Welcome our Guest Blogger: Angela Ackerman from The Bookshelf Muse!!!!!!!!


I’ll never make it.
I should just quit.
I am a total loser.

Bleak words, aren’t they? Still, a familiar echo to anyone receiving the soul-consuming rejection letter.

A perfectly good day can go sour at seeing, ‘Dear Author’. Our breath cuts off, our chest tightens, the shoulders sag and despair slams us down. We ask ourselves why we put ourselves through this, why we can’t just catch a break.

Unfortunately being rejected (or e-jected) is just another part of the writing gig, like metaphors and modifiers. Rejection is out there, it will come for us at some point. Some letters hurt, others can devastate. All of them challenge our self belief.

Staying positive in the face of rejection is tough. Each time our confidence is scraped, the rejection a message that our writing isn’t good enough to take on, which we translate into meaning WE are not good enough.

Sometimes moving past rejection is as simple as firing out a few more queries, tightening a synopsis or revising that first chapter for the 900th time. Other times, rejection can cause our foundation of determination and self-belief to quake. We feel like we’re letting everyone around us down, including ourselves. Maybe we should face facts and pack it in.

During these black moments, it’s important to find a way to shift our thoughts out of the self-critical mode. This is difficult, but it can be done if we look at the rejection in a different light: as opportunity.

I know what you’re thinking—rejections are closed doors. What opportunity could their possibly be from a ‘sorry, not for me’ type rejection?

There are always things to learn, even from form rejections to queries. The trick is shifting the way you think from the negative to the positive. When a rejection pulls you down, consider these questions:

What does the agent/editor need?
What is my responsibility to them?
What can I learn from this?
How can I see this rejection differently?

Let’s look at each one of these for a sec.

What does the agent/editor need?

The sarcastic answer to this is, ‘Not my work, obviously.’ But if you can set aside the hurt and place yourself in their shoes, there’s insight to be had on their side of the desk. Pretend you are the agent or editor opening this query—what do they need from you? What will make them successful?

They need to see a compelling query, well written with a character and voice that calls to them. They want to find something different, something that peaks their interest & makes it a no-brainer to scribble a note telling you to please forward the book. At the end of the day, this person wants to sign great writers, and they’d like nothing better for this query to make them tingle in anticipation! They need a strong story and polished writing. They want to see a query from someone who has targeted them specifically because of who they represent/publish.

What is my responsibility to them?

It is the writer’s responsibility to write a strong, inviting query that offers enough information to make the agent/editor NEED to know what happens next–not too little, not too much. Give them the shape of it, a strong sense of the character, voice and style. Your best work shows them you are dedicated to this story being published. You do this by slaving over the query, polishing it until it shines as brightly as your belief in the book itself. You also show that you chose them specifically because they are a great fit, not that you spammed them with your query, hoping for the best.

What can I learn from this?

Once again, turn an honest eye to the query. Evaluate whether you satisfied the editor/agent’s needs and fulfilled your responsibilities. Is there something you can do better, or did this query simply hit your ‘good enough’ meter at the time you sent it out? Have you done all the research on the market that you can, do you feel a niggle of guilt over a corner you may have cut somewhere? Did you edit enough, critique enough, tweak enough? Have you done all you can to make this query a success, as well as any materials you sent with it (synopsis, bio, first chapter, etc?)

How can I see this rejection differently?

Of all the questions above, this one is the most important. When depression hits over a rejection, asking yourself this will lead you to a balanced perspective again. Because a rejection is in essence a negative, this question challenges you to find the positive.

Think of the positive things this rejection symbolizes for you, or write them down if you like. First, it shows you had the courage to send out your work. It proves you believed in your story enough to get it published. This leads you to think about how far your writing has come, how your talent has grown, how many stories you’ve written or how long you’ve worked to perfect this one.

Seeing the rejection differently sets you on a path that allows you to re-appreciate your own growth as a writer and your determination to reach your publication goal. How many writers have you helped along the way? How many writers believe in you, cheer you on and know you can succeed? Focus on your strengths and your accomplishments.

Finding the positive in any circumstance can revive confidence, lighten mood and bolster determination. Too, your body responds to positive thinking, helping to slough off despair and doubt. Breathing is easier, tension leaks from the muscles. Posture straightens as thoughts return to moving forward, and what can be done to ensure success. Suddenly the rejection is put back into perspective–one person’s opinion, not a career-ender.

Try this for yourself the next time a rejection hits you hard–it really does work!

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Angela Ackerman

Angela Ackerman is a Canadian who writes on the darker side of Middle Grade and Young Adult and is a strong believer in writers helping writers. She blogs at the award winning resource, The Bookshelf Muse and is co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, a writing tool which helps writers navigate the challenging terrain of showing character emotion. Covering seventy-five emotions, this brainstorming aid provides a large selection of body language, internal sensations, actions and thoughts associated with any emotional moment.

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What’s Up…

Hey Everyone, I just wanted to fill you on in on what is happening in my writing world this coming week. Author interviews, guest bloggers and the winding down of the February Writing Challenge.

On Monday the 11th we will be having a guest blog post and the guest herself will be sticking around to answer and questions or comments that you may have!! Her blog is VERY popular and I am very excited that I was able to convince her to do a post for us!!

Later in the week, the writing challenge will be ending and I am very bummed that we don’t have any entrants yet. So fun and easy, maybe next time.

I will also be posting another author interview toward the end of the week and I love that!! I am always excited to hear from other author’s and what makes them tick and stuff. ha ha

One last thing, you may notice that when I make comments and posts, it may say from, “FRaPS: Family, Relationships and Personal Situations” …no worries, that is still me, but it is for my business (as my writing is for fun) and my company just expanded onto the internet and I will be blogging for them. I love WordPress, but I can’t seem to figure out how to have more than one identity at a time on here. Oh well. Either way it is still me that you are talking to. 😉

 

Agents and Publishing…

What a brain over load!! I found a new website, well, not new, but new to me, that has a ton of information for writers. ( http://www.writersdigest.com ) And while looking through there, I found a section on literary agents and publishers.

I have been researching all through this stuff and my mind is spinning. I have been doing self publishing because of all of the talk about how hard it is to get an agent and to be published. But in all of this reading, it seems as though it is easier than I thought. (not to actually be accepted, but the process in itself)

Is it just me? I guess I never did the proper research and just went by what I was told. But I mistook people saying how hard it was, thinking they were meaning the whole process, not just getting accepted. I am still in the research process, so I am sure I will discover more, but my question to all of you is where does the money come in?

Self publishing has no up-front costs and from the looks of it, sending your work to an agent doesn’t either. When and where does the up-front costs come from? I am just curious.

I will not be near a computer until tomorrow night, but I will be curious to see what you all think. Thank you and have a great night.

Oh gosh – PS-The writing competition starts tomorrow. I have only changed one thing. Instead of it running through the entire month, I think I will have it end on Valentine’s Day instead.

I Was Nominated for Another Award – The Liebster Award!

Liebster Award

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Angela’s World of Writing (that is me) has been nominated for a Liebster Award by one of my amazing fans Luke Manion over at Blue 88 !!!

Thank you very much!!

I hope everyone takes a moment to appreciate each and every award they are nominated for and pays it forward to the next deserving blogger.

The rules are:

1) Post eleven facts about yourself.

2) Answer the questions the tagger has set for you and create eleven questions for people you’ve nominated.

3) Choose eleven people (with fewer than 200 followers) to give this award to and link them in your post.

4) Go to their page and tell them.

5) Remember, no tag backs.

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Oh gosh, do you really want to know eleven things about me? I will try not to bore you to death. Ok, here goes nothing…

1)      I am turning the BIG 40 in May. Six months ago I was scared of it, but now I say, “Bring It ON!”

2)      I was a teen Mamma. J

3)      My goal is to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary in Hawaii with my hubby. (I have three years to make it happen!!!)

4)      My best friend and I are complete opposites in every single way and that makes me love her all the more!!

5)      I was born and raised in Maine and I will always keep this as my home. (I want to travel, but I don’t want to live where there are things that can kill me…poisonous snakes, scorpions or spiders. YIKES!!!)

6)      I started dating my “now” husband when I was 14yrs old. (Holy macaroni and cheese!!)

7)      I am addicted to water!!! I love it! Not the yucky flavored stuff either, straight from the well, country water!! (after my two to three cups of coffee in the am, of course)

8)      I was born to be rich and have a maid. I am not a fan of cooking or cleaning but yet, I love to eat and I love having a clean house. (But I would be so super nice to my maid…I really would. :-))

9)      My husband, my kids and I can sit around and laugh for hours. We are a pretty funny crew…a little crude, maybe, but funny just the same.

10)  I am not big on taking orders. I don’t mind suggestions though. Lol

11)  I would love to have a big house and have my kids live with me forever. With their own families, and with our maid of course.

 

And my nominations are:

http://stilettoadventures.blogspot.com/

http://viewfromabookshelf.wordpress.com/

http://jadventurous.wordpress.com/

http://christianvoicesbexhill.wordpress.com/

http://gateauxmaliniak.wordpress.com/

http://bloggedcharityfashionshow.com/

http://onewaytowonder.wordpress.com/

http://sheshoots-shescores.com/

http://daniellehale.wordpress.com/

http://stickyegg.com/

http://4mothers1blog.com/

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My questions, from my nominator: (Not the questions for you to answer…like I did…by mistake)

1) What hours of the day do you usually sleep? I try to be asleep by eleven at night and wake up anywhere between six and eight in the am.

2) If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Maine!!!

3) Who is your favorite actor/actress? Sandra Bullock

4) In your opinion, what would be the worst way to die? Fire, I am so scared of fire.

5) How many glasses of water do you drink daily? At least a million; no, seriously, maybe between 4 & 6 – 20oz bottles of water a day.

6) How many hours a day are you on social media sites? At least twelve. Dead serious. This is how I make a living.

7) What is your favorite zoo animal? Honestly, I have only been to the zoo once. It was when my kids were little and the female lion I thought was beautiful, until she saw my son. He was four and she wanted him…bad! He was hiding behind us while the zoo people tried to calm her down. They said that they had never seen her act like that. She wanted my baby!!!

8) What are your first memories? My grandmother in the hospital dying when I was like four. L

9) What was the name of your High School team mascot? RAM!!

10) Do you speak other languages besides English? Yes, it is called Mainer slang.

11) What is your favorite band? AC/DC

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(You are not even going to believe what I just did. I answered the wrong eleven questions. BLAH!! Oh well, I posted them below anyway. Read or delete – no sweat off of my back.)

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1) Who is your favorite author? Stephen King

2) What would you do if you found a wallet full of money and you knew who had lost it? Um, obviously drool over the money and then send a text to them letting them know I was holding it hostage. J

3) What would be the one wish that you’d possibly choose as your last one? Perfect health for my loved ones!!

4) Your favorite movie? Hmmm, there are so many. Any movie that makes me feel like I am going to pee my pants from laughing so hard would be my best.

5) Your favorite book? The one I am writing – The Will

6) Who is your favorite singer? Johnny Cash

7) Your favorite place? Jackman, Maine

8) Are you in favor of a dog or a cat…..or simply no pet at all? CATS!!!! Ha ha just kidding. In my house I have two BIG dogs, a husky/white wolf mix (Jasmine) and a boxer (Cooper) and we have three kitties, all black one, Tipsy (hubby’s cat), all black with white paws and a little white under her chin, long-haired, Himalayan look, Sophie (my baby) and a grey and black striped Maine Coon cat, Boots (my daughters baby). I love them all, but cats are just easier. J

9) If you and your friend were dying and you could save either one, who would you save? Well, that depends on which friend. Ha I would do the right thing. Oh, is that still not answering the question? Sorry, ya, ya I would save her.

10) What is it that you like to do when you are free? WRITE!!!!

11) Your favorite thing? (It could be anything ranging from money to food.) Money and food!! JK, I would probably have to say WRITING!!

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And now, my questions for the future award winners:

1)      Choose a movie title that would best describe your life:

2)      What was your most embarrassing moment?:

3)      Which way does your toilet paper hang on the wall?:

4)      What is the one thing that you could tell us about yourself that would shock us to know?:

5)      What is the most unusual thing that has happened to you while on vacation?:

6)      What would you be willing to do for a million dollars?:

7)      What is your favorite genre of movies?:

8)      What is your favorite genre of books?:

9)      Are you a player or more of a long-term relationship type?:

10)  Kids or no kids?:

11)  What is your favorite thing to do in your down time?:

 

Thanks again to Luke at Blue 88 for the nomination…

And thanks to everyone who follows Angela’s World of Writing!

~~Angela~~

Sharing Stories…

I have a thought about sharing stories and I would love to hear all of your opinions. I follow another blog that has challenges and stuff for people to get interested in doing this. What do you all think?

This is just a thought for now, but I am seriously considering it. I would be interested in tips and ideas to make it work successfully and for everyone. Maybe once a month or once a week or something. Maybe I could throw out a topic or key word or genre or something to keep it interesting.

This is for fun, and if your story interests someone, it may have them click on your link to your own site and have them wanting more from you!! I am not sure how I have managed it, but I have created quite a following in just a short time and would like to keep up the good work. ha ha ha

Please send me all of your input on this so I can form a better idea of what will interest you all. Thank you and I hope you have a great day!!

Free Publicity – Creating a Buzz

Good morning everyone. I thought that free publicity would be an excellent topic for today. I was doing some research last night and I just got blown away by all of the options that there are out there.

I have used this before for other business promoting, and it did work like a charm, but it never even crossed my mind for my book. It just hit me like someone smacked me in the head with a big hard covered book.

And when I say free publicity, I don’t mean just putting posts on your Facebook or Twitter, I mean putting yourself in the news and in the papers or magazines or wherever else they are willing to put your name and book title…for FREE!!

This is something that does not need to take up much of your time either. I get emails every day from reporters, journalists and publishers, but I stopped reading them when I started working for myself from home. Why? I have no idea. Am I the only one that has had this brain fart?

I have a lot of work to do today, but either tonight or tomorrow, I am going to write out a press release, pick a date that my new book will be finished and published in the near future, and maybe get my cover designed first, and start spreading the word…for FREE. Duh. Maybe I won’t even need the whole virtual book tour thing, well, at least not the paid one. We will see.

Really? Am I the only one that lets the most amazing things just sit in the back of my brain, untouched?

 

Guest Bloggers…

Good morning everyone! I have a question for you all and I don’t want anyone to laugh at me, BUT, when you are asked to be a guest blogger on someone else s blog with no “topic”, per say, what on earth do you write about?

Some blogs have pretty specific reasons for inviting you, but others?? What does an elderly person write on a mommy blog? Or a disabled person write on a hiking blog? These questions just keep running through me and I know that I shouldn’t even be worrying about stuff like this, and I don’t “worry”, I just think about.

Do they give you topic choices? Is there a rule of thumb to go by if they don’t? I am just curious. I had someone telling me that she was going to invite me to be a guest blogger on her site…but I have no idea what her blog is about. So I just want to be prepared just in case it is something I am not familiar with.

Thank you for all of your input. 🙂