Tag Archives: writing

Rejection= what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (or so we are told…)

8 Oct

At one point or another in one’s life, we all have been rejected and there is no other way to look at them other than: rejections suck. Whether by a boy/girl, by a parent, by a friend,  you name it–rejection hurts. One can’t ever sugarcoat a rejection, no matter the delivery method: sandwiched, wrapped, bluntly. Bottom line, it’s still a rejection, a door closed, end of the road.

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Today’s post focuses on rejections I, as a writer, am familiar with and how I deal with them. It’s no right or wrong way to do it, it’s just my personal take on them.

I started writing summer of 2009. I chose the self publishing path for several reasons, one of them being my insecurity about how many stories would I be able to write. Was there more than one book in me? Would I be able to deliver quality work, handle deadlines?

Since then I published several novels (5 to be exact) and have several other stories in different stages of being finished. Beginning of 2016 I decided to look for an agent, confident writing is as part of my DNA as the color of my eyes. And so the query stage begun . . .

It’s still vivid in my mind the first query I sent and how fast my heart pounded in my chest, my clammy hand pressing the “send” button, as if I was releasing a nuclear bomb, no less. The empowering surge (me, the little immigrant now a proud American who turned writing from a dream into reality) combined with OMG-what-did-I-do feeling and topped with an incredible overpowering vulnerability. Let me tell you, such a powerful cocktail of emotions brought me on the verge of . . . throwing up.

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That one query letter was followed by several others. I even made myself a beautiful spreadsheet with agent’s names and email addresses, agency’s websites, date I queried them and an empty column at the very end titled “YES/NO.” I wasn’t expecting that column to fill out too soon. All agents warn you about how long it takes to receive an answer (if any). And so the waiting begun . . .

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I remember the first rejection and the hurt it brought. The second, and the third… the deep and dark hole I was spiraling down into… the self-doubt and the acute need to be invisible so people won’t see my bleeding heart. The one rejection I received within exact 15 minutes after sending it, not as one of those automated response but written by the agent from his Iphone, as the end of the email stated. And the list can go on. Every single rejection delivered one blow after another and my hope diminished accordingly.  Somehow, by the 4th rejection something snapped in my brain and the blow, while still disappointing, it’s not hurting as bad.

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To date I’ve accumulated ten rejections. Some of my author friends burn them. Some frame them. Some use them as background for dartboard.

I’m by nature a control freak and shy so putting myself out there was never an easy thing for me, afraid people will judge me and I’d never rise to their expectations. This whole querying process is one of the hardest journeys I’ve embarked on that has taught me a lot of things about myself. My mind is my own enemy so I have to constantly talk myself out of (or in) something but one day, I’ll learn to stop self-doubting myself or so help me whichever power reigns over this universe!!!

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Social Media Blackout

1 Jan

I’ve been planning this for a few months now and it’s finally happening. For the entire month of January I’ll be off all social media. Why? Well, for once I want to see if I have the will to stay away from checking who does what and where. It’s a vicious circle I feel sucked in, and no matter how much I enjoy being in the loop, I always feel guilty for spending so much time on all those venues. I’m trying to break the circle.

I also want to see if at the end of this experiment I’ll have more writing done, which is where I’d like to focus my energy. Writing books is after all what nourishes my mind and heart, but I don’t do it as much as I should, so carving time for it it’s what I hope will get me the needed boost.

So, off I go . . .

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The global Simon Cowell effect

19 May

Soon after I moved to the US back in 2003 I began watching American Idol. Simon Cowell was the cherry on the cake.

I’m glad at the time his accent and  my limited knowledge of the English language kept me from fully understand what he was saying, but as time went by and his way of talking translated into nasty words I was appalled at the rude / arrogant / malicious / unprofessional way he talked to the contestants. I found myself cringe every time he opened his mouth. 

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Over the years Simon continued to be the most hated judge on American Idol and, while his fortune and fame grew, part of it was due to his bullying. Then he moved to X-Factor, which unfortunately didn’t stop him from being mean, quite the opposite. 

Whether we learned from him or not, the truth of the matter is that the Simon Cowell effect spread on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Youtube, and pretty much on every social media out there. From celebrities our kids look up to, to state presidents, to average Joes everyone feels free to bash anyone and everyone because they can, while hiding behind the safety of the screen. 

One of the most interesting advice I got from an author when I was about to publish HIDDEN HEART, my first novel was: grow pigskin, like yesterday. I didn’t understand it right away and long time passed before I got its meaning. It happened when I received my first 2star review. I assure you all the other 4 and 5star reviews didn’t hold a candle to that bad one. I was beyond crushed and for a while I told myself I’m done writing, it’s not worth it and the pain too much.

I’m not saying that we need to butter up every time everyone sucks at something. I’m not saying we should never keep scores while our kids play football. And I’m not saying we need to reward mediocrity because we can’t hurt someone’s feelings.

What I’m saying is just do it graciously. Do it in such a manner that the person you offer critique doesn’t feel the need to hide under a rock and never to come out. Do it with the intend of helping that person, not hurting them. It’s true that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger but, as William Hazlitt said, “A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.” Be the miracle in one’s life, not a Simon Cowell.

As for me, I continued to write and 5 novels later, my skin is still mine as my precious momma birthed me over 40 years ago and once in a while a do wear a pullover made of … pigskin–safety before vogue. 😉

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Blogging–How LOVE. WITHOUT YOU started

18 Apr

Back in the day when I began writing romance novels, I had no idea what to do to reach readers and how to promote my books. I was told I had to create a blog–like yesterday, and use the power of the internet to my advantage. So, I started doing some research online, asking people around me and following several bloggers. I sure did envy them a lot for the numbers of followers, wondering how could I too have a successful blog.

A friend of mine suggested RapidWeaver which is a web design software so here I was purchasing it. Then I signed up for three years with GoDaddy and off I went creating my blog. 

The intent of my blog was always to share from my writing and publishing journey. Once in a while I intended to post something personal so people could relate to me. I also knew how I wanted it to look, but soon I realized that RapidWeaver was really limited, or at least I couldn’t figure out how to use it. Add to that the intricate and rather hard to navigate GoDaddy content, I found myself hating blogging.

If I remember correctly I started my blog sometime in September of 2010. A year later, I probably had about 60 views (I bet 59 of them were me checking it). Frustrated doesn’t even describe how I felt and more than once I just wanted to throw it all out the window. 

But, A WORLD APART, which is my second novel was about to come out in December of 2011 and I needed to do something to change that pathetic blog of mine.  So, I went back to the drawing board and checked several platforms that hosted blogs. I narrowed my choices to bloglovin and wordpress. 

I chose wordpress because it seemed easier, especially for someone like me, whose nickname is “I’m-not-technical” (that pretty much sums up exactly how I feel when it comes to anything that had the tiniest bit of technology in it). I revamped the title from Author Camelia Miron Skiba to LOVE. WITHOUT YOU, asked my dear friend Iwona Adamkiewicz (who is the model on my debut novel HIDDEN HEART) for a  photo I could use for the site’s background and posted my very first post on wordpress end of September 2011.

It was not until 2012 when my blog began to attract steady visitors. Some began to follow my blog, and I remember squeaking in delight with each new subscription. 

Today 3 1/2 years and counting my blog has almost 10,000 followers and I couldn’t be happier. There are several followers who became dear friends and whose input always makes me smile.

Did I struggle? You have no idea. Did I learn anything? You bet. Was it worth it? I leave it up to you to judge. 

Friday is for Muses

20 Feb

Can’t wait for tonight when my house will fill up with people that speak my language: writing. Once a month several local authors and I get together to discuss updates on manuscripts, new releases, writer’s events, and exchange ideas and support in all things writing. Add to that good food and drinks and you have a recipe for total success.

If you are a writer and need help, I encourage you to find yourself a local group. We writers are shy by nature and introverts, but hanging out with same creative minds does wonder; you won’t feel so lonely but rather pumped up to tackle whatever roadblocks are thrown your way. Take it from someone who experienced it all. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me I gotta get ready. I have a date with … Muses! 

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Addicted. Taking a rain check on curing myself, thank you very much.

14 Dec

Existential questions have always been on my mind: why am I here? What’s the purpose of life, my life? What am I supposed to do?

Most of these questions remain so far unanswered while I grow … wiser one day at the time. But I do try to live my life in a way that it has purpose. I take each day as a brand new chance at something to create, something to leave behind so when I’m long gone people will remember me.

Several years ago, while on yet another quest to figure out who I was, I began writing. Doubting every word I wrote and myself a story took form. The more I wrote the more this fountain of creative juices rose inside me and before I knew what’s happening, I became addicted. My debut novel titled Hidden Heart was published in March of 2011. Since then three other novels spread their wings for the world to read them: A World Apart, Born In Vengeance and Born In Sin. Me Tarzan—You Jane is my latest novel out on December, 6th 2014. Several other stories are in process of being developed / edited / finished.

From an early age we learn that addictions are bad: drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling—you name it. I’ve long acknowledged that writing is my addiction. But I’ll be damn if I ever try to rid myself of it. No rehab, no treatment, no therapist or counselor would ever convince me this addiction is bad. You know why? Because unlike all other addictions writing nourishes my heart and soul. Writing gives me purpose, part of me as my very heart and, “until my moment comes / I’ll say… I, I did it all…”~ I lived by One Republic.

5= 5+1= more to come

3 Dec

I know, I know 5 = 5 + 1 = more to come looks wrong, but I guarantee there’s nothing wrong with my title, or my math. Continue reading and you’ll see why.

I can’t believe December is already here and before long we are gonna say goodbye 2014, hello 2015. 

Somehow this year seemed to be here one minute, (almost) gone the next. It’s my second time since starting writing when I have two releases in the same year, less than a week apart: Meant To Be, a short story part of the Say Something Anthology released on Dec. 1st along with six other tremendous authors, and Me Tarzan–You Jane, a full-length NA contemporary romance novel coming to you on Dec. 6th (only a few days away; available for pre-order now @ Amazon).

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 To say I’m super excited and proud of my accomplishments would be un understatement. Here I am, a Romanian immigrant turned American citizen following and living my dream–to write and leave something worth remembering behind me. Five years since I began on this writing adventure, five novels released + a short story, endless hours in front of the computer, typing until my fingers cramped, lost nights plotting the next story, the next scene, having full-on conversations with imaginary friends, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings or even if tomorrow will come for me. But if it does, I’m going to keep on doing what I love most: write.

Did you get my math?