Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oh, my. Oh, my.

This is a post that originally appeared on Theresa Rizzo's website. I liked it so much, I asked her if I could reprint it here.

And she said yes. So without wasting another moment, please welcome Theresa to Suspense Novelist.

The publishing industry is really tough to break into. In the USA alone, in 2010 there were ~ 51,156 new fiction books published. As few as 2,500 fiction writers can make a living at writing. The odds of breaking in and being able to make a living at writing fiction aren't good, so why try? What's the point?

I've been writing for almost 13 years now and though I've accumulated over 400 rejections and spent a lot of money, I am still unpublished. But it hasn't been time and money wasted. I've recently had an epiphany that success truly is the journey - not the destination. Cliche as that might seem, it's true for me.

So I made this video to celebrate my writer's journey. It's tempting to dwell on the negatives when trying to get published, however there are so many blessings.

I've finaled in many writing contests and even won a few. I've been privileged to travel to wonderful, interesting places like Maui, Seattle, San Diego, Crested Butte, Nashville, and more to attend writing conferences. I've met and befriended many charming best-selling authors such as Susan Wiggs, Jodi Picoult, Terry Brooks, William Bernhardt, Don Maass, David Morell, Catherine Coulter, Joan Johnston, James Scott Bell . . . and the list goes on...

And then the best blessing being, not just my supportive family but, all my writing pals and agent/editor friends I've made --all because of the journey. THAT'S the true brass ring.

Sure it'll be great to see my book in print one day, however people will love it, some will not, I'll have other headaches, insecurities and worries, but my friends will remain a constant joy and blessing. And I wanted to get that message out before I got published 'cause it's easy to claim that, once you have the perceived "brass ring", but I don't have that yet and I'm still loving the journey.

And it's those blessings that keep me coordinating The Sandy writing contest and co-coordinating the Crested Butte Writers Conference.

I get huge joy from writing. I'm proud of my rejections. They signify effort and time put into my career. While this video shares the tough aspect of the business, it's meant to be an inspiration and celebration. An entertaining way to remind me of all the blessings writing has brought me.

My fondest gratitude to my family and friends - old and new - those I have pictures of and those I don't. Thank you, all.


CR: I took a couple of hours off this afternoon to finish L.J. Seller's Dying for Justice. If you haven't read her Detective Jackson series, you really should. Not sure where I'll head next.

It's all better with friends.


  1. Thanks, Peg,
    I'm glad you enjoyed my video!

  2. Wonderfully inspiring for those of us who continue to bang our heads against that firmly closed door to finding a publisher.

  3. It's not a thousand failures, it just takes 1000 steps to reach the goal!

  4. What a beautiful post and video. Thank you for sharing it.

  5. Theresa, what a beautiful tribute to persistance! I just got published after 10 years and I lost count of the rejections long ago. Keep the faith is right!!! You go girl!!!!
    P.S. The song (The Climb) on the video was the perfect song!!!!!

  6. Terry, don't hurt yourself banging your head. This business is so dang subjective and so much of it is out of our control that ya gotta just enjoy the fun parts and forget the rest. Enjoy the writing, the contest success, the conference, the craft epiphanies and the wonderful friends you make along the way.

    WritersSecrets, as long as you're enjoying the journey . . . failure is the lack of success. I guess what I discovered is that it's all in one's perspective. On this journey . . . the published book isn't the beall-endall criteria of success for me. It'll be nice, but the real measure of success--to me--is how many people's lives I've positively touched--not just through my stories, but through the whole process.

    Thank you, Jaden.

    Coco, I have been called a pitbull before, so I suspect it's no secret I'm stubborn, but in my old age, I've discovered that the most successful and happy people have a gift for making lemonade out of lemons so . . . Now that you're published, have all your worries and rejections disappeared and you're rich, famous and living the high life? I hope so, but I suspect not.

    We seem to constantly redefine "success" and set new goals. There're always other mountains we're gonna want to climb, so we'd best learn how to love the journey!

    Thanks for watching my video, everyone! And Keep the Faith!

  7. Peg thanks so much for sharing this, and Theresa, thanks for creating it. The story of your journey--whatever point you're at in it--is a beautiful one (as the expressions on your face prove). I love the second one of you writing with your cat nearby--the 3 women all typing together at a table--your name on that finalist list. I wish you the best of luck breaking through, but you're right--it's the friends we meet and experiences we have along the way that matter most.

    It took me 11 years and my recent sale wouldn't have happened without the angelic interference of one very special author stepping in at exactly the right time...

  8. Jenny, I thought this would resonate with you.

    This is, indeed, a journey. I try to be at peace with it, and when I am, I wouldn't change a thing.

    Well, not much.

  9. I tweeted it too, Peg! The thing about the journey (for me, and I dearly hope for everyone) is that once it concludes--and I guess I mean by that, once it starts--you realize every step along the way was necessary to land you right here. It all makes some kind of sense--and that's no matter what kind of path we wind up taking.

  10. Jenny, Congratulations on your recent sale! I wish you much success. And so happy that you could identify with my journey. The cats alway think I need their help and I LOVE writers weekends in the mountains. So rejuvenating and productive! Best of luck on your new path.