved.

    Thanks for trying to comment again. I appreciate you.

  20. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 11:34 AM  

    Liana, Didn't you also win an award at NJ conference?

  21. Mary Ricksen // May 6, 2010 at 11:58 AM  

    I love your cover Autumn, I am so glad you didn't give up.
    Very inspiring. Never quit and never say die!

  22. Patrice // May 6, 2010 at 12:00 PM  

    Autumn,
    Isn't it wonderful that you were so beautifully validated? I think it's very important to believe in yourself and if you truly love the story, you will make it work. One of my very dear friends didn't tell me until after I'd written a story, that she had thought the idea sucked, but it turned out to be my best book ever. It won the Silver for a Romantic Reviewers Choice awards, but it hasn't sold yet.

  23. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

    Thanks, Mary. I can't believe the release date is only six weeks away.

  24. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 12:12 PM  

    So your CP encourged you. That is great. Totally. Kudos to her for letting you be you.

    And I won't worry, Patrice, your story will be picked up. You've already proven the story is worthy of ink by nailing the Silver. Awesome. I can't wait.

  25. LizeeS // May 6, 2010 at 1:46 PM  

    Awesome post Autumn. I think all writers NEED to hear this message--it's really our biggest lifeline. I haven't had quite that bad an experience yet, but I have only started to get super-serious about the marketing side of this business--I'm sure my day is coming :-) Thanks for the warm, fuzzy, inspiring post!

  26. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 2:37 PM  

    Hey, Liz. I have a feeling you're on your way. Enjoy the ride as a 2010 Golden Heart Finalist. I'm so proud of you.

  27. Judy // May 6, 2010 at 3:33 PM  

    Autumn, I loved your story!! I've been brought to tears over some of the harsh things that have been said about my writing...but those same words made me mad enough to begin again and to write a better story. As writers we need to be truthful with each other but there's no reason to be cruel or defeating. Bravo! You've proved to all of us what we all can do when an unfair judgement is made.

  28. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 5:18 PM  

    Exactly, Judy. Constructive feedback is a much better approach. I'm glad you wiped those tears away too and kept on going.

    ((HUGS))

  29. Maeve // May 6, 2010 at 5:20 PM  

    I can SO relate to this post and it couldn't have come at a better time. Thank you, Autumn, for the encouraging words.

  30. Becca Dale // May 6, 2010 at 7:03 PM  

    First of all critique partners are supposed to be encouraging while being helpful. Just saying something is bad is not useful. I am glad you worked through it. Congrats on being a finalist.

    Equally disheartening is getting several strong reviews and a poor one. It seems the poor ones rarely include reasons. That helps no one.

  31. joanna aislinn // May 6, 2010 at 7:30 PM  

    Great post, Autumn--lately I'm always reading exactly what I need. I rec'd a "consider-revising-this-way" and we'll look at your story again re: a currently submitted ms. Problem is, I'm having a problem fixing something that doesn't feel broken. Translation: Keep querying and/or find an agent who can expand my horizons.

    Joanna Aislinn

    NO MATTER WHY
    The Wild Rose Press
    www.joannaaislinn.com
    www.joannaaislinn.wordpress.com

  32. Lilly Gayle // May 6, 2010 at 7:59 PM  

    What an inspiring story. It proves that perseverance and tenacity are crucial if you want to get published. It took me 13 years of writing, 5 completed manuscripts and at least two dozen or more rejection letters before I signed my first contract with TWRP in May of last year. Sometimes I wondered if I was chasing a pipe dream. But I didn't give up. I'm glad you didn't either. Evil's Witness sounds like an awesome story.

  33. Mary Marvella // May 6, 2010 at 8:06 PM  

    Yes, Autumn I've been told my babies were ugly and I dressed them funny more than a few times. Most of the time I kept writing. A few times I put the partials aside because their time wasn't right.

    Thanks for the reminders that yes, 4 or 5 critique partners can be wrong.

  34. Celia Yeary // May 6, 2010 at 8:22 PM  

    AUTUMN--bless your heart for not giving up!! We're all just wussies, aren't we? One little word--well, okay a whale of a word, and we just crumble. The worst feeling I ever got about one of my ms was from an older lady who edits everything she reads, and she finds all kinds of errors--how can you enjoy reading if you feel yhou must correct everything? Anyway, she read something of mine, didn't say it stunk, but instead, lifted one shoulder, looked away, squinted one eye, and finally said, "Weeelllll, honey, I don't know about this." That was her ultimate put down. Ewwww, it hurt.Great stuff, here, Autumn--Celia

  35. Sandra Sookoo // May 6, 2010 at 8:28 PM  

    I ran into something similar before I was published. A multi-pubbed author told me something in a similar vein. I'm so glad I didn't listen to her :-)

    Never underestimate your own confidence. Sometimes it's all you have to fall back on :-)

  36. Debra St. John // May 6, 2010 at 9:11 PM  

    Autumn,

    Congrats on selling and your upcoming release! And good for you to keep at it...

  37. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

    Mauve, Whatever is going on in your work, don't you let it stop you from following your dream. (((HUGS))

  38. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 9:39 PM  

    Hi, Becca. I can tell you when that person now offers advice on anything I turn a deaf ear. And no, not a CP. My Cp for EW and OBW is a gem.

    Oh, reviews. I'm nervous about those. I've only had one for Obsessed By Wildfire. I cried with joy when I read it.

  39. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 9:48 PM  

    Oh,I know what you mean, Joanna. I received two such requests. One suggestion meant a total rewrite and would change the book. I've more or less said no. It's not the work that bothers me. I don't want to change the heart of the story.
    The other, I might do.

    Good luck in making your decision and on the great agent hunt.

  40. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 9:57 PM  

    Oh, Lily, I've been right there with you. I think I quit atleast three times, for about a few hour. Enough time to fume, brood and eat a lot of chocolate.

    I'm glad you didn't quit either. WINK

  41. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 9:58 PM  

    Ah, Mary, you couldn't have an ugly baby. No way.

  42. Autumn Jordon // May 6, 2010 at 9:59 PM  

    Thanks, Debra. It's great that you stopped by.

  43. Donnell // May 6, 2010 at 10:49 PM  

    Autumn, what a great success story; thank you! Yes, I've had a tale similar to you. I received a critique on my latest WIP from someone in the industry; she disliked everything about the story. It really crushed my ego for about five minutes -- :) I believe in my storytelling ability... Now if she would have said something about my hair color or my wardrobe, but I trust my vision for my stories. That story finaled in the 2010 Golden Heart.

    It doesn't matter if anyone else believes. Do you?

  44. Caroline Clemmons // May 7, 2010 at 12:19 AM  

    A similar thing happened to me. At a chapter auction I bought a 3-chapter critique from someone I admired. She ripped the my western historical apart and told me my research was off (it wasn't) and that the premise was stupid, yada yada. I was upset, but kept on with the project and eventually sold it to Kensington as THE MOST UNSUITABLE BRIDE. Then, this woman was in charge of a contest in which my book finaled and she had to notify me. How's that for justice?

  45. Leigh D'Ansey // May 7, 2010 at 3:08 AM  

    Depends on who told me my story sucked. If it was an editor I might put it aside BUT if I had faith in the story, if I loved my hero and heroine, I'd go ahead.People who might not actually have your best interests at heart can be crushing when they criticise. It's fabulous that another author inspired you and that you finished and sold your book!

  46. StephB // May 7, 2010 at 12:00 PM  

    A very inspirational morale. Thanks so much for sharing. I've had the same thing happen to me. I took the criticism that applied, put it to work, revamped, moved on. The story came out better in the long run, but hearing it put that way, was not easy.

    Smiles
    Steph