Monday, June 25, 2007


Posted by Lisa

Claire Cook, author of bestselling novel Must Love Dogs, had plenty of inspiring thoughts to share with the packed room at the Public Library in Duxbury, Massachusetts last Wednesday. Not the least of which was a belief she shared three times in the course of the evening. She said, "If writing a novel were easy, then everyone would do it."

I know writing a book is a challenge. I've completed one novel which is on submission with editors as we speak (feel welcome to cross your fingers for me and do an editor dance, too). I've completed a second draft of another. A good friend and wonderfully inspiring woman in my writer's group once said upon reflection: "Writing a novel is hard work, who knew?"

The writing is hard. But now I know the waiting is worse. For agents, for editors. It forces me to dig deeper than I ever did when searching for a better word, or thinking a character through further.

My writers' group helps me improve my writing skill; I wouldn't be the writer I am becoming without them. But now I know their support and encouragement is huge at this point in the process of becoming a published author.

I am not a quitter, but I wonder at times if I would have the courage to push forth without their support. When I have had setbacks, and I've fallen to the ground, Amy, Hannah, and Lynne have picked me up. They seem to have a magical ability to find kind and thoughtful words to help me on my way. They get me to take a few deep breaths. They brush the dirt off my knees and guide me on my path again.

Tomorrow my writers' group and I will be speaking at Buttonwood Books in Cohasset, MA. I hope we will help others to find their way into a writers' group that works, that we will help others learn how to make it work. So they, too, will have someone to pick them up when they trip. Because in this business you can't help but fall hard from time to time.


Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Lisa, the reason my support for your work is unflagging is because your writing is amazing. I wouldn't encourage someone in this business lightly, as our friend said writing a book is too hard, getting it published harder. You'll do it. I've no doubt.


Lisa said...

How did the four of you find each other and form The Writers' Group? It does indeed seem to be a powerful force.

Lisa Marnell said...

Amy, how lucky am I? An expert writer like you to guide me (thanks from the bottom of my heart for setting the bar high) and a friend in you as well!

Lisa, it was quite a story, our getting together as a writer's group. To find out about our journey, go to our blog and click on the link that is labeled "Finding a Writer's Group". That will fill you in. And you're right, we are lucky. But remember, Lisa, we want to help support other blog readers, so drop us a line if you need some encouragement (as we all do sometimes). We're happy to lend an ear and send happy writing thoughts to you as well!

Lisa Marnell

Larramie said...

Why does the idea of becoming a published writer remind me of learning to walk with baby steps? Except a baby knows no real fear, s/he just does it. Lucky baby! ;o)

Lisa said...

I had never read those original posts so I'm glad you pointed them out. Sounds like there was a fair amount of kismet involved. You are the only blogging functioning writers group I'm aware of and I thank all of you so much for the support you provide to the rest of us. I have gotten more than my fair share from you wonderful ladies already and I'm happy and grateful to know that you're always ready to help.

Lisa Marnell said...

What wonderful feedback, Lisa! It makes it all worthwhile.

mohanley5 said...

I am looking forward to your event at Buttonwood tomorrow evening. I have seen you all at other Buttonwood and Grub Street events over the past few years...glad to learn that you are all having success with your writing.

John Robison said...

It's a lot of work, thinking up a book and writing it!

I hope we're all set with the Breakfast With the Authors event at Buttonwood. My publicist is firming up the tour dates this week.

Hope to see you all soon.


Michelle Zink said...

Great post!

I have to agree. As a self-confessed control freak NOTHING is harder for me than the waiting.

And yes, I realize often how empty my life would be without the support of other writers, even those with whom I've only connected online.

Thanks God for the internet!

Lisa Marnell said...

Five, I'm looking forward to seeing you tonight when the Writers Group presents at Buttonwoods.

John, it is a lot of work, isn't it? Just last night I realized how the stakes need to be higher in my current YA project (so near to the end and yet, so far).

Michelle, thank God for the internet is right! Are you familiar with Therese Fowler's blog? It's always inspirational and educational!

Lisa Marnell