Monday, April 11, 2016

Ella Carey and Aspiring to be Better

Please welcome Ella Carey back to the blog today!
When you have the urge to write…

What a wonderful blog you have here Jemi! Thank you for having me here today. (Thanks so much, Ella!! ~ Jemi)

I think that Musings of an Aspiring Writer is a splendid title. Because every writer is always aspiring to do better- we aspire all the time. What I want to share with you today, if I may, are some of the best tips I was given before I was published.

Before I was published, I worked every day- I wrote. I kept writing novels, so I just pretended I was like any other author and got on with it- published or not. I’m doing exactly the same job now I’m published as I was before, albeit with wonderful support and editors- it’s still me and my imagination for most of the time! 

So-  here goes:

  1. Set up a really strong writing routine. And stick to it. You need to be disciplined in this game. Before you are published. By the time you are accepted for publication, you are professional, can meet deadlines and will always be on time with your revisions. So, set up a timetable, don’t wait for the muse to strike, just write!
  2. One piece of advice that I am just so glad I followed is do not send out submissions to publishers until you know your work is ready. Trash the manuscripts you are not sure of, and wait to submit until you just know you have the right piece of work.
  3. Do sign up for online courses- make sure they are reputable before you pay, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t need to learn. Writing is a craft and you will gain enormously from studying it. You’ll always pick up something from writing courses. Just take what resonates with you, and keep writing and developing your voice.
  4. Do join a professional organisation, your local writer’s center, or such. Do meet other authors and talk to them. There is something incredibly special about the bonds you will make with real writer friends. It is perhaps they alone who will understand how hard this career is, and how success comes in one big sugar lump- you get published! You just have to keep going in the meantime, there aren’t really incremental steps, and those writer friends will make all the difference.
  5. Ignore the voice that tells you that you’ll never get there, that getting published is like winning the lottery, all of that jazz. Because, you know what- someone has to get there, and that someone may as well be you! Ignore the people who tell you that it’s too hard as well. Just smile politely and continue to write! 
  6. You need the most enormous amount of self belief. You just have to believe in what you write. Stay focussed, like you would in any other job and do your apprenticeship.
  7. And here’s the final thing. No matter how much talent you have, no matter how hard you work, it takes the average writer several years to get a publishing contract, several years of hard work, of producing a major work every year, until you finally get there.

So- do not give up!!
Ella Carey is a writer and Francophile who claims Paris as her second home. She has been studying French since the age of five, and she has degrees in music and English. Her debut novel, The Paris Time Capsule, has captured global attention and her second novel, The House By The Lake, will be released on March 29th, 2016. She lives with her two children and a pair of Italian greyhounds in Hobart.

Ella Carey on the web:

Facebook        Twitter        Author Page    Website

The House by the Lake

Anna is content with her well-ordered life in San Francisco. But her world is turned upside down when her beloved grandfather, Max, reveals a startling secret: Anna is part of an aristocratic family who lost everything during World War II. What’s more, Max was forced to leave behind a precious item over seventy years ago in their estate in old Prussia. It’s now his ardent wish that Anna retrieve it.
Anna burns with questions as she heads for Germany: What memento could be so important to her grandfather? And why did he keep their history hidden? As she searches for answers, she finds herself drawn to Wil, a man who may hold the key to unlock the mystery. Together they discover that her family’s secrets are linked with an abandoned apartment in Paris, and these secrets go deeper than she ever imagined.
Alternating between 1930s Europe and the present, The House by the Lake illuminates the destiny of a family caught in the tumult of history.
Buy Links:     
Amazon Kindle          Amazon Paperback        Audio CD

Amazon UK              Book Depository

Thanks so much, Ella! That's terrific advice. Approaching the job as a professional helps at all points of the journey.
I'm working on that self-belief, but it can sure be tough!!

How about you? How are you aspiring to improve? 


  1. I count myself very fortunate then.
    I'm also a lazy writer, so a writing routine is a must.
    While I've never belonged to a writing group, I do have great critique partners. I know many have found critique partners through the IWSG as well.
    Congratulations on the book, Ella!

  2. Nice tips! I especially like the one about the online courses. I took them in the past and they were extremely helpful. The RWA frequently has online classes and they'll allow even non-romance writers to sign up. :) Congratulations, Ella!

  3. Most writers don't realize they aren't ready to send out. Either they they waste time and burn a few opportunities or they grow really discouraged.

    1. I've seen so many writers quit because of this when they had the potential to be great writers!

  4. Excellent tips, Ella. Congrats on your release and continued success.

    Hi, Jemi!

  5. Hi Jemi! Hi Ella! I'm currently reading House by the Lake and enjoying it immensely. I fall down at No 1 - Set up a really strong writing routine. There' always something else calling me!

  6. One can only try to do that writing routine, but so far it has eluded me. It's this darned other thing called "normal life" that keeps taking my time. Enjoyed your guest today, Jemi. Thanks.

    1. That normal life can be wacky and demanding! :)

    2. And now, of course, there's the #atozChallenge. Talk about wacky and demanding! Wish me luck. Send vitamins.

  7. What great advice--all of it. And #7 is so true about being realistic of how many books you need to write before you gt a publishing contract.

  8. Wow, more great advice from Ella! I've already got her book on my to be purchased list. :)

  9. Hi Jemi and Ella, I am following a very strict writing routine from 1st April and I am also reading a lot. Thanks Ella for the wonderful tips.

    1. Reading is such a huge help for writers!!!
      I wish my life allowed for more routine, but not at the present time :)

  10. Great advice all the way around - and one of the most important is taking courses and always trying to learn something new.

    1. It would be dull if we didn't keep on learning! :)

  11. Great advice! I'm focusing on improving my productivity at the moment. :-)

  12. Thank you - thank you for #5. Perfect balm on the weary query road.

  13. Hi Ella and Jemi!

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  14. Hi Jemi! Hi Ella!
    Such an interesting post. I love the advice which can be summed up in your work ethic. Nothing ever came easily. I always think of other professionals who study before they put up their shingle--brain surgeons, pilots, teachers--why should writers not need to learn their craft?
    Love your novel, Ella. It's one to savour. What with tripping around and being under par since my last trip, I haven't finished it yet, but will soon.

    Denise :-)

    1. I agree - we should always be working on our craft :)

  15. If you're an aspiring author, I gotta whole lotta nifty-cool synonyMOUSE metaphors which shall creep stealthily across thy brain like the vivid, brazen dawn, dear...

    Wanna wiseabove to help a 'Plethora Of Wurdz' [POW!] which are look'n for a new home in your novel?? Yay!

    Q: But, yet, can anyone tell me the difference between K2 and IQ? A: Nthn. In Seventh-Heaven, we gitt'm both for eternity HaHa Need a few more thots, ideers, wild wurdz or ironclad iconoclasms? Voila!!

    VERBUM SAT SAPIENTI: As an ex-writer of the sassy, savvy, schizophenia we all go through in this lifelong demise, I just wanna help U.S. git past the whorizontal more!ass! we're in (Latin: words to [the] wise)...

    "This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty told me in my coma. "Far beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find tangible, corpulent eloquence". Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

    I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET! any moe curly, party-hardy-endorphins, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs (in [the] end without end -Saint Augustine) when my beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girly passed-away due to those wry, sardonic satires.

    "Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3, NJB

    Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

    Go gitt'm, girl. You're incredible. See you Upstairs. I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls
    PS Need summore unique, uncivilized, useless names? Lemme gonna gitcha started, brudda:

    Oak Woods, Franky Sparks, Athena Noble, Autumn Rose, Faith Bishop, Dolly Martin, Willow Rhodes, Cocoa Major, Roman Stone, Bullwark Burnhart, Magnus Wilde, Kardiak Arrest, Will Wright, Goldy Silvers, Penelope Summers, Sophie Sharp, Violet Snow, Lizzy Roach, BoxxaRoxx, Aunty Dotey, Romero Stark, Zacharia Neptoo, Mercurio Morrissey, Fritz & Felix Franz, Victor Payne, Isabella Silverstein, Mercedes Kennedy, Redding Rust, Phoenix Martini, Ivy Squire, Sauer Wolfe, Yankee Cooky, -blessed b9 ...shake well B4 use!

    God blessa youse
    -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL