Friday, September 6, 2013

Jane Porter: Do You Want it or Not?

Please welcome Jane Porter today!

***

I want it.  For me, it’s that simple.  I really want to write and I really want to publish.  That’s not to say I don’t suffer from self-doubt, get the blues, or struggle with my creative muse, because I do (a lot), but my desire to write, and my desire to publish, is even stronger than the fear and the sacrifices I’ve had to make.
               
But sitting down at the keyboard, finding the words, searching for a great metaphor or the next crucial scene is only half the battle of writing.  As romance writers we also have to choose to write great fiction, great COMMERCIAL fiction, fiction that appeals to the readers and the market. 
 
I’m not advocating writing to guidelines, but writing with an awareness of guidelines.  The romance writer must write to please herself (her own worst critic) and yet find a market for her stories and her voice.  If you want to publish, if you want to be part of the genre, you’ll know the market and you’ll constantly work at improving your voice.
 
I’m not a professional author, but I am a professional writer.  I take writing seriously.  I have regular office hours.  I give myself tough deadlines.  I finish books and submit them.
 
As a professional writer, I read my friends’ manuscripts.  I read friends’ books in print.  I read the “competition”.  But in the end, when I come back to my computer, I look for “me” in my stories.  I look for the hooks, the motivation, the conflicts, the characterization that makes a book real for me.  I cannot write a Presents with Lynne Graham’s voice.  I cannot write a Superromance with Janice Kay Johnson’s voice.  I cannot write a historical with Susan Wigg’s voice.  I can only write as Jane Porter and that has to be good enough.
 
It is good enough.
 
Part of being a professional is choosing to think positive, learning to set goals, and focusing.
 
And we must write.  Every day, or as often as possible.
 
Truly, if you want to write and publish, you will.  But you have to want it badly.
 
For some of us publishing will be easy.  For others, it will be a tremendous test of faith and will.  But it can be done.  I first submitted an untitled manuscript to Mills & Boon when I was eighteen and a freshmen in college.  I had my first sale just before I turned thirty-six.  In between my first attempt and my first sale I wrote more books than I care to remember, cried more nights than I’m comfortable sharing.
 
I poured my heart and soul into manuscript after manuscript but I never gave up because deep down, deep inside me, I believed I could do it.  I would do it.  And finally, I did.
 
So do you want it, or not?  It’s all up to you.
 
***
Bestselling author Jane Porter has been a finalist for the prestigious RITA award four times, has over 12 million copies in print .  Jane's novel, Flirting With Forty, picked by Redbook as its Red Hot Summer Read, went back for seven printings in six weeks before being made into a Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear.  September 2012 brought the release of The Good Woman, the first of her Brennan Sisters trilogy, followed in February 2013 by The Good Daughter, and book three in the series, The Good Wife, is slotted for release in September.  A mother of three sons, Jane holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and makes her home in sunny San Clemente, CA with her surfer husband.
Jane Porter on the web:
Website  Blog     Facebook    Twitter    Author Page
 The Good Wife
Is it possible to love someone too much?

Always considered the beauty of the family, the youngest Brennan sister, Sarah, remains deeply in love with her husband of ten years. Boone Walker, a professional baseball player, travels almost year-round while Sarah stays home and cares for their two children. Her love for her

husband is bottomless—so much so that her sisters say it will end up hurting her.

Living apart most of the time makes life difficult, especially since Sarah often wonders whether Boone is sharing his bed with other women on the road, even though he swears he’s been true to her since his infidelity three years ago. While she wants to be happy and move forward in her life, Sarah constantly fears that Boone will break his promise. Now with Boone facing yet another career change, tension rises between the two, adding more stress to an already turbulent marriage. Emotionally exhausted, Sarah can’t cope with yet another storm. Now, she must either break free from the past and forgive Boone completely, or leave him behind and start anew . . .
Read an Excerpt

Buy Links

Amazon    Book Depository      B&N

Powells      BAM      indieBound
***
Thanks for sharing your journey Jane!
What about you? What are you doing to prove you want it enough?

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for the inspiration, Jane. And so true that we have to believe in ourselves and not give up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great career story and advice on finding the balance between what you write for yourself and what you write for the market.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jane -- Thanks for the reminder!

    Do I want it badly enough to overcome my insecurities, my shyness, my unwillingness to stick myself out there, my anxiety meeting new people and going new places?

    I'll always write. That's not a problem. But to be successful as an author, I have to have the courage to do MORE than write.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Natalie - we really do!

    Susan - I liked that too - that balance is important to make us happy and successful!

    Alex - we do!

    Dianne - and that's the troubles for many of us (me!) - there's a lot more than just writing!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Exactly - we have to believe in ourselves, because let's face it, if we don't, nobody else is going to.

    Good on you, Jane.

    Hi Jemi :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Wendy - it's so true - although still a little hard to do at times :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. You have to treat it like a business. That is tough for people who've been employees all their life to do. They are used to doing the work and getting a reward. Being a business owner, being a writer, means you work a long time without monetary reward.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I really want it badly. I write and submit endlessly. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's incredible to see someone's hard work pay off so well. Congratulaions to Jane! And it reminds me that I need to keep working - hard.

    ReplyDelete
  10. greetings to Jane, love her author picture :) We rarely see good author pics around the blogosphere :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Diane - very true! But at least the job is fun!! :)

    Medeia - I have to get better at the submitting part - the writing part I've got down :)

    Beth - I agree! It's nice when hard work has that reward!

    Dez - that's so true!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for the inspirational words, Jane! I think that although we have self doubts at times it is important to keep putting ourselves out there and pushing ourselves. I try to write every day and work on connecting with other readers and writers. Due to the hours and time my "day job" takes my writing time is limited. I like the idea of setting work hours for writing and maybe I will try that instead of writing when I have time.

    Best of luck and thanks for the uplifting words. :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  13. This really hit the inspiration spot. Thanks J and J.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Jess - squeezing in those hours is tough!!

    Leslie - it does! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Jane and Jemi!

    Thanks for the inspirational words. Great post.

    Congratulations on the release of The Good Wife!

    All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Kelly - it really is a great post! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wonderful post. And I could not agree more: perseverance is a key ingredient to finding success in publishing. Thank goodness most of us striving for success love writing and reading and great books.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Cynthia - perseverance is a HUGE asset to writers - hard to imagine trying to do this without it :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. You are so right, Jane... We must believe and have the passion for our work ... if not, how can we expect others to feel it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Michael - exactly!!! Our own joy and passion shines through :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Jane, Hi Jemi.

    Thanks Jane, for a thought provoking and enjoyable post. I am impressed with the way you treat your writing as a job. That's professional.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Maria - it really is! And something a lot of us have to work on! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I really love everything Jane said. I am not a writer but I also believe you should do whatever it is you're doing as a professional. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Agnes - agreed! The advice works for all professions! :)

    ReplyDelete