I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

When I first took up writing romance novels with an all-out passion, I knew absolutely nothing about the genre, or the business of writing. No notion of the massive journey that lay ahead. I was as unwitting as a newly hatched duckling, and thought I could embark on this quest and sail along. 

I remember the first contest I entered, assuming I would win, of course. I was mentally planning my award acceptance speech when I received my scores. Not good, would you believe. I was stunned. One judge tossed me a bone. 'You have talent,' she assured me, 'as evidenced in your flair for description. 

Another bemused judge observed, 'You broke every rule.'

'Rules?' I mused. 'There's rules?'
I mean, who knew?

After a three day pout, I resumed the journey.

Somewhere along this rugged uphill climb, a kind soul directed me to RWA. I can't imagine how I would have grasped the rudiments without them and other writing groups. Always before me lay a new turn in the path, another hurdle to master, and onward ho I went like a sled dog through blinding snow, uncertain where shelter lay. Quitting might have been threatened, but was never a real option. No one ever achieves success by abandoning the quest. I knew that. Still do. So, wherever you are in the process, whether reveling in your stardom, or just undertaking this life changing journey, keep going. It's a well worn path and there are kindly guides along the way. And the quest continues. Onward ho.

My basic thinking about writing is that stuff's gotta happen or you lose the reader's attention. 

Some wise quotes for inspiration:

If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket. ~Charles Peguy

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O'Brien

I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter. ~James Michener

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it. ~Jules Renard, "Diary," February 1895

Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~Author Unknown

A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ~W. Somerset Maugham 

Writing comes more easily if you have something to say. ~Sholem Asch

I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. ~Peter De Vries

Publication — is the auction of the Mind of Man. ~Emily Dickinson


  1. Mary Ricksen // August 2, 2014 at 1:29 PM  

    I so get what you mean Beth. Problem is, do I have the talent??? That's what it boils down to for me. Can I be great? Or just okay...Still looking for that one talent that I can be great at.

  2. Beth Trissel // August 2, 2014 at 1:36 PM  

    Sure you do, Mary. Keep on keeping on. :)

  3. Mary Marvella // August 2, 2014 at 5:32 PM  

    You never know what you will find if you keep looking and trying!

  4. Mary Marvella // August 2, 2014 at 5:33 PM  

    Excellent post, Beth, cleverly presented and full of meat!

  5. Beth Trissel // August 2, 2014 at 9:16 PM  

    Thanks MM! Fun to do.

  6. Barbara Monajem // August 2, 2014 at 9:41 PM  

    Great quotes and pics, Beth. :)

  7. Scarlet Pumpernickel // August 2, 2014 at 10:30 PM  

    Thanks Beth, I really needed to read this. I must say the thought of giving up has crossed my mind. I finally achieved the dream and had a book published, but what good is that if no one wants to read it? My hard work languishes lonely on Amazon with no one wanting to read it. I really thought of quitting writing and going back to sewing. But, I love writing, crafting stories and seeing my characters develop, so maybe with your encouragement I'll give it another try. Maybe some readers will stumble across A Matter of Trust and enjoy a good read.

    MJ Flournoy aka Scarlet

  8. Beth Trissel // August 2, 2014 at 11:29 PM  

    Thanks Barbara and Scarlet. I'm glad to be of inspiration, which it seems we all could use.

  9. Josie Riviera // August 3, 2014 at 11:46 AM  

    Very inspirational blog, Beth. Sounds like you were describing me at times.

  10. Beth Trissel // August 3, 2014 at 4:49 PM  

    I think I was describing us all.