Tuesday, January 15, 2019

You Can Make Lasting Change by Michelle Styles

It is now just over two weeks into the New Year and the shining new resolutions look far less shiny and bright. It is far easier to fall into old habits and to think you can never change. This is not true and it is your limbic system (the flight or fight part of the brain) speaking. Meaningful change never just happens. There is always false starts and falls off the bandwagon. The people who make the changes permanent do so because they see the change as being important, rather than the fall.  They don’t  see it as a perfectionist all or nothing. It is more about the overall picture and trying until you succeed..
When I first became serious about my writing, the easiest thing would have been to give up. In fact, various people  suggested that I would. After all, I had wanted to be a writer from the age 12 and there I was 38, never having written a complete manuscript.   I would get to about the first page, not even the first chapter and find something else to occupy my time but oh how I wanted to be a published author. I knew I had stories to tell inside me. I knew I could write.

 Getting ill with gallstones changed me. It made me realise that I wanted to do something for me.  Equally I didn’t just sit down in three days and write a novel which was instantly accepted. It took me several months and then I received a form letter in the post so fast from Harlequin/Mills & Boon, it made my head spin. However, getting that form rejection letter really spurred me on. My immediate goal became — the next time, they will not be able to dismiss me that easily.
I went back to basics and wrote another manuscript and sent it off. It was over Christmas and I hoped for a slow response. It was a quick one — a request for the full manuscript from a proper editor. That one was eventually rejected as well, but next one (a hugely revised version of my first manuscript) went to revisions and I gained an editor who was willing to work with me and answer questions.  It took several more manuscripts and a change of series to Historical (the editor was hugely support of this) for me to sell to Harlequin.  By that time, the editor had left the company after giving the manuscript we had worked on to her senior editor.  I then had a very long wait of nearly a year while the manuscript was reviewed and then revised.  Since June 2005, I have written 27 more books which Harlequin Historical has purchased. I am currently waiting on my editor’s thoughts for the 28th one and  there is more to come.

If I had given up at the first hurdle, at the first rejection or when the words became tough in the first manuscript, none of this would have happened. So if you feel overwhelmed by not fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions, start afresh today. Make the change happen. It may lead to something wonderful. Persistence worked for me.
Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance for Harlequin Historical, her latest Sent as the Viking’s Bride is out now. Visit Michelle Styles’s website  for more information about her and her books.
Read a little of Sent as the Viking's Bride.

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...

Thank you!