Trying To Get Published Might Be Tough For Me But My Kids Are Getting A Valuable Life Lesson #AmWriting #Writer

We all know the life of a writer is tough. Whether you are published or unpublished days are often spent doing one or more of the following; writing, chucking everything you have written in the bin, rewriting what you’ve retrieved from the bin, editing, getting carried away with best seller day dreams, rewriting again, crying over what is staring back at you on the page, editing again, hating every single word which you have rewritten for the zillionth time, quitting being a writer, deciding you actually love writing…after polishing off a soothing bottle of red, rewriting again, editing again, flinching at comments from beta readers, making a voodoo doll which looks like your main character, editing again and crying with joy at how well your first chapter sounds.

If you are unpublished and yet to secure a literary agent or a book deal you may also experience wonderful dreams featuring you and a literary agent giggling like school children whilst sharing a large KFC bucket, being the recipient of an email shower of literary agent rejections an hour after pressing ‘send’, setting fire to your draft at the bottom of the garden and summoning the energy to… try again.

Up until last week I was bleating a LOT about how challenging life is when you are unpublished. My garden is festooned with the burnt remains of draft novel bonfires, my head is filled with characters orphaned from ditched stories, I could have a good go at carpeting my bedroom floor with rejection emails, my current W.I.P has given me serious crows feet around the eyes and the draft before this one added more wobbly bits to my hips and thighs.

Then I had an epiphany in the cereal aisle of the supermarket.

At the time I was buying my kids (14yrs and 12yrs) a ton of cereal (the amount of cereal they get through is astonishing). As I hesitated over whether I should buy my two the expensive cereal they want or whether I should purchase them undesirable, cheap cereal from the discounted shelf (which they will still eat…but I have to suffer hours of complaints) I had a book writing revelation.

Life as an unpublished author (with a blog) might be painful for me but when I think about what it is teaching my kids…the whole experience is reframed.

Sadly I am not a rich parent. I can’t afford to give my kids expensive holidays, the latest hi tech gadgets or designer clothes (according to them their school friends get ALL of this from their parents – sigh!) but what I can do is teach them about chasing a life dream.

Whilst surveying an array of colourful cereal boxes (on the discounted shelf) I had an emotional moment. I visualised my kids telling their future children all about ‘Nana Lucy.’ Tears welled up in my eyes as I heard my kids saying, ‘Nana never gave up on her dream of becoming an author, she just kept going, even when the world rejected her, she carried on writing and sending out her work.’

Thinking about my unpublished author life from this perspective has changed my world. The thought of getting future rejections no longer makes me squirm. The more I get the better. In fact I am going to pin them up in the family loo. Getting back up and trying again after writing failure (once the bonfire has stopped burning) is something I am now looking forward to.

I am showing my children that life dreams require hard work, early mornings, tears, a lot of coffee, continual reinvention, grit, determination and persistence. My children are learning from me that things you want in life (like debut novels) don’t come easy.

One day, when the cover of my debut novel is proudly hung on the wall in the family living room, they might just view me as inspirational.

Their Mum (me) never gave up.

She didn’t stop believing.

This fills me up inside and makes me stop beating myself up about not being able to afford an expensive foreign beach holiday.

Obviously expecting them to view me as inspirational during their current hormone fuelled, cereal eating, social media crazed, make up YouTube tutorial filled teenage lives could be a challenge, but it will happen in later years.

I am afraid, BlondeWriteMore readers, I am going to be around for a lot longer 😎

Have a great day!

I have since asked my youngest whether she will be proud of me when I finally have a debut novel launch day and she said, ‘yea, I would tell all my friends at school, that author is my mum and that’s the book she wrote. It took her years but she did it.’

Cue tear in eye and knowing nod about it taking years.

Then she said. ‘Things could get awkward if we have to read and review it in class.’

Have you ever changed your perspective on something and seen a new you starting to emerge?

Posted by

Still waiting for the Sleepless in Seattle film sequel. Romcom Author. Book Blogger. Mum of teens. Owned by a golden Labrador.

40 thoughts on “Trying To Get Published Might Be Tough For Me But My Kids Are Getting A Valuable Life Lesson #AmWriting #Writer

  1. Lucy, this post really moved me. You are already an inspiration to many! I started writing when my daughter was a bump and she is now 21. I had a novel accepted at 53 and the second will be out soon. I strongly believe that you will get there. Keep the faith! We are all behind you! x

  2. I love this post Lucy! You are an inspiration to not only your children but so many others too. I love the Nana Lucy story and your passion shows through in every word you write.

  3. Aw Lucy! You can do it, and you will. And you are right, think of the lessons we are teaching our kids, by chasing our not unrealistic dreams!
    I have so much faith in you, and remember those authors who are not bestsellers, faced hundreds of rejections before someone saw the promise!

  4. One of my friends used to write romantic fiction. She had a million rejections (ok, mild exaggeration here) but carried on. Eventually, she had her first child (in her 30s) and for some reason changed track. Now in her mid-50s, she is a Times Best Seller listed author with 8 very black crime fiction novels under her belt!

  5. That’s a great lesson for your children! Most of all, the not giving up when something is hard – in this instant world we live in, it is too easy for kids too say ‘it’s not for me’ as soon as something requires effort. I love that you’re teaching them that a ‘no’ means ‘try harder’, not ‘give up’!!

    As for the writing itself ~ gosh, I am nowhere near that dramatic! For a start, it’s all on screen, so there is no ripping up of paper, and I don’t cry or make wild statements or get drunk when it’s not going well. What I DO do is feel a bit depressed and pissed off with myself when I KNOW deep down that what I’ve written is crap. Sometimes I tell my husband or sister.
    “You always say that, every book.”
    “Yes, but this time it really IS crap.”
    “You always say that, too.”
    “No, but – ”

    Something I’ve learned – and I hope this helps you too, Lucy!! – is that there are lots of stages during the production of a novel when you wonder what the hell you are bothering for because any talent you ever had has disappeared, and what’s currently on that screen is really, really rubbish. For me, this happens most of the way through the first draft, less and less as the drafts go on, and then again when a) the first test reader gets it and b) the minute it’s published. You just learn to work through them – honestly! And after a while you stop having the best seller fantasies, too. You just write. And sometimes the best seller fantasies become reality 🙂

  6. Absolutely celebrate those rejections! The act of creation for every inventor begins with many many failures. It took a super long time to go from a glowing filament to a lightbulb, and even longer to connect it to a power source that could light a neighborhood. It took forever to invent flush toilets and connect them to a sewer system. My point is, it’s not just the creation of a wonderful piece of writing, but it’s also finding the connections points in the whole publishing system. As we both know, this isn’t easy. It’s timing, and luck, and perseverance. So, those rejections are just the evidence of progress towards the goal. They’re the “wrong way” signs pointing that help us try a new direction.
    Your post is awesome–and so is your parenting. I got tears in my eyes at your daughters sweet words.
    (And seriously, cereal is SO expensive. I just started letting my kid eat it and I’m not sure I made a wise choice!)

  7. Lucy,

    It’s morning across the pond and your blog gave me, as usual, a smile and a dose of encouragement.

    I am so glad you’re blogging again!

    I’ve been having trouble commenting on your blog, it keeps calling me in invalid user, even though I also have a WordPress blog. I will have to figure that out.

    We were just in lovely London a few weeks ago. We wanted to take our two unmarried daughters. We are already looking forward to returning.

    Just wanted you to know that just because I can’t comment, doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying!

    Blessings on your writing,


  8. Fall seven times, stand up eight. You are giving your children one of the greatest lessons in life. Sometimes you take a break and step back because you need to heal from rejection but then you get back to the working. The rewards may take some time. You may feel weary. You might want to marry rich and live off somebody else (wait..that’s me). You don’t give up, you move forward. You are teaching your children to be strong and courageous. Not lazy and entitled. Kudos to you, and parents like you!

  9. Great post, Lucy. I too have had to look away from the expensive cereals during many a supermarket trip, so I totally understand the not-so-pretty side of pursuing a dream. You’re teaching your children and others about persistence, sacrifice and dreaming big. Sending plenty encouragement your way.

  10. Gosh I think about this all the time! Being in a similar scenario to you, I think that I’m teaching my kids resilience and lifting the veil to )hopeful) success–that a lot of hard work goes into things that are worthwhile. Much love to you–keep it up, you have a wonderfully well-written blog and I’m sure you’ll find someone to pick you up one of these days. Consistency is key for writing.

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