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Monday, January 9, 2012

Award Winning Author Pamela Samuels Young Never Gives Up


It seems appropriate to start the New Year with an infusion of hope, a plan, and a confidence boost from someone who has been there, done that.

Legal thrillers were never on my reading list. I had no interest. And then I discovered Pamela Samuels Young. I fell in love with her series characters, and her fast-paced writing style carried me to the end of the book to the detriment of my daily chores. I've read every book since, including her standalones.

This author, inspirational speaker, and corporate attorney (in her spare time) is a leading example of how writers can take concrete steps toward success. It helps if you have as much energy as Ms. Samuels-Young, but if you find the road intimidating, just take smaller steps. Moving forward is the point!

I'm pleased to present an article by Ms. Samuels Young that will put you on a solid writing track for 2012.

Don’t Give Up!

By Pamela Samuels Young

It’s a new year and that novel you’ve been working on for months or maybe even years still isn’t finished. Perhaps you don’t know where to go next with your plot. Or maybe you’re just physically and emotionally drained from all the time and effort you’ve poured into this dream. You’re feeling more discouraged than ever and questioning whether you’ll ever get it done. I’ve been there!

Each time I fall into the writing dumps, I wonder if I’ll ever dig myself out. Fortunately, I always do and you will too. You’ve put too much time into this venture. Now is not the time to give up.  

Here are my top six tips for re-energizing yourself when you feel like giving up.

■ Read Inspirational Stories About Writing and Writers

Take a writing break and read about other successful writers who weathered the storm.  Here are three excellent books to get you started:

Knit Together: Discovery God’s Pattern for Your Life by Debbie Macomber.

This book was such an inspiration to me. Macomber, a best selling writer with more than 100 million books in print, openly shares her story of writing rejection.  Once you read about her writing journey, you’ll close the book anxious to get back to your own novel.

Rotten Reviews & Rejections, edited by Bill Henderson and Andre Bernard.

This book shares the rejection letters and stinging reviews received by many successful and prolific writers, from Stephen King to Upton Sinclair to James Joyce and more. You’ll scratch your head at the discouraging rejection letters these wonderful writers received. They didn’t give up, and you shouldn’t either.

How I Got Published: Famous Authors Tell You in Their Own Words.

When you read the stories of how these successful writers persevered, you will know that you can do it too.

■ Don’t Strive for Perfect Prose

Many new writers think that everything that flows from their computer must be golden.  Hence, if they write a few pages which don’t sound worthy of a Pulitzer, they’re disappointed. Forget about writing a perfect first draft.  The most important part of writing is rewriting. Just concentrate on finishing a first draft. Then revise, revise and revise again until you’re pleased with the final product.

■ Set a Writing Goal  

Make a commitment to write a set number of hours or pages per week. Can you commit to writing 10 pages per week or find five hours each week to write? Don’t worry about not having as much time as you like. If you only have time to jot down your thoughts during your lunch break, use it.  Whatever goal you set, just make sure it’s realistic.  Start out small and once you get into the flow of things, increase the goal. And if you fall short one week, don’t beat yourself up. There’s always next week.

■ Start a Writer’s Group

Put the word out that you’re looking to start a writer’s group. Tell friends, family members and colleagues that you’re looking for three or four serious writers who would like to build a supportive writing environment for themselves and other writers. You’ll probably have a lot of interest in the beginning, but only the serious writers will be around for the long haul. Establish a regular meeting time (at least once a month) and require at least two members to produce work for the group to critique each month. 

■ Think About Your Story

Most people assume that if they’re not putting words on paper, then they’re not “writing.”  I don’t feel that way. The next time you’re taking a long walk, standing in a grocery store line, or stuck in traffic, use the time to mull over your story. Think about your characters or your plot. Imagine your protagonist having a conversation. Think about how you might describe a room. Challenge yourself to invent a predicament that creates conflict for your character.  If you come up with some great ideas, don’t forget to write them down.

■ Study The Writing Craft

There will be times when you just don’t feel like writing (operative word don’t, not can’t). When this happens, use your free time to study the writing craft. Select a book in your genre that you think is particularly good and study the writer’s technique. How does she hook you at the end of the chapter? What makes his descriptions compelling? An hour or so of this type of study may just cause your own juices to start flowing.

Above all, just keep writing and never, never, never give up!

Thank you, Pam!

Pamela Samuels Young is a practicing attorney and author of several legal thrillers, including her most recent, Buying Time. Her fifth novel, Attorney-Client Privilege, goes on sale in July 2012. (Jackie's note: Yipee!) To read an excerpt of Pamela’s novels, visit her web siteWriter's, note that there are great articles here, just for you!

Buying Time . . On Sale Now! (Also check out your independent bookstores and other venues.)

Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pamsamuelsyoung

Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pamelasamuelsyoung

6 comments:

  1. Great article, Pamela, just what I needed to kick-start me this morning! And thanks, Jackie, great way to start off the new year!

    Madeline

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  2. Great post, Pamela, and thanks to Jackie for reminding us of Pamela's great books.
    Sally Carpenter

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  3. I am a fan of Pamela's, too. And her advice for new writers (or even ones with a book or two, but who want to branch into self-publishing for a venture or two) is always solid. I'll check out a few of Pamela's book suggestions. Thanks for the pep talk.

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  4. Thank you, again, Pamela for sharing your wisdom.

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  5. Wise words, Pamela, and inspiring too. I've been having trouble setting aside enough time to finish my current book and your article reminded me of the importance of setting weekly goals. Am going to check out your website, now. Great post!

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  6. Great advice, Pamela. Thank you for sharing your tips with us.

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