Nov 25, 2008

The Heart of Writing by Joanna Bloss, co-author of Grit for the Oyster

I would like to welcome Joanna Bloss, one of the authors of Grit for the Oyster, to Savvy Verse & Wit. Thanks to her for taking time out of her busy schedule to speak with us about the heart of writing and the considerations writers must make when seeking publication. Without further ado, here's her guest post.

Grit for the Oyster
is the book we wish we would have had when we launched our writing careers. It is a powerful motivator for aspiring and experienced writers, offering wit, wisdom and inspiration to take that first step and persevere through the writing journey. There are many books that address the mechanics of writing and getting published, but not about the heart of writing.

It would be tough to stick with writing over the long haul if a person didn't address some of the heart issues...handling rejection, keeping success in perspective, learning how to cope with writerly jealousy. . . these are the things we don't always talk about, but are as important as some of the technical nuts and blots.

One of the great things about writing this book was being able to take the best of our four brains and put them together to produce a high-quality product. Suzanne drives the train--she birthed the original idea and is the glue that keeps us all together. Suzanne is a go-getter who has had enormous success in her relatively young writing career. Debora is equally successful and is our Energizer bunny. She tirelessly pursues every speaking and writing opportunity she can get her hands on and tackles every project 150%. Faith is our solid, stable foundation. As a writing instructor at Penn State she reads a lot of stuff and her expert eye catches many typos and other technical problems before the rest of us have even had the opportunity to read it through. I am the emotional care-taker and computer savviest of the bunch. I design promotional materials and produce e-newsletters for authors, so these skills have come in enormously handy as we've marketed Grit for the Oyster and our personal projects. I might add that it's also helpful to have someone skilled in word processing and formatting on the team--it really streamlined the production process in the end.

Obviously not every writer has these strengths, nor do we often get the opportunity to collaborate with three other authors on a project, but it's helpful to be aware of the qualities that make good writing excellent. One thing beginning writers can do is make a list of their strengths and weaknesses.

What things are you excellent at?

Where could you use some help?

Invest your creative energies in the things you do well, and don't hesitate to set aside some of your budget to hire someone to help you with the areas where you are lacking. Hire an editor to proofread and make suggestions--before you submit that proposal to a publisher. Find someone with technical savvy to help you with layout and design so that your work is properly formatted. If you're not willing to tirelessly publicize your book after it comes out, be prepared to hire a good publicist. Whether you possess them or not, these qualities are essential to get published in today's market.

Editors and publishers have had their fill of good writers and don't hesitate to mail out rejection slips by the ream. What they are looking for is a consummate professional who produces quality material, is willing to learn and work hard to promote their work. The best way to do this is to capitalize on your strengths and collaborate with other professionals who can fill in the gap for your weaknesses.

Thanks once again to Dorothy Thompson at Pump Up Your Book Promotion and Joanna Bloss, co-author of Grit for the Oyster.

Interested in Grit for the Oyster? Want to win a copy?

Feel free to leave a comment on the book review about why you want to read this book or discuss your biggest fears as a blogger and/or writer.

For a second entry, please leave a comment here on this guest post with a working email or blog profile.

Deadline is November 30; will choose a winner for December 1.


Anonymous said...

I forgot to put my biggest fear about blogging on my other comment. I guess it would have to be souding like an idiot. I would love to be entered. Thanks.

Serena said...

Thanks for posting Carol. I agree...sounding like a dope is a big fear of mine.

Bridget said...

I've posted on Win a Book. No need to enter the contest.

Wendy said...

Great post! I would love to win this book...especially because I am trying to get up the courage to complete my novel and try to publish it! Going over now to post a comment on the review :)

caribousmom (at) gmail (dot) com

darbyscloset said...

"My comment", is that I don't want to keep writing about my biggest fear...which I posted over on your review ;-* I've posted it; it's out there, so let the universe do with it what it must! : )
I would really love to read this book!!!
Thanks so much
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Anna said...

Interesting post. It really shows how there's more to a writing career than the actual writing. I agree that it's important to learn to deal with rejection, as every writer will encounter it at one time or another.

Diary of an Eccentric