Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG -Throwing Out the Baby


It's that time of the month again ... well, not THAT time, but the time when writers around the blogosphere come together for a snuggly wuggly group hug. *squeeze*

For a list of participants, click the picture above to get to Alex J. Cavanaugh's HQ. All are welcome and you can post anytime today. Hey, it's like church--we'll take anybody not matter how naughty you've been! ;)

I have a very special guest today, JM Bray, and you'll want to read all about how he almost threw out his baby, but real quick first, I wanted to let my fellow IWSG friends know that I included you all in my acknowledgments of Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. You've been with me on this journey, so it was fitting to acknowledge you in my debut. Yay!

Okay, take it away, JM ...

There’s an old saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” In days gone by, the process of preparing a bath was not a simple thing. If you had a container large enough to fit a human, water was heated on a wood-burning stove or over a fire, pot by pot until you eventually had a tub of hot water. Since it was such a process, the whole family would take a bath, one after another, using the same water.

Right now you might be thinking. “So…who gets to go first?” Usually it was determined by their “importance” in the family: from dad or mom down through the kids and finally to the baby. By that time the water was so murky you might ‘lose the baby’ in it and toss them out with the water.

What does that mean for us as writers? In our rush to finish or our despondency over rejection we may toss away something precious.

I started Tearing the Shroud 23 years ago. After typing 30 pages (yes on a typewriter) it went in a notebook and into a desk drawer. Thankfully, it moved with me through the ups and downs of life. In 2011 I found it and re-read the pages and now, through Escape Publishing, the novel is out. In spite of the odds, the baby survived the murky water of all those years. But it didn’t end there.
Like most writers, I faced self doubt, agent rejections, the strain of “trying to stay positive”, the countless hours of editing and re-editing, of building a platform, of wondering if the story was any good at all. There were times when I nearly tossed the bath water and if I had, the baby – a publishing deal and the chance to get Tearing the Shroud out there – would have gone with it. When I have the chance to share my journey with someone and they ask advice the first is always: ‘Don’t throw any writing ideas away…ever. You never know what might come of them.’
Don’t give up folks, there’s a baby in there somewhere.

Awesome words of wisdom, JM! Thanks for sharing your story with us!

You can find JM on his website, and be sure to check out his new release, Tearing the Shroud.

And hey if you have a chance, one click will get you to the COVER WARS on Masquerade Crew where you can vote for my cover (or any you prefer) and I'll send you a big fat virtual smooch! Mwah!

Also I'm featuring another NA author so check it out:




Arianna always felt like she didn't belong in the world where she was born. Ever since she was little, she used to hide behind the rocks in the sea, and watch the human family who spent their summers on that island. Over the years, there was nothing she wished more than to be like them, especially so she could get close to Blake, the human boy who she saw turn into a troubled teenager and then, an unhappy man. Once her dad grew tired of her dreams and hopes for a reality that is not her own, Arianna is thrown into an arranged marriage, and her only way out of it is to make a deal with the power-hungry man who will give her everything that she has ever dreamed of. Dreams that turn into nightmares as she watches Blake's world fall apart, because of her and Blake's inability to control their desires for one another. (Due to sexual content and language, this book is recommended for 17+
AUTHOR BIO:
Daniele Lanzarotta is the author of YA and NA paranormal/fantasy novels, including the Imprinted Souls Series, Academy of the Fallen, and Mermaid's Curse.

She has a bachelor's in business and finance and a MBA. With only a few semesters left in school, Daniele started writing as a hobby, but it didn't take long for her to be consumed by her stories. That is her passion, and she now has several projects under way.

She enjoys reading and writing young adult novels with just about any sort of paranormal or supernatural bent...vampires... ghosts... She also enjoys watching hockey, playing rock band, guitar hero and spending time with the family.


To enter the giveaway, go to each blog and enter the corresponding code into the Rafflecopter b y clicking HERE!

This is Blog #16 and the code is DANIELEPK


Thanks SO much for stopping by! How do you deal with rejection and self-doubt? Do you have any old stories that are worth another look? Please share ...

39 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Very wise words! My first attempt at a novel sat in a drawer for thirty years. I finally pulled it out and rewrote it, and it became my first published novel. Glad I never tossed it out.

Karen Walker said...

Very inspiring story and such wisdom. Thanks, you two.

Meradeth Houston said...

Great post! Definitely something to remember--you really never know when an idea may come back and be vital!

Julie Flanders said...

What an inspirational story!! Congratulations, JM. I'm so glad to meet you.

And I have to admit your opening line cracked me up, Pk. Glad it's not THAT time. :D

Emma Adams said...

This is why I always hang onto my discarded manuscripts - it's amazing how many new ideas come from unfinished works-in-progress from years ago! Inspiring post :)

M. R. Buttars said...

Great story! I deal with self-doubt by eating chocolate, watching a movie full of sarcastic humor, and then I start writing again. I keep all my ideas, um, in one of these notebooks . . . somewhere. ;)

Annalisa Crawford said...

What a great post! I haven't thrown out anything for years - I did burn a novel I wrote when I was 15 because I was embarrassed about my mum finding it! I'm still embarrassed when she reads some of my bedroom scenes, but at least I've refrained from burning anything else :-)

sydneyaaliyah said...

Cool story and thanks for the lift. I needed it today. I seem to be gathering first drafts. I need to get one out there soon.

sydneyaaliyah.com said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jay Noel said...

Great guest post for ISWG. Behind me is my very own Trail of Tears. Horrible manuscripts that I would never dare share with the world, but were part of my learning experience.

Norma Beishir said...

I keep all of my DOA manuscripts and ideas. I call it my Cold Case file.

J.M. Bray said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by and commenting! Now that we have the digital ability I multi-save as well, Dropbox, TimeMachine, and stand alone hard drive back-up. It pays to be safe :-)

E.J. Wesley said...

Great advice JM! I save everything I cut in a separate document. I've found some good tidbits going back through my "trash". :)

Chrys Fey said...

I'm pretty new to IWSG, but I have hosted you on my blog so I will pretend that I am included in that acknowledgement. ;)

How lucky you are that you never did throw out your book, J.M. The ones that take the longest are often the most special. Congratulations on your release! And I am heading over right now to vote for your cover. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It's funny but my most successful book so far was one I had put away for a few years and pulled it out, revised, and found a publisher for.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing the inspiration. It's a reminder that a story we love but isn't working now could be something to be published in the future.

Cherie Colyer said...

Very inspiring and great advice. Congrats on your new novel, JM.

Brandon Ax said...

I keep all my stuff, from doodles to little scraps of notes. They tend to come back to me at times. Great post.

S.K. Anthony said...

Loved this! Inspiring and so true :D

Andrew Leon said...

Of course, there's also the problem of the baby getting lost in the water and drowning. I can't actually imagine bathing a baby in murky water. >blech<

Robin said...

Love finding out the origins of phrases and a novel is very much like a baby... so the comparison is beyond appropriate. Sooo easy to pitch it all when frustration sets in.

William Kendall said...

Wise words, JM!

Kim Lajevardi said...

Great post today, JM! Perseverance is the key.

SA Larsenッ said...

It was great to meet you, JM. I love how the baby survived all that murky water! Thx!

Crystal Collier said...

Love it! I NEVER throw out anything--as can be proven by my fat old story file, dating back 20+ years, and the number of old files sitting on my computer (and in backup files online) waiting for the light of day. If you take the time to record the words, why would you ever throw them out?

J.M. Bray said...

Hello again everyone. I am so pleased that my words struck a chord with you. I'd love to respond to each of you but for some reason blogger is not giving me and individual reply.

Keep positive and Write On!

If you care to drop me a note I can be reached at jmbray@jmbray.com

Thanks again for having me, PK!

Lynda R Young said...

Great advice. Ideas are precious.

Donna Hole said...

Great analogy; thanks for the encouragement :)

......dhole

Lexa Cain said...

I voted for your wonderful cover, PK! I hope you win. :-)

I had no idea families in old times shared bathwater, or that the water got so murky you might "lose the baby." Gross!! Good luck with your release, JM!

shelly said...

Yup. Save! Save! Save!

Excellent post!

Hugs and chocolate!

Candilynn Fite said...

Wise and inspiring words. Thanks so much for sharing! A great IWSG post. :)

jamieayres.com said...

I'd be terrified if my first 2 manuscripts ever saw the light of day . . . so awful! My students don't believe me--they all want to read them. I'm tempted to read aloud a chapter and watch them squirm without telling them it's mine, muhahaha :-)

carrieannebrownian said...

This year, I was inspired to resurrect ( when my long queue is empty) some long-shelved 18th and 19th century characters I haven't worked with in over 20 years and never dreamt I'd ever revisit. I created them when I was like 5-6 years old (not historical originally), and figure they were just meant to be if I never forgot them.

cleemckenziebooks said...

Ah, the good old days! At least they provide us with some great analogies, right? Here's to keeping that baby and not tossing it out with the murky water.

Great post.

LD Masterson said...

I'm keeping the post for the next time my hubby asks, "Do you really need to keep ALL this old writing?"

Tammy Theriault said...

JM, thank you for stopping by. I love getting new perspectives and I definitely did with your awesome analogy which I do remember stories of.

Hilary said...

Such a great post… It is so hard facing rejection. What helped me was I psyched myself up that rejection was going to happen…. and it made it easier when it did :)

JJ said...

Like a boxer who gets knocked down in the first, fourth, and eighth rounds, the only thing that I visualize is raising my hands in victory at the end of the contest.

M Pax said...

One day, I will dig series #1 off the hard drive and give it its 2000th revision. No, the number of zeroes is not a typo.

But it was smart to put it down and move on, for me.

When I figure out how to fix it and am near to finishing the Backworlds series, I will bring it back to life.