How I Found the Write Path: A Compilation of Letters by Carrie Butler - Read Online
How I Found the Write Path
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Summary

Hey there, fellow writer!

Here’s the lowdown on this project: To celebrate my third blogoversary, I decided to pay it forward by inviting the writing/blogging community to help those just starting on their publishing journey. Why? Because it’s one of the most crucial periods in a writer’s life—full of nerves and hope we refuse to acknowledge. We’ve all been there.

That’s why over sixty of us have written letters to our past selves, candidly sharing things we don’t always discuss in public. The hope is that those of you who haven’t published will learn from our experiences. And those of you who have published? Well, you just might realize you’re not alone.

Let’s keep this going. :)
- Carrie Butler

P.S. I’d like to give a shout-out to my friend and fellow compiler, P.K. Hrezo. She really helped rally support for this project!

Published: Carrie Butler on
ISBN: 9781311655684
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    HOW I FOUND THE WRITE PATH

    A COMPILATION OF LETTERS

    HOW I FOUND THE WRITE PATH: A COMPILATION OF LETTERS

    Compiled by Carrie Butler and P.K. Hrezo

    AJ Matthews Copyright © 2014 by A.J. Matthews

    Aldrea Alien Copyright © 2014 by Aldrea Alien

    Alex Cavanaugh Copyright © 2014 by Alex Cavanaugh

    Amy Evans Copyright © 2014 by Amy Evans

    Angela Brown Copyright © 2014 by Angela Brown

    Annalisa Crawford Copyright © 2014 by Annalisa Crawford

    Carrie-Anne Brownian Copyright © 2014 by Carrie-Anne Brownian

    Carrie Butler Copyright © 2014 by Carrie Butler

    Catherine Stine Copyright © 2014 by Catherine Stine

    Christine Danek Copyright © 2014 by Christine Danek

    Chrys Fey Copyright © 2014 by Chrys Fey

    Clare Dugmore Copyright © 2014 by Clare Dugmore

    C. Lee McKenzie Copyright © 2014 by C. Lee McKenzie

    Crystal Collier Copyright © 2014 by Crystal Collier

    D.A. Botta Copyright © 2014 by D.A. Botta

    Dana Mason Copyright © 2014 by Dana Mason

    Dean K. Miller Copyright © 2014 by Dean K. Miller

    Debi O'Neille Copyright © 2014 by Debi O'Neille

    Denise Covey Copyright © 2014 by Denise Covey

    Diana Wilder Copyright © 2014 by Diana Wilder

    E. Arroyo Copyright © 2014 by E. Arroyo

    E.J. Wesley Copyright © 2014 by E.J. Wesley

    Elaine Kaye Copyright © 2014 by Elaine Kaye

    Eleyne-Mari Copyright © 2014 by Eleyne-Mari

    Elizabeth Hein Copyright © 2014 by Elizabeth Hein

    Elizabeth Seckman Copyright © 2014 by Elizabeth Seckman

    Emma Adams Copyright © 2014 by Emma Adams

    Gina Stoneheart Copyright © 2014 by Gina Stoneheart

    Heather M. Gardner Copyright © 2014 by Heather M. Gardner

    Ian S. Bott Copyright © 2014 by Ian S. Bott

    Ilima Todd Copyright © 2014 by Ilima Todd

    Jade Eby Copyright © 2014 by Jade Eby

    J.L. Campbell Copyright © 2014 by J.L. Campbell

    Katie Doyle Copyright © 2014 by Katie Doyle

    Kyra Lennon Copyright © 2014 by Kyra Lennon

    Lark O'Neal Copyright © 2014 by Lark O'Neal

    Liz Blocker Copyright © 2014 by Liz Blocker

    Loni Townsend Copyright © 2014 by Loni Townsend

    Luccia Gray Copyright © 2014 by Luccia Gray

    L.W. Flouisa Copyright © 2014 by L.W. Flouisa

    Lynda R. Young Copyright © 2014 by Lynda R. Young

    Lynn Lovegreen Copyright © 2014 by Lynn Lovegreen

    Mark Koopmans Copyright © 2014 by Mark Koopmans

    Mark Murata Copyright © 2014 by Mark Murata

    Medeia Sharif Copyright © 2014 by Medeia Sharif

    Melissa Maygrove Copyright © 2014 by Melissa Maygrove

    Meradeth Houston Copyright © 2014 by Meradeth Houston

    Michael Di Gesu Copyright © 2014 by Michael Di Gesu

    Misa Buckley Copyright © 2014 by Misa Buckley

    Misha Gericke Copyright © 2014 by Misha Gericke

    M. Pepper Langlinais Copyright © 2014 by M. Pepper Langlinais

    Nick Wilford Copyright © 2014 by Nick Wilford

    Pauline Baird Jones Copyright © 2014 by Pauline Baird Jones

    P.K. Hrezo Copyright © 2014 by P.K. Hrezo

    Robyn Campbell Copyright © 2014 by Robyn Campbell

    S.A. Larsen Copyright © 2014 by S.A. Larsen

    Sarah Brentyn Copyright © 2014 by Sarah Brentyn

    Seth Z. Herman Copyright © 2014 by Seth Z. Herman

    Shelly Arkon Copyright © 2014 by Shelly Arkon

    S.J. Pajonas Copyright © 2014 by S.J. Pajonas

    Stephanie Faris Copyright © 2014 by Stephanie Faris

    Tammy Theriault Copyright © 2014 by Tammy Theriault

    Theresa Milstein Copyright © 2014 by Theresa Milstein

    Tyrean Martinson Copyright © 2014 by Tyrean Martinson

    V.R. Barkowsky Copyright © 2014 by V.R. Barkowsky

    All contributions used with the permission of their authors.

    All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior permission of the author.

    Cover Design by Forward Authority

    Table of Contents

    Title

    Copyright

    Introduction

    A.J. Matthews

    Aldrea Alien

    Alex J. Cavanaugh

    Amy Evans

    Angela Brown

    Annalisa Crawford

    Carrie-Anne Brownian

    Carrie Butler

    Catherine Stine

    Christine Danek

    Chrys Fey

    Clare Dugmore

    C. Lee McKenzie

    Crystal Collier

    D.A. Botta

    Dana Mason

    Dean K. Miller

    Debi O'Neille

    Denise Covey

    Diana Wilder

    E. Arroyo

    E.J. Wesley

    Elaine Kaye

    Eleyne-Mari

    Elizabeth Hein

    Elizabeth Seckman

    Emma Adams

    Gina Stoneheart

    Heather M. Gardner

    Ian S. Bott

    Ilima Todd

    Jade Eby

    J.L. Campbell

    Katie Doyle

    Kyra Lennon

    Lark O'Neal

    Liz Blocker

    Loni Townsend

    Luccia Gray

    L.W. Flouisa

    Lynda R. Young

    Lynn Lovegreen

    Mark Koopmans

    Mark Murata

    Medeia Sharif

    Melissa Maygrove

    Meradeth Houston

    Michael Di Gesu

    Misa Buckley

    Misha Gericke

    M. Pepper Langlinais

    Nick Wilford

    Pauline Baird Jones

    P.K. Hrezo

    Robyn Campbell

    S.A. Larsen

    Sarah Brentyn

    Seth Z. Herman

    Shelly Arkon

    Sherry Ellis

    S.J. Pajonas

    Stephanie Faris

    Tammy Theriault

    Theresa Milstein

    Tyrean Martinson

    V.R. Barkowsky

    Introduction

    Hey there, fellow writer!

    Here’s the lowdown on this project: To celebrate my third blogoversary, I decided to pay it forward by inviting the writing/blogging community to help those just starting on their publishing journey. Why? Because it’s one of the most crucial periods in a writer’s life—full of nerves and hope we refuse to acknowledge. We’ve all been there.

    That’s why over sixty of us have written letters to our past selves, candidly sharing things we don’t always discuss in public. The hope is that those of you who haven’t published will learn from our experiences. And those of you who have published? Well, you just might realize you’re not alone.

    Let’s keep this going.

    - Carrie Butler

    www.carrieabutler.com

    P.S. I’d like to give a shout-out to my friend and fellow compiler, P.K. Hrezo. She really helped rally support for this project!

    Note: Because these letters were compiled from writers all over the world (and Internet), you will see differences here and there, i.e. formats, localized spellings, editing, etc. Please keep that in mind. :)

    A.J. Matthews

    Dear A.J. in 2011,

    You’ve been writing for a long time. FOREVER. You wrote that first book at six. Often writers will then say, And you never looked back. But that’s not the case, is it? Here’s the one thing you need to know, and put into practice. Every. Single. Day. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Who cares if you could have written X number of books if you’d pounded out a few hundred words a day since you first joined Romance Writers of America at the ripe old age of 22? Life happened, and you got some fantastic things out of it: an exceptional education studying remarkable literature; those three insane, I mean, darling, children; and your super-patient and really cute husband. What matters is you’re writing now. Keep going. When you write THE END on that novella you’re working on now, it will be one of the most intoxicating sensations you’ve experienced, and you won’t want to stop now that you’ve done it.

    Another thing you should know, something I learned the hard way, is don’t get so fixated on writing one story that it stifles others. If your conscious mind thinks you should be writing something, but the words don’t flow, move on. It’s your inner voice telling you to try another idea. Sure, you can continue to hash out the details of that other story while looking for inspiration for a new book, but when the muse drops a big fat idea in your lap, run with it. You’ll be happy you did when you write the first draft of that book in three weeks, and then realize not long after starting the book that the original idea will work as book 2 in the series.

    In addition to RWA, you belong to small chapters but never interact much. Change that. Get involved in your local chapter, because it will re-kindle a friendship that will lead you on your path to publication. This friend is warm and caring and encouraging, and her feedback gives you the confidence you truly need at the moment you meet up again.

    I understand time is so tight, but don’t neglect the online community. Joining one group on Facebook and getting active on Twitter will change your life. This community of other writers who support one another is a beautiful thing—and one of the most surprising things I’ve discovered about the industry in the last few years. Sure, there will always be people who will disparage you and hope you fail, but these other ladies and gents? They want to celebrate success with you. Celebrate and support them, too.

    As you pursue publication, remember this: instead of clicking refresh every two minutes on your e-mail after your query or submission, take that time to plan and write your next story. The more you write, the more you’ll have available to sell when you finally get an offer.

    And don’t forget to check your Spam folder. The nicest things may show up there.

    Love,

    Me (or you in 2014, I guess)

    ~ A.J. Matthews, author of GOODBYE TO YOU

    @AJMatthews_

    Aldrea Alien

    Dear 15 year old me,

    You know your little dream of publishing that strange story with the lizard people you started writing when you were twelve? The one you thought was already pretty dark? Yeah, The Rogue King. You’re pitting all your hopes on that number, aren’t you?

    Well … I’m here to say your path won’t be easy.

    You’re going to get stomped on. A lot. Querying, which I know you’ve just started doing, will lead to being rejected by every man and his dog. You’ll tear your hair out over the contradictions and want to slap every face you see. You’ll find out that, for every helpful person out there, there’ll be someone else who’ll dump all over you. You’re going to spend ages screaming at that screen.

    But some of those helpful people will become your critique partners. Remember those words. You’ll start to know them better than all your high school friends (for longer than a few of them, too).

    And you know what else? You’re not the know-it-all you think you are.

    Don’t you sit there fussing and rolling your eyes at me. Yes, it’s taken you a few years now. You’ve read a few things, tweaked accordingly. But it’s going to take you even longer. You’re nowhere near the halfway mark of your journey.

    So saddle up for another fourteen years, my dear. You’ve got a boatload of stuff to learn along the way that they never touched on at school. It’ll be a daunting experience, I know, but soak it in. Just don’t try to conform to every rule. It’ll drive you crazy. Well, crazier. ^_^

    Be prepared to change things around. You’ve got three complete rewrites to haul your butt through. You’ll grow to hate that arrogant arse you decided to make a main character. And his son … he’s practically a shadow (no pun intended, there). You’ll quibble with yourself over scrapping the whole thing.

    Even with all that help, it’s going to be a hard road. It’s a big story now, you won’t fit it all into one book (FYI, that’s where all your trouble is coming from). And you’ll scare yourself with how dark it gets, but it’s okay, I’ve got it now.

    Lastly, you’re going to find you’re doing the important parts yourself. Yes Miss Hypocrite, you’ve got the makings of a self-published novel in your hands. But don’t sit there and fret. You can do this. You’re an indie. You did it. It’s out there and being enjoyed. Be proud.

    Love,

    Aldrea

    ~ Aldrea Alien, author of the Rogue King saga

    www.aldreaalien.com

    Alex J. Cavanaugh

    Prepare for Changes!

    Right now, you’re writing. It’s comfortable and fun. But once you’re on the path to publication, prepare for everything to