Gwen Hernandez

Author of romantic suspense. Scrivener expert.

The science of writing

Author Christina Dodd is celebrating her 20th anniversary since getting The Call. Wow! When I look at someone as successful and prolific (42 novels published) as her, it’s easy to think that it will never happen to someone like me. But she’s quick to point out that her journey to publication was long.

Ten years long, in fact! She garnered 25 rejections (not too bad, actually), and in those ten years, she wrote three manuscripts. So just like many of us, she wasn’t spitting out 3-5 books a year yet.

Writing is a study in patience and persistence. If we keep writing, keep learning, and keep querying, I’d like to think the odds are with us. That eventually we’ll get The Call, too.

It supposedly took Thomas Edison 10,000 tries to create a viable electric lightbulb. He is purported to have said that he didn’t fail 9,999 times, he merely found 9,999 solutions that didn’t work. For a scientist, failure is just part of the process of eliminating incorrect solutions.

What if he thought #3,455 was the best he could do? That he had nothing left to learn and therefore was a failure? Maybe Joseph Swan would be a famous inventor instead.

What if Christina Dodd had given up after seven years? Or nine? If you thought of the write/submit/rejection loop as a scientific process of learning what does and doesn’t work in your quest to invent a salable manuscript, would it help?

Go out and keep finding ways that don’t work, because one of these days, you’ll find the one that does. And then you will get The Call.

Good luck!

6 Comments

  1. If you thought of the write/submit/rejection loop as a scientific process of learning what does and doesn’t work in your quest to invent a salable manuscript, would it help?

    This is such an awesome way to think of it! Putting the submission process into perspective is the easiest way to get through it. And keep motivated. Remembering that the big dogs were once where we are now… yeah.

    And Christina Dodd is such an awesome person and writer to aspire to… I love her work.

    • I’m glad it helps. As an optimist, I tend to reframe things in a positive way. It drives my husband nuts sometimes, but it helps me stay motivated.

      And, yep. Love Ms. Dodd. =)

  2. Thanks, Gwen, for the uplifting post. I hope I have it in me to persevere long enough to make it happen! If nothing else, I’ll try to enjoy the ride!

  3. Gwen, I was fortunate to hear Christina Dodd speak at the Southern Magic Readers’ Luncheon in 2008. Fabulous story and inspiring to all the people who attended.

    I like your approach. And it keeps things in perspective to know she wrote 3 books in 10 years before she received her call.

    Woot!

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