Confessions and lessons from an author – Eve Devon

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By Eve Devon

The ability to impart truths using your own words – not those of someone else – is an essential skill for a writer, but confession: I can’t think of a better way to express how to succeed on the path to publication, other than by using my favourite Japanese proverb: Fall down seven times; stand up eight. For me, this life-motto (along with a stack of paper bags to breathe into), helped keep me sane on the rollercoaster ride that is ‘getting published’, serving as a reminder to never give up and a lesson that most of the learning is in the failing!♥

Confession: When I submitted my first book for publication I wasn’t thinking “this is fun but let’s just see what happens. No pressure.” I was actually secretly thinking “I want this. I, like, really want this!”
Lesson: You do have to really want it. And you have to keep on really wanting it. Because how much you want it is going to be tested to the point where sometimes you will decide you definitely do not want it.
When you get to that point don’t despair. I promise that your love of storytelling will resurface and once again you will find yourself screwing up every ounce of courage and pressing ‘send’ so that your story hits publisher or agent’s inbox.

Confession: The first rejection letter I received didn’t hurt one little bit. However, subsequent ones were like knives to the soul!
Lesson: The first rejection letter you receive carries an element of novelty-value. The fact that someone in the industry has taken the time to read something you have submitted feels fantastic. Plus, you understand that you have to earn your stripes. But when you receive the second rejection, suddenly you aren’t thinking about being on the journey, so much as just wanting to reach your destination. From that point on, each subsequent rejection makes you feel like you’re not learning enough about your craft or haven’t been able to put into practice what you’ve learnt between one manuscript and the next. Success ultimately means picking yourself up, dusting yourself down and trying again. At some point you will put everything you’ve learnt into one manuscript. It will be the right story at the right time. It will. It will. It will.

Confession: Darned right I occasionally compared where I was on my writing journey to where others were and felt a little (a lot) sorry for myself!
Lesson: Letting negativity fester is not going to get you where you want to be, but we are all human. A little wallowing can be therapeutic. But wallow in private and put a time limit on it or it will affect your writing.

Confession: It’s frighteningly easy to get caught up in the lows and forget about the wonderful highs along the way.
Lesson: Getting feedback instead of a form reject, winning a pitch, getting a request for a full… These are all big things that you will have worked hard for and thoroughly earned. Celebrate the highs along the way and then get back to the learning, the honing, the writing.

Confession: When it was finally my turn, and I got ‘the call’, I felt: overjoyed, overwhelmed, disbelieving, giggly, tearful, not worthy and yet invincible – all at the same time.
Lesson: Receiving validation that your work is of publishable standard, the pure culmination of all the hard work and overcoming all the obstacles along the way, takes a little time to process – this is okay!

Confession: Business admin, tax returns, promo budgets, maintaining my website, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, vlogging, Goodreads, and keeping abreast of the industry — all of this I can do. Add one more thing and I start frothing at the mouth!
Lesson: Developing and maintaining an online presence is time consuming and can become all-encompassing but it is also vital in today’s world of publishing. Devote time to discovering what works best for you, and then crucially, don’t try to do everything, every day, or you will have no time left to write.

Confession: Without the journey there is no destination and after you get published it doesn’t get any easier – it actually gets tougher – but that’s okay!
Lesson: Work smarter, worry less. Put the time you spend worrying that your muse is AWOL, that your publisher is going to drop you, that the market for self-publishing is going to fold, that your next book is going to flop, that you’ll never make a best-seller list, or that you’ll never make a living wage from your writing, into your relationship with writing instead. Feed it, nurture it, and help it thrive so that you continue to be in love with it.

All the obstacles you’ve overcome because you kept on standing right back up again have made you resilient. So that when you discover that the journey doesn’t end at destination publication, but rather, is only just beginning, you will have what it takes to see you through.

Eve Devon writes sexy heroes, sassy heroines & happy ever afters… Growing up in locations like Botswana and Venezuela gave Eve a taste for adventure and her love for romances began when her mother shoved one into her hands in a desperate attempt to keep her quiet during TV coverage of the Wimbledon tennis finals! She worked in a library to conveniently continue consuming books by the bucket load, until realising she herself was destined to write contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She lives in leafy Surrey in the UK, a book-devouring, slightly melodramatic, romance-writing sassy heroine with her very own sexy hero husband.

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