Welcome to Be Our Guest Fridays!
I am happy to announce a new feature starting today called Be Our Guest Fridays. I decided to start this feature to be able to give back to the blogging community that has been so supportive of me. One of my favorite parts of our Travel the World in Books Readathon last month was sharing guest bloggers and author interviews with my readers. I have met some creative and inspiring bloggers and authors over the past few years and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing their creativity, stories and knowledge with my readers. I hope you enjoy their posts as much as I do!
I was beyond thrilled when Helen from My Novel Opinion offered to co-host with me! Helen has a fantastic book blog. I can count on her for great book recommendations and chatting with me on Facebook and Twitter. You can find Helen on her blog, on Facebook, on G+, and on Twitter. See her blog for more ways you can find Helen.
5 Challenges Facing New Writers — and How to Overcome Them!
By Adria J. Cimino
Only five? There have to be more challenges than this facing new and even established writers. At least that’s how it feels sometimes! But I’ve decided to focus on the top five that some of my fellow authors and I have encountered along the interesting and winding path to publication…
1. Finding Your Voice
We often hear of a writer looking for his or her voice or publishers looking for writers with a fresh voice. What does it really mean and how do we find ours? The writer’s voice is his or her way of looking at the world and presenting it to you through words. It’s more precise and personal than “style.” So how to identify and develop this elusive thing? It’s all about knowing and accepting yourself and your ideas. I find that writing a journal or blogging can be great ways to coax that voice out of its hiding place.
2. Finding Your Writing Style
I always tell writers (and myself) to forget about what genre or writing style is popular. If writing thrillers isn’t your thing, you won’t excel at it and it won’t be much fun. Write what you are inspired to write and that inspiration will shine through in the result. I also say forget about becoming the next J.K. Rowling. We already have one J.K. Rowling and she’s great at what she does. So why try to compete?
3. Facing the Urge to Censor Yourself
What will my parents think if they read that sex scene? What will my friends think if they read about my character who is a criminal? Writers sometimes ask themselves these questions and are tempted to tone down what they consider controversial in order to please those around them. I say: No! Listen to your characters and be true to them. As a writer, it’s your duty. After reading my novel “Paris, Rue des Martyrs,” a couple of my friends said: “Adria, wow, I can’t believe you used language like that.” But that wasn’t me talking. It was one of my characters.
4. Finding a Literary Agent or Publisher
This is probably the biggest challenge, but the good news is, today, there are a lot of options! Many new writers are discouraged because it has become more and more difficult to find a literary agent. But if this is your situation, have a look at other paths. You have the choice of self-publishing or submitting your manuscript directly to some small presses. Fellow author Vicki Lesage and I just launched our own indie publishing house Velvet Morning Press this week. We are accepting direct submissions from authors and hope to discover new talent!
5. Accepting Criticism
This can happen during the editing process or through post-publication reviews. In both cases, it’s difficult. First of all, don’t take it personally. If criticism happens during the editing process, be happy! The editor wants to make your manuscript shine and wants the book to sell just as much as you do. I was always a very sensitive person, but more than a decade in journalism with tough editors helped cure me! I have to admit that it’s even more difficult to accept criticism from reviewers because you’ve worked hard on your book and it’s been carefully edited. It’s no longer simply a draft, but your best work. I say: Don’t ignore the criticism. Certain comments may help you when writing your second book. And in other cases, the reviewer’s thoughts about your book are basically a matter of opinion. Someone will love your novel, and someone else will hate it. The bottom line is: You can’t please everyone, and you have to accept that.
So now that you have conquered the challenges… Let’s start writing!
About Adria Cimino
Adria J. Cimino is the author of novels “Paris, Rue des Martyrs,” and “Close to Destiny” (set for release in January), and is co-founder of indie publishing house, Velvet Morning Press. Prior to jumping into the publishing world full time, she spent more than a decade as a journalist at news organizations including The AP and Bloomberg News.
In addition to writing fiction and discovering new authors, Adria writes about her real-life adventures in her blog “Adria in Paris.”
Are you an aspiring writer or a blogger? I think Adria gives us fantastic advice, as bloggers too. Who hasn’t struggled with finding their own writing voice? Sure, I’d love to be the next Money Saving Mom, Pioneer Woman or Skinnytaste. These bloggers turned their blogs into a career, becoming authors, motivational speakers and TV personalities and have become household names. More importantly, they are making money doing something they love. But I’m me, I have to find my own path. My own way. With my own voice.
I sometimes struggle too with “what will my readers think if I post that?”, I try so hard to maintain a positive attitude but sometimes life gets the better of me. As a reader, I appreciate when writers share their heartfelt stories. I feel like I get to know them better as a person. So why is it so hard to show that vulnerability to my readers?
Thanks Adria for sharing your wise advice helpful to writers and bloggers alike. Best of luck on the new publishing venture. I, for one, look forward to reading some of the books Velvet Morning Press publishes and your new book, Close to Destiny! Thanks for being our first featured guest for Be Our Guest Fridays!
What is your greatest challenge as a writer or blogger? What do you do to overcome it? How do you get over slumps?