I have not sold either of them. In fact, six months ago, I started sending one baby out into the world, full of hope and optimism. But I confess that even the good rejections drained me of my natural enthusiasm. My solution -- stop submitting. I am focusing on writing again, returning to my love of story. Revising is one of my favorite things to do and I'm enjoying it.
So this quote, which I am sure Nancy shared with me when I was her student jumped out at me.
Take your writing seriously— even when nobody else does. Especially when nobody else does.
And this is what Nancy has set out to do in this book. She's a professional writer, teacher, and editor, and she's been through a lot of ups and downs, and above all, she has persevered. She has numerous tips and tricks to share for the long haul. Consider some of these chapter titles: Why write?; Clothes are entirely optional (you'll have to read this delightful chapter); Stoke the fires; Converting the demons of doubt; Faking it. All these pose immediate questions and suggestions, don't they? And Nancy walks us through them, showing us with examples from her own life an those of others. It's a slim book ... I read it quickly in two chunks.
I wasn't having a hard writing day, but just like I cannot leave a manuscript that needs correction alone, I cannot leave a new book alone. I decided to sit on the porch and give myself a little TLC, and before I knew it, I'd read half the book, so I thought, why not? Indulge. And so I did. But you'd better believe the next day I sat and pounded the keys, remembering Nancy's words: Be inflamed again with passion for what you do. Write.
I recommend Spontaneous Combustion to writers who are experiencing resistance to writing. Nancy wrote this book for her students, and I am grateful she did. If I get into a writing slump (as all writers do from time to time), I can read this book again for a writerly revival. Thank you, Nancy.