After an author learns all the ins and outs of following submission guidelines, how to use active voice, developing her own voice and style, and the multitude of other tricks of the trade, what then?
My editor recently told me she buys a scant 3% of the manuscript submissions sent to her. My first thought was, “Wow! It’s amazing I ever made it out of the slush pile.”
Certainly, I put forth effort to write the best book I could. I studied the market and did all those other things we learn about while attending conferences and writing workshops but until I could conceive of being a published romance author and knew this was truly the path I wanted to follow, I struggled with rejection letters, flat, one dimensional characters, and dead end stories.
I felt something was missing but couldn’t put my finger on quite what it was. Surprisingly, I found the answer to what my writing was lacking within myself.
In the past year, the techniques of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, which was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, has garnered a lot of attention. And while the techniques the spiritual gurus in the book and on the DVD espouse work wonders for relationships and acquiring new you–name–its, these methods can also work to turn your fabulous book ideas into extraordinary realities.
This way of thinking is not new. From Thomas Edison to Dale Carnegie to the Dali Lama, people have been employing the power of the law of attraction since time began.
And so can you!
If you can conceive of it, you can achieve it in your life.
Long before The Secret was published, I was using manifesting skills to bring into being a collection of regional ghost stories.
I had done all the research, taken all the photos, and had written my stories. After that, I pedaled them to a few small presses without great success so, dismayed, I stashed my work in a desk drawer and turned my attention to other projects.
However, after I purchased a business which just happened to be haunted, I was inspired to dig out my old ghost stories and do something with them. I spoke with Thirteen Alabama Ghosts and Jeffery author, Kathryn Tucker Windham’s publisher, who liked my stories but suggested that since my project was so localized, I publish it myself.
At that time, I really had a strange taste in my mouth about vanity presses. Lots of people subsidized their own publication but I wanted that affirmation from a real publisher that my work was good enough to be on the bookstore shelves.
After sitting on the project a little while longer, I decided to go ahead and publish my own book but when I got the staggering price quote back from the printing company, I was forced to abandon the project once more.
I was very discouraged and, at that time, was not in a supportive marriage. Since I owned my business, very little income that came into the store went into my pocket. I didn’t know how I was going to pay for the printing of my book.
In the meantime, I decided to go ahead and design a cover for my book which I did with Microsoft PictureIt, a relatively easy program already installed on my computer. I cut and pasted and faded a picture of my daughter to make her look like a ghost, inserted the title and my name, and the joy I felt at simply seeing the finished cover on my computer screen, with my name on it, gave me the feeling the project was more doable than I thought.
Thanks to a few fortuitous sales, only six weeks later, the finished books were in my hand and the next day, I had my first book signing at a local museum. I paid for the entire project in two days of book sales.
I realized I had tapped into an important aspect of my being and began reading books such as Creating Money: Keys To Abundance by Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer and Open Your Mind To Receive by Catherine Ponder.
After reading these books, I developed my own techniques toward bring about abundance in my own life. Here’s how they can apply to developing your career as a writer!
1. Figure out what you want – Make a list. Decide what kind of author you want to be. Do you want to write uplifting inspirationals or steamy erotica? What genre suits your style? Do you love to delve into a dark, spooky paranormal or are do you like to write quirky humor? What do you want out of publication? Start with attributes you can easily conceptualize. If you’re unpublished, you might start by manifesting a magazine article or a contest win. If you’re published, go for that next level toward getting on that New York Times Bestseller list! Make certain all the items on your list are worded in positive statements. The Universe does not understand the word “no”. Say these statements with conviction, aloud and often. “I want to write ____ for____.”
2. Set the stage – Do the work necessary to get where you want to be. Write the absolute best book you can. Read, read, read books in the genre you’ve chosen and then read books in other genres. Expand your vocabulary. Learn to love verbs. Go to conferences. Make contacts. Join your local RWA chapter and other professional writer’s organizations. Study your market to learn what publishers want. Make a mockup of your cover with a Photoshop program, print it and put it in a place where you can see it while you work. Or if you’re already published, look into hiring a publicist. Make a goal to do more book signings. Investigate agents. Cut and paste a copy of the New York Times Bestseller list and put your name on it in the number one spot. Advertise more. Join an e-mail loop. Get your name out there! When you prove to yourself and the Universe you are serious about becoming a published author or taking your current status as a published author to the next level, then you are creating a situation where you will magnetize the things and attributes to yourself you want.
3. Magnetize yourself – Take a few moments each day to think of yourself as a powerful magnet. See yourself as connected to the Universe and imagine drawing the things you want to and into you. You are made up of electromagnetic energy. Put it to good use!
4. Use positive in the now statements – For example: I am a published author. My book is on the best seller list. I am a finalist in ____ contest. I am divinely guided and always choose the right projects and paths.
5. Feel the emotions of achieving your goal – This is one of the most important steps. It really internalizes the belief you can have what you want and makes it possible for you to get it! Here’s how: Sit quietly. Imagine you are at your computer working on your next project. Imagine what you are wearing. Is there any music playing? What do you smell? Use all your senses to imagine this scene. Feel the feelings. Now, imagine the phone ringing. A quick glance at the caller ID tells you it’s a long distance call from New York! Feel the twinge of excitement in your gut. Imagine answering the phone with a timid, “Hello?” Now imagine your dream editor’s voice on the other end telling you, “I loved your book and we’d like to make an offer of publication in addition to a three book contract.” Imagine your reaction. Feel it. Say, “Yay!” out loud. Jump up and down but totally internalize these feelings of joy in your being. Do this often.
The Universe tends to work fast so be prepared for that inevitable call!
Since I began implementing the law of attraction in my writing, I’ve published four regional ghost story collections, published numerous articles in Fate Magazine, various Civil War magazines, and have sold five books to Ellora’s Cave. I also created two walking tours around my ghost story books which have increased my book sales, my income, and visibility.
Tapping into the dynamic process will be life altering. When you realize how your own positive thoughts can bring about vibrant change in your life, you can use it to literally do anything you put your mind to!
About the author
Debra Glass’ previous experience as a medium inspired her interest in writing Alabama ghost stories although she’s also got a passion for spine‑tingling paranormal romance. Since 2002, Debra has written several books on regional folklore and has had numerous articles published in Fate Magazine and various Civil War magazines. Now, she’s delving into steamy erotic romance with her Phantom Lovers series from Ellora’s Cave. Her first book, Gatekeeper, will be an April 8, 2008 release.
For more information about Debra or her books check out the following websites: