Avoid neg-els who discourage you from trying to get your book published

August 27, 2007

When I was a step-parent, my kids used to have a phrase they liked to use: Don’t be a neg-el. This, I guessed from the context in which it was used, was short for “Don’t be a negative element.” When they sensed anger, discouragement or negative vibes coming their way, they would use the phrase.

I have the same attitude toward most people who give you discouraging advice about getting published. I am flaky, scattered, lazy, and was generally clueless when I began the process of getting my first books published. Persistence went a long way. Knowing that I didn’t know what I was doing or how to accomplish it was another asset. Not believing the discouraging people (I had one more accomplished colleague who told me I would never get a book published because I only had a masters degree, not a Ph.D. or an M.D.) was crucial. Twenty-eight books later, I guess I have shown he was wrong about what it takes to get a book published (getting published well is the best revenge, I find). I also had passion. Don’t bother to write if you don’t have some major energy that can sustain you through writing your book and getting it published. This passion can not only sustain you, but can touch agents and editors (who can be swayed by the author’s energy level).

So, my advice is to avoid the neg-els and find yourself some pos-els: people who can believe in and support your dream of getting a book written and published.

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