Sharon Lynn’s short stories have appeared in multiple anthologies. Her Cotswold Crime series will debut in December 2022 with Death Takes a Bath. You can find out more about her on her website, or by clicking here, see her stories here, and read her last post here.
As many of you know, I am a college professor in my non-writing life. I was asked to do a presentation on Why Writing Is My Passion to the university staff and faculty, and as I created the slide deck, I discovered important lessons that writing has taught me.
1. Perseverance. Death Takes a Bath: A Cotswold Crimes Mystery is the third novel I’ve written and the first to be published. I received ninety-eight rejections before landing a 3-book deal with an option for two more. Writers can never give up in the face of denial.
2. Do what you’re willing to suffer for. The axiom is “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Which is lovely and true. But it does not push you, and it will not make you grow. For example, I love to sing and have a very pretty voice. I could possibly do something with it. But I cannot (and never could) bring myself to practice even fifteen minutes a day. However, I am willing to place my heart in the form of a draft, open and vulnerable, on a plate for an editor to tear into.
3. Practice makes better. I’m not going to say “perfect” because while I am a much better writer for all my experiences and rewrites, I still can’t spell and have no idea what a comma is. Thank you to all my proofreaders!
4. Deadlines are important. It’s one thing to write because you have a story you need to tell. It’s another to write because you have a contract that must be fulfilled. Discipline and focus are vital when writing to a deadline.
5. Push out of your comfort zone. Like many writers, I am an introvert. Conference events make me want to go to my hotel room and watch Midsomer Murders. Again. But once you publish, you need to network. And you know what? It’s awesome. I have met so many fantastic authors, readers, librarians, and bookstore owners that I wish I could go back in time and meet them all earlier. Because wow – the mystery/thriller/suspense community is amazing!